landscaping-a-hill which includes landscaping a terrace or a slope can be done with so many materials today.

Some people prefer to have a gentle slope to their hill, and others prefer to terrace the hill. Actually you can use both scenarios in different applications.

 pondless waterfall
This picture shows the use of a pondless waterfall down a small hill. Since water needs to run over rocks, this water feature has been designed with rocks and a recycling system with no visible collection point for the water.

Plants have been placed at the top of the hill, with small rocks lining the path of the stream and larger ones on the sides.

Small flowering plants are strategically placed along the sides of the stream. At the bottom of the hill, more bushes and trees envelope the disappearing water.

In this case, the use of rocks, bushes, and flowering plants create an appealing design for landscaping-a-hill.


We have found that with the diamond blocks it is so easy to sculpt a hillside, and easy to lay the blocks. (especially when someone else does the work) =o)

The first layer of blocks have to be flat, using a carpenter's level to make sure it is utterly horizontal.

diamond block retention wall At that point, you can place the blocks in a "dry lay" with no mortar. The blocks need no cement to make them secure, just the weight of the blocks, one on top of another.

Notice how the blocks sculpt around the terrace. They also provide a place for people to sit while out around the firepit.

We had collected literally 100's of rocks to build a “rock” wall with at our last house, when our son, the landscaper said “No. Let's build it with the diamond blocks” instead of your rocks.

The wall is built out away from the dirt, and then excess rocks can be dumped in behind the wall, and then fill in with dirt from the back of the lot to fill in the rest of the gap between the blocks and the hill.

We have enjoyed planting our garden at a 2-3 feet height just behind the diamond block wall. This works well for me, as long as RL doesn't expand the garden back too far for me to reach from below.

Since I can't bend over to weed, this “raised” gardening works and is ideal for me. We have some of our tomatoes and squash along the edge of our terrace this year.

terrace retention wall w-diamond blocks

Terracing with diamond blocks

Another way to build a terrace is with flat stone. The following picture shows this type of stone. Our son built this terrace and took us to see it. You can visit his website HERE for some professional pictures and ideas.

terraced hillside rock wall

This is the outside of a courtyard wall made with dry-laid, small, thin, stone along with a terraced planter which is also done with dry-laid stone. Note how an existing rock was incorporated into the terrace wall.

Small gravel is used around all the plants. The plants are very small, as this garden was only just completed. Water is piped to each plant, under the gravel.

When you first plant your landscapes you want to envision what it will look like when the foilage fully developes. Then place the bushes and flowers, leaving plenty of room for the plants to grow and mature. While the plants mature, you can fill in with annual flowers as you are landscaping-a-hill.

Building your home as owner/contractor

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