Landscape Design for Your Garden with Elevation: Everything You Need to Know

10 Landscape Design Tips You Need to Know to Get Started - Gardenista

Are you planning to redesign your home garden? If so, you’ll probably be thinking about the structure and layout of the space. It’s unlikely that you’ll have a completely flat surface on which to build, but instead will have an area with different slopes and peaks. Therefore, how exactly do you go about designing a landscape in such a place? Elevation plays a big role in garden design. It can influence what plants make the most sense to grow, where ponds or streams will be best positioned, and even how much maintenance the area requires. Additionally, there are different principles that come into play depending on the elevation of your property. Read on for more information!

What is elevation?

Elevation refers to the height of the ground. More specifically, it refers to how high or low the land is in relation to sea level. It is typically measured in feet, with zero feet being the average sea level. Depending on your landscape, different gardens will make more sense based on the elevation of the property. For example, if you have a sloped property, you’ll want to pay special attention to the drainage of the area. Low-lying areas will likely be more prone to flooding, while higher areas will drain better in a rainstorm. Because of this, elevation influences the plants that make the most sense to grow. 

How does elevation influence garden design?

The landscape design of a garden will vary according to the elevation of the area. For example, if you have a high area, you’ll want to select plants that are naturally drought resistant. In low-lying areas, you might want to grow water-loving plants that thrive in moist environments. If you have a sloped property, you’ll also want to consider how much maintenance each area requires. For example, plants that grow in moist environments can develop large root systems. They may then need to be dug up or moved in order to tend to them properly. Dryer plants, on the other hand, are much easier to maintain. In general, higher-lying plants will require more maintenance than their low-lying counterparts. You may need to water them more or use more fertilizer in order to create lush, healthy plants. Pruning may also be a necessity to keep the garden looking tidy.

Slopes and drops

The first thing you’ll want to consider when designing your landscape is the type of slope that you have. This will go a long way towards determining how the rest of your garden will look. First, you’ll want to determine if it’s a slope or a drop. A slope is when the ground is slanted from one side to the other. A drop is when the ground is sloped on two sides, but level on the third side. Slopes are much more common than drops, but both present a few challenges when it comes to landscape design. Specifically, in a landscape with a slope, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t let water pool on the ground. This can lead to a buildup of pests, mould, and weeds. A drop, on the other hand, can be especially prone to flooding. If you’re looking for advice, the team at Garden Club London can provide a highly comprehensive and expert design. 

Hills and mounds

Hills and mounds are great features to add to your landscape. They can add a beautiful design element and can be used to create outdoor seating areas, garden terraces, and even ponds. When it comes to designing a landscape with hills, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t create a steep grade. Steep grades are slippery when wet, and could lead to a fall for anyone walking on them. A gentle grade that falls away in multiple directions is ideal. Mounds, on the other hand, are slightly higher than the surrounding area. They can be great for growing vegetables, as they’re easier to water and tend than plants on a flat surface. They can also be used to create raised flowerbeds.

Flat areas

Flat areas can be great for growing vegetables or small, ornamental gardens. They generally don’t offer much in terms of design, however. Once again, you’ll want to ensure that water flows away from the area. You can do this by choosing plants that have large, sprawling root systems. You can also add a small wall or other type of barrier to divert water from nearby sources. There are many mulching materials such as gravel or stones, which can help to divert water from unwanted areas. You can also add a small water feature to help bring life to an otherwise boring space. A water feature, such as a pond, can provide a space for wildlife to live while also adding sound. This is a great option for flat areas, as it doesn’t take up much room.

Summing up

Elevation will play a big role in the design of your garden. The higher your property, the more likely you are to need to choose plants that are naturally drought resistant. This is because they will not have enough water to survive naturally. You’ll want to take elevation into consideration when choosing plants and when deciding what type of structure you would like to add to your outdoor space. If you’re not sure what will work best for your elevation, you can always talk to an expert. They can help you choose plants that will thrive in the conditions of your garden and can offer design advice.

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