Dealing with a sloping garden

The garden is sloping – How to deal with Up slopes and Down slopes

Our Design Service can provide bespoke designs. We specialise in smaller gardens

Up Slopes:

When ground rises up, it always appears closer to the eye, so as a result your garden will appear shorter. If you want to visually lengthen the garden, then an easy way is to put something that really catches the eye at the end of the garden. This can be anything from seating, sculpture, pots or even an eye catching plant – it just has to be big enough to catch your eye and make you look to the end of the garden.

We’ve used Woodland Glow in this upwardly sloping garden.

Colour also plays a big part in keeping the length, bright colours always appear closer to the eye than cooler paler colours, so stick to a neutral pastel palette and the foliage will fade into the distance more.  As you can see in the image, the white flowers tracking all the way up the fence draw your eye to the end of the garden. 

Obviously, drainage issues in upwardly sloping gardens are also pretty important, so you need to ensure any water runoff is easily drained away before it gets to the back door.  Without terracing, you may only end up with a small area you can utilise fully, but you can flatten off small areas of lawn more easily to accomodate seating, but if the rest of the garden is really attractive even if you can’t sit there – does it really matter?

Down slopes: 

Ground falling away from the house appears further away that it really is, and you seem to have extra sky, which adds to the feeling of space.  So in terms of colours you can be more bold, as bright colours will not close the garden down so much. 

We’ve used Rich Velvets & Loud Pinks for this border design

Garden slopes can be limiting, as it is easy to end up with only a small usable space in the garden, but with a little trickery you can minimise the effects of the contours. Always try to have an area that is flat enough for a table and chairs. 

If you really want to utilise as much space in the garden as possible, the best long term solution is to terrace, but this is usually very expensive and generally involves diggers, retaining walls, builders and lots of mud.

For more tips and advice on all sorts of garden problems…. you could buy our amazing book – available at Amazon and other online book stores.

best garden design book - I Want to Like my Garden by Rachel McCartain