Although there are a lot of areas that are flat as a pancake, there are just as many that have natural or intentionally landscaped hills. Hills in the back yard are a bit of a problem for homeowners because they are areas in which erosion is more likely and access is more limited. However, there are ways to make a backyard hill work functionally and aesthetically to eliminate these problems.
Water naturally runs downhill, carrying dirt with it. You may find that water travels down your hill in predictable paths, carving gullies in the landscape. At the same time, the rapidly flowing water may leave the soil dry, giving the wind a chance to take even more topsoil away and slowing growth of grass and plants. One way to cope with this issue is to make a waterfall, according to California Landscapes. You can use the natural water paths to give the waterfall a natural feel and redirect the flow of the water where you want it to go. A simple waterfall would involve just a few rocks and some land leveling, but you also could get elaborate, having the waterfall cascade into a full water garden or connecting the waterfall to a pump, sprinkler and fountain system that can return water back to the top of the hill.
Gardening is an easy and practical solution to erosion problems, according to Backyard-landscaping.com. Terracing is one option that involves carving out sections of the hill so that you have stairlike levels that are flat enough for planting. This leveling of the land will prevent water and soil loss. When you add plants, the roots and leaves will create a natural barrier against the elements to keep the hill from eroding. This also will return nutrients to the soil as the plants die and decompose, keeping the hill fertile. When you are done, you can create terrace steps so you can walk down and through your hill garden without worrying about slipping.
Hills make great areas for kids to play, since they let the youngsters roll and hide out of sight. Go along with kids' natural compulsion to play on hills by installing a plastic tarp and sprinkler for the ultimate slip-and-slide, making a shade overhang with a tarp and a few poles. Or if you feel truly ambitious, pave a curved strip of it for a skateboard ramp.
- Photo Credit nice backyard decoration image by starush from Fotolia.com
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