Think about the lines in your garden. It is one most important and useful of all design elements. Everything in any garden involves lines.
Look outside and consider a trunk of a tree, the distant horizon, the line created when a garden bed ends and moves to lawn. The footpath, driveway, fence are all lines that make up your landscape. As you start to plan and design your garden, always consider the line that is created by whatever you are adding.
Lines in your garden can be straight or curved, horizontal or vertical. Each play a part in creating a unique design and will draw the eye of people admiring your space.
Straight lines give you a formal line that creates order. Curves create interest and features such as garden bed or wall features. Be aware of the lines that lead your eye and the journey it takes you on. There is nothing more pleasing then a blend of lines that create interest and creates the need to explore.
As suburban land becomes scarce, and more and more people buy and build in hilly areas, more gardens are being laid out on steeply sloped sites. Owners of such sections must face the challenge of conquering clay or sandy banks that slip away during wet weather or become unworkably hard in summer. The steeply sloping site demands much thought and care to make the most of it, but gives handsome return in special garden delights.
The important factors to be considered when designing a garden on a steeply sloping site are drainage, soil type and methods of retaining soil.
Drainage is one of the most important factors where steep slopes of any kind and of any soil type, be it sand, clay or loam, are concerned. Drains do not need to be elaborate or even deep. Of course the drainage fall is usually easy to arrange on slopes and the water gets away quickly. One common way of designing drainage is to have a large central channel into which a network of smaller drains flows. It is very important to establish the drainage system above the bank as well as below it. This diverts free water away from the slope. If you have a path lying at the base of the bank you will need to consider some type of drainage to catch the seepage between the bank and the path.
Soil is often poor on sloping sites. Topsoil may have been removed, exposing the deeper and poorer strata of the soil.
Try to incorporate organic matter into the planting area. If the slope is steep, it may be necessary to stabilise it by pegging chicken wire onto the face of the slope and planting through the gaps in the wire (cut wider is necessary).
Some plant suggestions for sloping sites: