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Factors to Consider when Landscaping a Slope

Factors to Consider when Landscaping a Slope

Slopes can be an awkward project for any landscaper. A lot of them find slopes challenging. This does not have to be the case. In fact, on some aspects, slopes can be easier than flat surfaces as one will not have to force the land. They can easily create waterfalls, retaining walls or rock gardens very naturally. A landscaper who focuses on the following factors will have a very easy time when landscaping on a slope.

Planning and designing

One cannot overemphasize the importance of planning and designing when landscaping a slope. It is important to have as many pictures of the slope as possible. It is also important to have pictures from all possible angles. Good pictures will help the landscaper to know the gradient of the slope and to envision the type of design that would work well with it. Knowing the degree of the slope will also help the designer when they need to shop for materials. Having pictures during the design process will ensure that nothing is overlooked.


The sun shade will affect the different plants on a slope differently that it would affect the plants on a flat surface. When landscaping a slope, it is important to choose plants that have a deep root system. It is also important to choose plants that will work well with the particular soil. The moisture content of the soil should also be carefully considered.


Water can have been devastating effects on any landscape. The effects can be more damaging on a slope. Even if the force of water is not powerful, it can still cause a lot of damage after a while. It is very important to consider drainage when designing a slope. In fact, ensure that drainage is the first consideration in the design process, and let everything else work around it. If possible, get pictures of the area during heavy rains in order to see the effect that the water has on the slope. This will help the landscaper to know whether to include drainage above or below the slope. 

The best tip that any exterior designer can use is to work with the water and not against it. This is by understanding the natural course that the water takes. In this way, the landscaper will not have to modify the natural path that the water takes. One can also consider building a dry creek that will be able to handle any erosion that the water causes. 


It is important for landscapers to be familiar with the composition of the soil that they are dealing with. The soil could be settled or well packed, unsettled, newly graded, clay, rocky, or even sandy. For limited budgets, it is always better to work with Mother Nature. This is because it can be very expensive to change the existing soil conditions.

Walls and steps

Retaining walls, rock gardens and steps are the easiest ways to deal with a slope. It is very important to consider the forces of nature before installing any of these features. Sometimes, natural stone walls are better than manufactured brick or mortar because they are not severely affected by nature. The settling of soil, hydrostatic pressure and frost heave can severely damage mortar or manufactured bricks. However, natural stones are usually more costly.

Knowing the different things to consider when designing a slope can help a landscaper a lot during the process. If they are able to prepare the entire design appropriately, they will come up with a design that is cost effective and very easy to maintain.

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