Ideas for terraced gardens

Sunken gardens can have a lot of personality

Especially in mountainous areas, it is very common for land for sale or already built to be on a slope. Although they are not very attractive at first glance, with a good design and decoration they can be really spectacular. To help you beautify the sloping terrain, we are going to give you some ideas for terraced gardens.

It should be noted that sloping terrains give a lot of play to decorate and design our space. Through a good combination of key elements for this type of garden, original ideas and imagination we can get a garden with a lot of personality and charm.

terraced gardens

For gardens on a slope, a study of inclination is required

Before listing some ideas for terraced gardens, let's talk a little about this type of terrain. The design of a garden can become quite laborious, since it is not only about choosing the plants that will be found in it, but it is also essential to analyze well the conditions and characteristics of the land in question. In the case of having a sloping terrain, we will face a considerable challenge. However, sloped gardens have some advantages:

  • More possibilities to play with colors, shapes and textures. With a little imagination we can give it a very original touch.
  • The spaces seem larger.
  • A well-designed terraced garden can have a lot of personality.

Tilt-Based Design

Before we start to remove the earth and turn the land upside down, we must first know exactly what garden design is the most appropriate for our particular land. For this, a study on its inclination is required. The best thing to do for this task is to go to a landscaper for advice. Depending on the percentage of incline, we will need specific techniques or even none:

  • Land with an incline of around 3%: It does not require any type of special treatment.
  • Land with a slope of up to 10%: An erosion control system is required.
  • Land slope greater than 10%: More specific techniques are required.

Habitually, The solutions that are usually given to sloping land are rockery, terraces and even maintaining the natural slope. This type of design for terraced gardens can be combined with other elements such as stairs or paths that help to circulate through the land without many problems. In addition, we can mark certain points of interest in our outdoor area with them.

4 key elements for terraced gardens

The rockery is a good idea for terraced gardens

There are many options to take advantage of a fairly steep terrain. Prior to the ideas for terraced gardens, we are going to comment four elements that are key to this type of land and make it much more attractive. There are usually a total of four very common design elements that offer additional ambience, thus providing a broader effect of the space. They are the following:

  1. Slopes
  2. Terraces
  3. Roads
  4. Rockery

When including any of these four elements in a sloping terrain, First, the conditions and characteristics of the terrain in question must be carefully studied. It is the only way to make the best decision when designing and decorating a terraced garden.


What is a slope? It is the accumulation of rocks and pieces of them in the basins. If the terrain in question has natural slopes, its design becomes quite complicated, since they are constantly eroded by irrigation and rain. This is because, due to the slope of the land, the water runs off and ends up wearing down the soil.

For this element we have two possible solutions. One of them is to surround the slope with plants whose roots are large, such as agave, ivy or the honeysuckle. The other option we have is to use a drip irrigation system in the garden. This system is localized, that is, it is specifically in the plant, so the entire soil is not moistened.


One of the best potions for sloping terrain is terraces, without a doubt. Thanks to them we get two, or even more environments in one. This is how they provide us with various points of interest in our garden which are extremely attractive.

To decorate them, a good idea is to place a carpet of grass or artificial grass in an area of ​​the garden. Also the incorporation of some stairs to generate a nice route is a fantastic option. Of course we have a lot of play and freedom to let our imagination run wild.


As we mentioned earlier, both the paths and the stairs are essential in gardens on a slope, since they considerably facilitate being able to circulate on the ground in a comfortable and simple way. However, these elements do not only fulfill a practical function, but they are also important on an aesthetic level. The steps, for example, can be placed in different shapes, sizes and materials. This will depend on the style that we want to implement in our garden.


For a terraced garden, one of the most impressive solutions is the rockery. Since it is mainly made up of rocks, It gives a lot of visual interest and personality to our garden. If you decide to place rockery on your land, it will surely not go unnoticed.

Related article:
How to care for a garden rockery

It should be noted that it is not necessary for the terrain to be rocky to be able to acquire a rockery. We can simply place the stones on the ground and arrange them as we like, it is not very complicated.

Regarding the plants for this element, the most suitable are those whose growth is slow. In addition, it is advisable not to abuse the amount of vegetables. In the rockery it is common for plants to grow between the stones. Therefore, we must be aware of the appearance of grass other than what we have planted.

6 ideas for terraced gardens

Stairs are essential for terraced gardens

Now it is time to talk about ideas for gardens on a slope. We are clear about the key elements for a sloping terrain, but now we are going to see how to embellish it and take advantage of it. We will list a total of six Idea, from which we can choose the ones we like best for our case:

  1. cover the walls: We can cover the uneven walls with green walls, plants, vertical gardens or a colorful fence.
  2. Same plants: Create small levels, like steps, with a type of plant in each of them. They can be transitory levels to reach an area of ​​interest on a larger level, such as a barbecue, a swimming pool, etc.
  3. Create mini-landscapes: If we have a staircase or a steep path that takes us from one place to another in our garden, we can take advantage of the unevenness to create different squares with retaining walls and create small landscapes, combining plants with stones, for example.
  4. Water: Taking advantage of the unevenness, we could consider creating a small pond with a waterfall at some point in the garden. Not only would it be extremely attractive, but the sound of water provides tranquility.
  5. Slides: Especially if we have small children at home, placing slides to go from one ladder to another could be a lot of fun, even for adults. Of course, we must not forget to also place a ladder nearby to go back up.
  6. sea ​​of ​​ivy: Similar to the first point of covering walls, we can also create a blanket of ivy on the sides of a staircase. The objective is that the change in level is not perceived as if it were a step, but as a green slope covered with leaves.

Garden at different scales

Surely you have already seen more than once a house on a very sloping ground. In these cases, the most common design is that of different scales. Some retaining walls are created to prevent the earth from falling down the slope. Seen from afar, it looks like a staircase with huge steps. A priori it is not a very nice design, but it can be.

Obviously stairs will be needed to be able to go from one scale to another. So first we must decide if we want them on one side, in the middle or in a zigzag, for example. Now, what do we do with so many different scales? An idea that is used a lot is to create different environments and even gardens. At each scale we can make a characteristic type of garden either by style, by vegetables, or by whatever comes to mind. Another option is to make barbecue areas, a swimming pool, or a track to do some sport. There really are endless possibilities. In order to differentiate the environments even more, we can also play with the type of floor of each one.

It is also very common to use scales to create different orchards. It is a practical way to gather vegetables with similar care and characteristics and have them all controlled in a very comfortable way.

I hope this article has inspired you to design your future garden on the sloping ground, or change the one you already have. As you can see, there are many ideas for gardens on a slope, it all depends on the level of inclination of the land, the available space and our tastes. You can leave us your experiences and ideas in the comments.

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