Dealing with sloped landscapes can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to manifest an alluring garden. It’s certainly not easy and requires a lot of effort, but all you really need is time, devotion, and an attentive eye. To overcome the hurdle of a sloped landscape, we must carefully shape and contour the land in order to establish a set framework for the landscape’s design. This process, called grading, is crucial because it places the groundwork for proper water flow and drainage.
For example, a steep landscape can be broken up with stairs or winding paths that help make the property more usable. If strolling is your ultimate goal, you can construct paths that gradually weave through the landscape. But first, you’ll need to know a little bit more about how grading elements affect the movement of water.
Slopes: The perfect slope is all about a balancing game — Too steep, and you risk erosion and unstable landforms. If the slope is too gradual, you risk unhealthy water collection.
Swales: A swale, as seen in the photo below, is a long, sloped depression. They carry water, and can be laid with stones and filled with plants.
Drains: These structures lead to subterranean systems that collect runoff and deliver it to city sewers.
The combination of all these grading techniques along with beautiful plants can reveal a landscape with gorgeous outdoor rooms, water features, and delicate flower plantings. Terracing is an excellent way to deal with a sloped landscape and involves building retaining walls with enough space in between for level plantings.
We love the look of terraced gardens planted with shrubs and perennials that sparkle with color all year long. The innate, soft look of plants diminishes the hard edges of man-made structures and brings our favorite plants up to eye level. Additionally, terracing is a first-rate way to link the home to the garden and landscape.
If your sloped landscaped has you questioning your next move, we might be able to help you! Contact TMS Architects today to find out more about our architecture and design services in New England.