Landscaping Sloping Blocks
In Australia it’s estimated that around 60% of homes are built on sloping blocks. One of the biggest challenges for hillside homes is how to make the garden usable. Creating tiers is one option for blocks with limited space, while terracing creates flat, usable zones for garden beds and entertaining.
Erosion can be an ongoing problem in sloping gardens, creating soil and nutrient loss. Many sloping sites feature clay soils or sandy banks and plants can be over exposed to wind and sun. These gardens can experience soil slipping in the wet season or become unworkably hard in the summer. For more details on the Top 4 reasons to consider a retaining wall read our blog.
One of the benefits of a sloping block however, is often uninterrupted views and with a little planning, landscaping with retaining walls can create terraced zones that enhance your outlook.
We recommend engaging landscaping or engineering expertise to design and build your retaining walls. Drainage and wall structure needs to be considered to minimise erosion and withstand the weight of soil and water.
Infilling with retaining walls creates a level garden zone at a lower point on the slope by filling the area with material to raise a garden bed. While excavating can be used to create terraces by digging into the slope and using a retaining wall to hold back the soil. This can create sheltered zones on windy hillsides.
Based on the height of your retaining wall, council approval may be required, with engineer’s specifications for stability. Enquire with your local council for permit requirements.
The Galvanizers Association of Australia has released an Advisory Note for applications where Hot Dip Galvanized Steel is embedded in soil.
Colour & Design
Choosing the right materials to create garden tiers or terraces will ensure your design works with both the architecture of your home and lifestyle.
Concrete embossed sleepers offer a range of colours and designs that will not split, rust or warp. Choose from smooth, clean lines or woodgrain designs in earthy tones or shades of grey. Split stone styles provide the heritage look of sandstone and our stacked stone design adds a modern edge. Each of these styles are available in sandstone or charcoal options.
Tiering or terracing a sloping block will instantly expand your plant choices as water and drainage issues are improved. Enhance your new garden zones with shrubs, decorative grasses, fruit trees, flower beds and patio areas. For some inspiration, head to our Gallery