How to build a boulder terrace
Creating level areas on slopes helps access for garden maintenance. It also creates an interesting cascade to flatter areas.
Gather your supplies
- Collection of shade-loving plants
You'll also need
- Cultivator or hoe
- Setout paint
- Spirit level
Remove vegetation with cultivator or hoe.
Use setout paint to mark areas to excavate to create levels on slope.
Using shovel, dig out – and reserve – the soil between markings to create steps.
Tamp down step soil and ensure steps are level.
Have boulders craned in to sit on steps. Don’t do this on your own – get your mates to help! Sit them organically, grouping different shapes and sizes for a random, natural look.
Fill in around boulders with reserved soil so a third of each is buried. Plant greenery where desired and water in well.
Cascade of rocks
The boulders create a natural drainage system, where excess water runs through gaps and crevices between them.
Planting small trees and shrubs across a steep slope makes it look more attractive, while the plants also do the important job of holding the soil together to stop erosion.
Slopes are more exposed to wind, sun and dry spells than other areas in your garden. Choose plants that are hardy and can deal with the elements and are low maintenance, as access can be tricky. Plants with deep roots bind the soil to prevent erosion. Include thick groundcovers to prevent weeds settling in and also help slow down water run-off.
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