Garden Design for a Sloping Garden
Some of the most inventive, interesting gardens are created on sloping sites, although there is no getting away from the fact that a garden on a slope can be tricky to manage. If it slopes towards the house it may be a problem in heavy rain. Frost flows like water, so the lowest bit of the garden, especially if it is surrounded by hedging or fencing, is liable to be a frost pocket, cold and uncomfortable for plants and people alike. Mowing a grassy bank can be like abseiling down a mountain and we know what we’re talking about because we’ve literally done that!
However, a garden that is on a slope presents an opportunity to create new terraces, steps, and hidden seating areas as part of the transition. Garden steps and walls, although practical, can be interesting in their own right.
Transitioning from one area to another can be via a paved ramp, framed with an archway. Here the eye is drawn from the wooden pergola to the metal frame and into the garden beyond – all on a steady slope. Plants can be used to make a statement, to be seen and noticed or, as in this case, in a gravel garden at the lower level, using common herbs.
Retaining walls allow for the creation of flat, practical lawns and beds, in addition to being a feature in their own right – particularly magical at night.
Different planting schemes can change the character of a garden dramatically. In a well-designed garden there should always be something of interest to see, even in the depths of winter.
Whatever space we have in our garden, every inch can be used as a frame for our house and for all year enjoyment, even on the most challenging of sites.