Making the best of an undesirable situation is what terrace gardening is all about. Although a sloping landscape is difficult to work with, it can provide the perfect setting for a multi-themed garden – each terrace with its own collection of landscape elements that contribute to the garden as a whole.
The first step to creating a terrace garden is to hire a professional hardscaping contractor. Hardscaping is the art of using stone and other elements to create boundaries and recesses within the space so each are well-defined and amenable to a unique combination of plants, ornaments, furniture, etc. The reason you want to use a professional for this job is that it can be time-consuming and requires a certain amount of specialized expertise that only an experienced contractor can bring to the table.
Naturally, you can contribute your own ideas to the contractor during the planning phase of your terrace garden. You may want to suggest the creation of ‘mini-zones’ that will provide the base for your softscaping ideas later on in the project. These zones can be designed any way you want, and can be miniature-theme-driven; or, you could divide them into planting areas, socializing areas and ornament areas. You can even set aside one zone for a waterscape such as a pond or a mini-waterfall, a zone for a rock garden and perhaps another for a different purpose.
Focal Points of the Terrace Garden
When you’re working with a multi-terraced slope, your visitors’ eyes will be drawn to the top and bottom levels. These are the areas where you can put your full creative energies to work. You want these to be the ‘focal points’ of the garden so they need some landscape or garden feature that stands out from the remaining areas; it could be a simple, but elegant garden table and chair set, or even a nice bonsai creation right in the middle of the space, with complementary flowers all around. There are no rules, and the only requirement is that these areas be attractive to viewers.
After you plan and design each portion of the garden, focus your attention to the pathway. Steps are great, or even pavers on the slope would be a great idea, as long as you make sure they are made of a material that won’t become slippery in the rain. The ultimate purpose is to turn it into something that connects all the parts of your garden. This critical aspect of your terrace garden is the one that will bring all the elements together and create something of a ‘botanical garden’ experience as your guests walk through and admire your handiwork.
Building a terrace garden can be hard work, and expensive too. Make sure you get an accurate quote for all the aspects of your garden, including hardscaping, drainage, planting, lawns, etc. before you undertake this project. If you know what to pay, you won’t end up with a humungous, unexpected bill at the end.