Does your garden never get used because it is too steep?
First of all decide what you want – it may be a totally flat garden but that may not be possible. Identify what you really need – it may just be a place to sit or a dining area with table and chairs; does the whole garden bank so steeply you cannot comfortably walk on it?
An area of decking is a simple way to create some flat space and looks wonderful, especially by water, but is not the right solution for all gardens. Creating flat space in most gardens is done through terracing: where the garden is divided up into spaces of differing levels and retaining walls created.
The retaining walls can be built using many different materials and will depend on your budget. Concrete blocks can be used for the hidden construction work then faced in something more appealing. Consider using local stone, brick, flint, railway sleepers and even gabions for a more contemporary look, these can be filled with a variety of things from slates to coloured pebbles – even roof tiles, be imaginative.
You will need to get a garden designer or surveyor to come along and measure the different levels in the garden and take dimensions before the design can be drawn. The information is needed to determine the height of steps and walls along with construction details and soil cut and fill calculations.
Planting is vital in a terraced garden to soften all the hard landscaping. It can also be used to disguise any shallow sloping areas and gives the advantage of plants looking taller than they really are at the back of the border.