How to Transform Your Yard with a Multi-Level Garden

Published by Armstone, 22 January, 2019

Not all gardens are equal and not all of them have to be the same. If you don’t have a flat surface as a canvas, no problem! Multi-level gardens make an impact in any house or property but are particularly helpful in a situation where you are working with a hilly yard space or if your property is set on a slope. Multi-level gardens can be applied to just about any size property and can be great for small spaces since you can create the effect of a wider area by creating a layered garden oasis. Multi-level gardens utilize whatever existing space and features that are apparent in your existing garden to create a huge visual impact.

The steps behind building a multi-level garden

While many see an uneven area as a challenge or drawback, a hilly space can make for a dramatic backdrop in any home. You can easily incorporate multi-level design by following a few of these steps:

1. Hire a professional landscape architect

Multi-level garden design can be dreamt up by any gardener or keen DIY-er, but once it comes to the final design you should seek the help of a professional. A landscape architect or designer can help handle the complex features of a multi-level garden such as the retaining walls, terraces, steps, drainage, and decks and plan a layout that will be both structurally and visually sound.

2. Build retaining walls

The first process of constructing your multi-level garden is by clearing out the garden as it stands right now. Dig up all old plants or trees and hold onto any plants that you may wish to transplant later. Next, you should begin digging the footings for your retaining walls. A retaining wall is necessary for a multi-level design since they decrease the gradient of your garden making it easier to plant and to access.

Retaining walls may be built with natural stone, concrete blocks, railroad ties, and a variety of other materials. Multiple levels create space and openness, making a great tool to utilize in small courtyards. Retaining walls are typically made by excavating a portion of the slope and using the soil to backfill behind the wall to create a more even surface.

Nostra Wall Cladding

3. Break up the landscape with steps and vertical features

You can blend retaining walls in with vertical gardens to create a high-impact space. Typically, you would plant in smaller plants and shrubs at the front of each level and build up the size and density toward the back to create a sunken garden feel. Making use of the landscape doesn’t just involve plants. Incorporate steps and pavers to seamlessly take you from one level to the next.

Ideas for a multi-level garden design

1. Create different spaces

The great thing about multi-level design is you can create different spaces or sanctuaries with each new level. Creating a socialising spot outside the house complete with dining setting and fire pit is perfect for entertaining guests. Having a raised space further along the garden path complete with water feature, lush plants, and a comfy chair can be for those quiet moments where you just want to escape or sit back with a book or cup of tea.

2. Incorporate timber decking

Timber decking creates a polished look for any outdoor area. A multi-level deck design creates zones and spaces within your garden and can also double up and work as seating or as a stylish pathway. Use it to make steps, planters, or as an elevated deck for a hot tub.

3. Use water features

Water features are an easy and effective way of adding ambience to any garden. Look at incorporating a tiered fountain as a focal point. The height in this design will blend well with the upper levels giving the eye something to draw up to. Incorporating a pond complete with water plants will create visual interest in the lower half of your garden and can be used in a relaxed quiet end of the space.

Outdoor Water Feature

4. Build a raised planter garden

If you want to try your hand at growing your own vegetables & herbs, consider making the most of your tiered space by creating a raised planter garden. This would work great in your barbecue and outdoor eating space.

5. Use rocks and stones as edging

Instead of clean edges and lines, consider using rocks and decorative garden pebbles as a garden or path edge. The effect is a natural look, making it seem as if the garden was crafted out of the earth itself. Use outdoor fairy lights or solar lights to line your pebbled pathways for an attractive vision at night. You can also use decorative pebbles on your retaining walls for a striking look.

The benefits of a multi-level garden

A multi-level garden creates drama and interest to an otherwise flat and uninteresting landscape. One of the biggest benefits of this type of tiered-level design is that it can be used in large or small spaces to create the same striking effect. Other benefits include:

  1. Creating visual interest. A multi-level garden is visually impressive from the ground-up. Using various plant heights and incorporating green walls and vertical hanging gardens creates the sensation of being in a private garden oasis.
  2. Prevents soil erosion. Garden terracing can naturally retain excess water and makes more efficient use of water. You can also use your sloped landscape as a natural drainage system.
  3. The possibilities are endless. There are ways of designing and planting in a multi-level garden that you just couldn’t do with a flat space. Different levels allow for the opportunity to be creative and create different spaces. Gardeners are spoilt for choice with the endless possibilities they have to create something spectacular with each level.

Create a visual outdoor space

Creating a multi-level design garden will transform your flat outdoor space or help to take a tricky hilly landscape and turn it into a visually dramatic masterpiece. With our range of stone and paving solutions, consider contacting us at Armstone to discuss your plan for your very own multi-level garden or outdoor space.

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Arman Minas

Arman Minas

Director at Armstone
A committed and enthusiastic expert, Arman has more than 10 years experience in the stone industry and 20 years in the design space. Arman’s strong, customer focused passion has seen countless projects come to life. At the head of the Armstone team, Arman oversees all aspects of the business.
Arman Minas

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