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Hillside Landscaping Ideas for a Sloped Yard

Take advantage of a steep or hilly yard with these gorgeous landscaping ideas.

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Stone StepsTimAbramowitz/Getty Images

Terraced Hillside Landscaping Idea

Nobody wants to mow a hill like this. Instead of turf grass, this hillside landscaping idea uses terraced beds on either side of stone steps. The low-maintenance perennials planted in the beds mean this landscape looks good year after year. And the natural stone look never goes out of style. A fairy garden would look at home in this yard.

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Yard Steps DigiStu/Getty Images

Steps with Retaining Wall

Terracing a hillside is a lot of work. This small slope incorporates one short concrete block retaining wall and a straight set of steps. Strategically placed boulders and hill-hardy plants anchor the rest of the space. Another hill in the yard’s back corner features matching stones and greens.

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Rock Garden Perry Mastrovito/Getty Images

Create a Rock Garden

Landscaping with rocks is an easy way to add personality to a yard, particularly in dry climates where turf grass struggles. But rocks serve a functional purpose, too. Adding rocks helps plants find their footing on sloped ground. These rocks are strewn across the hillside in a natural pattern to provide stability to ornamental grasses, flowers and shrubs.

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Backyard Waterfall TimAbramowitz/Getty Images

Hillside Water Feature

A natural slope is the perfect opportunity to build a backyard waterfall. This gorgeous hillside landscaping idea surrounds a relaxing water feature with all our favorite outdoor design elements: potted plants, Adirondack chairs, a stone patio, a fire pit and lots of trees. The effect is stunning.

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Front Retaining Wall maltero/Getty Images

Front Yard Retaining Wall

A steep front yard can make shoveling a driveway a pain. This home uses a retaining wall to create flat upper and lower sections of yard, with plenty of room for a driveway. The brick wall matches the house itself, and evergreens stand out against the red backdrop. This design accentuates the classic “big house on a hill” vibe.

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Patio Overlook JamesBrey/Getty Images

Patio Overlook

If the hill leads down to some sort of view, like a lake or a field, create a scenic overlook. This round patio lets homeowners and guests enjoy the lakeview while sitting by a cozy bonfire. An outdoor dining set or chaise lounge would also fit in this serene spot.

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Mulch Berm irina88w/Getty Images

Hillside Landscaping with Mulch

Red mulch pops against this lush green lawn, creating one large landscape border. The rest of the yard can be left plain since the hillside is so eye-catching. Privacy plants take the place of a fence on this uneven ground.

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Terraced Hill Jawcam/Getty Images

Tiered Raised Beds

This terraced yard skips the stone in favor of a modern white look. The tiered retaining walls make these raised beds easier to access for planting, watering and weeding. This yard uses ornamental grasses and shrubs, but bright flowers would look just as good. Consider easy-care blooms in gold tones, such as marigolds.

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Front Deck pamspix/Getty Images

Front Deck for a Sloped Yard

A front patio is a convenient place to sit with neighbors while watching your kids play. Unfortunately, a sloped yard can get in the way of those plans. This hillside landscaping idea makes use of a front deck instead. A tiered soil bed provides plenty of planting space, as well as level ground for this tiny deck.

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Hillside Retaining Wallmerrymoonmary/Getty Images

Prairie Garden Hillside Landscaping Idea

This sloped yard has the best of both worlds: prairie plants for pollinators and turf grass for yard games. A retaining wall holds back the hillside, leaving a flat grassy space for bare feet. Wildflowers and longer grass give the remaining hillside a natural feel. The retaining wall is an ideal spot for decorative planters.

Mikayla Borchert
Mikayla is an assistant editor for Family Handyman, specializing in indoor and outdoor gardening, organization and décor. She has one cat and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, she likes running, skiing, hiking and tending her balcony garden.