Before you can figure out how you will landscape your hillside, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
1. How much money do you have for your project?
2. What is the size of your hill? Is it a ten foot high hill, or only two or three feet high?
3. Do you want to landscape the entire project?
4. What type of landscape do you want to use, terrace, or rock garden type landscape?
5. What type of plants do you want to use? Do you have favorites?
6. Do you want to use your hill to create a waterfall feature?
Now the BIG question ?
Are you a DIY type, or will you hire this landscaping done by a professional?
Once you have answered the above questions, then start developing a landscape plan. Of course, if you hire someone to do the job for you, then they will present their ideas to you for your approval.
We have only landscaped small hills, created by the dirt that made the hill when the basement was dug. We have used both rocks and diamond block to create a terrace. With the diamond blocks you can create a nice sculpted appearance that is incredibly pleasing.
As the hillside slopes down, the blocks curve into the slope and disappear while the ground slopes down around the sides to the lower level.
An appealing waterfall can be placed on the slope if you are the type that likes water features. You may or may not have a pond for the water to fall into. I have seen some wonderful disappearing pondless waterfalls.
When the water disappears it is collected into a holding tank where it is filtered and continues to recycle down the hillside in a forever running stream.
The sound of the water lapping over the rocks in the stream add the wonderfully peaceful tranquility that people hope for in their back yards.
There are some fabrics that are made especially for creating the hillside stream and waterfall. Under the stream is a rubber type material which keeps the water running down the hillside instead of seeping into the ground. Small rocks line the rubber stream bed while larger rocks form the edges of the stream. With the proper cement to hold everything together the final rocks can be strategically placed, and then the fabric is engineered into the design to complete the desired effect.
With a pond, the entire pond has to be lined with a rubber fabric as well. .
I have seen how a waterfall and pond are created. Water has to be in the pond for several days to test for leaks in the system. Once you are sure there are no leaks, the surrounding rocks will be gathered in closer, with trees and bushes are added to keep the eye from seeing where the water comes from. A barrel collects the recycled water and the process repeats itself.
Although I can see all this in my mind, it probably has some steps in the process that you'll discover are missing if you do it yourself. I'm enough of a DIY person, that if I were younger, I'd probably attempt this myself. However, with landscapers in the family now, I'll be happy to pay them to landscape a hill or slope for me.
Linda Baxter is a piano teacher, and stay at home mom of nine children, (22 grandchildren) who acted as General Contractor for building their retirement home. She hired and paid subcontractors, was overseer of all construction work (with the help of her husband, RL), and did most of this from her “armchair". and telephone. She freely shares her experiences on her website, http://www.home-built4u.com - hoping to help other potential owner/builders escape some of the pitfalls she and RL experienced, of being their own GC. BIO