The North Carolina mountains offer some of the best sights in the state, so it’s no surprise that homeowners love the area for its peaceful and stunning natural surroundings. However, many homes in this mountainous region sit on sloping lands with subtle to drastic drops in their front or backyards.
These slopes prove to be a challenge to homeowners when trying to keep their yards beautiful and maintained. But having a sloped lot doesn’t mean you need to skip out on a tidy, functional, and eye-catching yard. This is precisely what hardscaping is for!
How to Hardscape a Sloped Yard in the North Carolina Mountains
Hardscaping is prevalent in this area of North Carolina because it helps homeowners combat common yard issues while intertwining the best of what the area’s natural landscape has to offer. Here are some ideas to make your sloped yard pretty and practical with hardscaped elements:
1. Pull in Elements from the Natural Landscape
One of the best things about living in the mountainous region of North Carolina is that the area is ripe with rocks, stones, minerals, and other materials. Hardscaping is an excellent solution for blending your home and yard with its surroundings by using a mixture of pavers, natural stones, and other hard elements that fit right into the landscape.
You can mix and match rocks and stones of different sizes, add some wood elements, or even place brick walls to frame your lot. These materials can give your yard a rustic look that’s synonymous with this area while adding function to a sloped yard.
2. Install Water Retention Ponds or Rain Gardens
Sloped yards are notorious for not controlling water well. After a rain or snowstorm, you might have streams of water travel down your yard and pool at the bottom, which could be where your home sits. Even if the streams move away from your home, the eroded soil they take with them can wreak havoc on your land and the environment.
Retention ponds and rain gardens both work to hold stormwater runoff and recycle it back into the ground as it absorbs. When placed on a downward slope, a rain garden can even look similar to regular garden to boost your yard’s aesthetics even though it has a greater purpose.
3. Create Hardscaped Pathways or Steps
Walking down or up a sloped yard can be dangerous, especially in wet conditions. Dirt or gravel walkways can be a temporary solution, but can breakdown the path overtime.
Instead, consider opting for a more permanent walkway with concrete, stone, or pavers highlighting the way to your home or driveway. On a subtle slope, a path can work. However, more dramatic hills might warrant a set of hardscaped stairs.
4. Build a Deck Over Your Slope
A sloped back or front yard makes the perfect setting for an overhanging deck or porch. A wooden deck can be a relatively inexpensive way to give you an outdoor living space in a sloped area that otherwise isn’t very functional.
A sloped backyard is an excellent spot for an extended deck that reaches out over a hill where you can add an outdoor kitchen, seating area, or even a play area for the kids. You’ll also be able to make the most of your home’s views by maximizing your potential outdoor living space with a porch or deck.
5. Make a Garden Stream
The North Carolina mountains have plenty of natural streams and waterfalls, but you can mimic nature in your own backyard by crafting a garden stream down a slope. Like a rain garden or retention pond, a garden stream – when properly constructed – filters the water that flows through it back into the ground, offering a somewhat low-maintenance way to keep your yard beautiful and environmentally-friendly.
6. Design a Tiered Garden
Does your hilly yard prevent you from finding a good spot to start a garden? You can have a flourishing garden despite your yard’s slopes. The trick is to plant a garden in tiers along the face of a hill and use native plants, like Carolina lupine, swamp rose, or wood ferns. You can create planting areas with treated wood, stones, or bricks. If you have steep slopes, you might consider weaving a set of stairs through your garden, too, to allow for convenient planting and maintenance.
Although you can try to complete some of these hardscaping projects yourself, we recommend speaking with a professional hardscaping company that knows the ins and outs of the mountainous North Carolina region and how to fix common sloped yard issues with hardscaping. If you’re interested in learning more about what hardscaping professionals can do for your sloped yard, feel free to contact us today for a free quote.