20+ Tiered Backyard Landscaping Ideas (With Pictures)
A sloped property is a landscaping challenge for any outdoor space. Many people find when designing their sloped backyard, that they are in need of a flat surface. Adding tiers to their yard is a great way to give them the space and level areas they need.
Wall Ideas for Tiered Retaining Wall
When planning your tiered backyard, you will have the perfect opportunity to bring your personality out in your yard. Now is a good time to figure out what kind of look you want. You can make a dramatic impact in choosing the material for your wall. Each material has its own list of pros and cons. Make sure you know what will work best, be the most durable, and bring you the look you want. Browsing online, local supply, and yard and garden stores will help give you plenty of ideas.
Stone veneer walls can be used in many designs and styles. Stone veneers come in three types, faux stone veneer, natural thin stone veneer, and full bed veneer. They are all made from different materials and have different thicknesses. Remember natural stone varies by its color and style, giving you a lot of options and flexibility with the design of your outdoor living space. Most people will recommend you use an architect or contractor to help with these types of walls.
Brick walls are a strong and durable choice for your retaining wall. These walls are a good idea for those taking a more traditional approach to their landscape design. Keep in mind, that brick will require special accommodations for drainage. Also, be up for a lot of work. These are time-consuming to stack. Burnt clay bricks, concrete bricks, sand lime bricks and engineering bricks are a few types you can choose from depending on the size of your wall.
Those looking to add different levels to a colonial, country, or English-style yard, will appreciate the look of natural stone. Those using this type of stone in their sloping backyard will need to take water flow (to avoid soil erosion) into consideration. Fieldstone, colonial wall stone, antique granite wall stone, and limestone are options you’ll find when looking for a natural stone to use for your retaining wall.
Wood is an accessible fairly simple to install material for your retaining wall. While it is a beautiful natural material, if not treated correctly it might rot, and won’t last as long as other materials. Wood is only recommended to be used on small walls.
The beginning stages of planning a yard with a steep slope by yourself or with a landscape designer is a good opportunity to add a focal point. A focal point adds a point of interest to your space and gives you the ability to really let your unique personality shine through in your space. This is not something you want to decide to add after the fact if possible. While these are just a few of the many options out there, they will definitely get your imagination going.
One type of water feature that homeowners enjoy adding to their yard is a pond. While your small space or front yard might not be the ideal area for a small pond it is always an option you can consider. It does not need to be ground level either, matter of fact, it can be set up like this one, on steep hillsides using the height and slope that already exists in the yard. Make the space you have work and be the space you desire.
A natural rock fountain is a simple water feature in your backyard that can add an ambiance you won’t forget. Keeping with a cohesive design and ground cover that filters the water runoff your tiered garden design is sure to be eye-catching. Remember, you can go with a tiered fountain in the courtyard or on your patio also, this is just one unique idea.
Nothing quite beats a summer night sitting around a fire pit surrounded by a beautiful sloped garden. Give yourself a space you truly enjoy and can truly relax in. Fire pits are another item that can be easily DIY on a weekend, hired out, or purchased premade. Just like your tiered wall, fire pits come in a variety of sizes and materials. A few common choices you have when it comes to firepits are brick, concrete pavers, and stucco or tile. Whatever you choose, make sure it is heat resistant.
Adding a rock garden that includes river rocks is one of many backyard ideas that are pleasing to the eye, and unique in character and design. It is also a beautiful way to solve any drainage problems you may come across. River rocks are just one option. Flagstone, brick chips, lava rocks, marble rocks, and boulders are a handful more you can choose from.
Moving Between Various Levels
Once you’ve planned the different levels of your outdoor area you need to decide how to navigate between those levels.
Concrete steps tend to be the go-to for those looking to get to the next level of their sloped yard. As we previously learned, concrete is durable and able to create a cohesive look with many of the different wall materials available.
A winding path is a great idea if you are looking to add curves to your space. It also puts your sloped ground to good use, making the steps blend better in their natural surroundings. Pathways also give you the opportunity to choose a ground cover such as pea gravel or sand and flat stone. The possibilities are endless, those winding paths will require more upkeep and maintenance from wear and tear than concrete steps.
Filling Tiered Space with plants
After the walls are built and the spaces shaped, those with a green thumb are ready to get started filling their spaces. You have so many options when it comes to the design, aesthetic and overall feeling you’re looking for in your space.
This could be the perfect place for a garden space. Keeping your garden contained and organized will be easy within a tiered planter. Planting anything from berries to root vegetables is an easy way to fill your tiered garden beds. Make sure you know what plants are compatible with one another as you plan your tiered garden bed.
Another creative way to fill your new space is with natural elements such as rocks and logs. This will help add beauty to your landscaping while being a contrast with your lawn and flowers.
Moss phlox, ivy, creeping thyme, and succulents are all, rock-loving plants to add color and depth to your retaining wall. These plants grow low, sometimes fast, and spread well filling the cracks and spaces between rocks with ease. These plants double as ground cover as well, so you may find the need to add bark, sand, or gravel where these will grow, will be less.
When planning your flower bed make sure to consider adding native plants and or tropical plants. Know what grows best where you live. Having different plants to add height and texture, such as ornamental grasses, are good things to consider.
Outdoor dining area and Patio area
Stone pavers also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Using stone pavers (like the ones used above) in your outdoor dining area gives you a contemporary English-style look. Pairing this with green space will really make your yard pop.
Adding concrete pavers to your outdoor dining or patio area can make a big impact on your design. These pavers can be filled with pea gravel, grass, sand, or other small stones. They also come in several styles and shapes. They are durable and easily replaced if necessary.
Getting a modern look doesn’t mean you’ll have a plain boring yard. If your want a modern look for your patio area, try using pea gravel as your ground covers. Something so simple can give you that contemporary style you crave. A modern look gives drama just from the correct use of the right cut, construction, and depth of color.
Having a small patio does not mean that you will need to miss out on any big impact looks. Even a small patio can be a home to a fire pit, water feature next to a seating area, and dining space.
For something more private and cozy consider adding a tiny courtyard in your small backyard. While this is more suitable for level ground, you can make it work on a steeper slope with a retaining wall of a smaller size. Typically courtyards are surrounded by tall walls, or trees, they are also found against the side of a building or in the center.
You can add so much more to your yard (with the right layout) than just a small water fountain or feature.
A backyard swimming pool can be a part of your sloped yard but doesn’t need to be the only space. You can still have your seating, dining, garden, and firepit areas. That’s right, you can have it all in your yard, even if it doesn’t seem possible. When choosing a contractor or company, make sure they know how to best position and safely place your pool to make the best use of your space.
Enjoying your backyard will be the first thing you want to do as soon as the hard work is done. And what better way to do that than in a hot tub. This backyard layout shows just one of the many best ways you can include a hot tub in your yard.