Garden + Gardening + Gardening Tips & Advice

How to Plan Landscaping On a Hill

August 18th, 2014

Planning landscaping on a hill is both exciting and challenging. Some of the most beautiful examples of landscaping are set on hills, but it was almost certainly a job of work to make this happen.

How the landscape is planned on the hill depends on what the area will be used for. If it’s to be an area for recreation and entertaining, it’s best if the hill is terraced. You’ll also need to terrace the hill if you’re planning a cutting garden or a vegetable garden. A series of small terraces or outdoor rooms built on a steep hill are more esthetically pleasing than one long terrace.

However, if you don’t want or need a terrace on the hill, the best thing is to cover the hill with plants to not only beautify it but to prevent erosion. But even this needs careful planning and a bit of work.

First, the plantings should be easy to get to and care for. This might necessitate building steps. Moreover, grass lawns should be avoided on very steep hills. Grass makes a hill look more intimidating than it is, and if the hill is really steep, it can be arduous and even dangerous to mow. This is why landscape designers recommend that a hill that slopes more than a foot in height for every three feet of lateral distance not be mown at all. Flowering groundcover like creeping phlox are ideal for planting on steep hills.

• About Microclimates
Since warm air rises and cooler air sinks, hills also create their own microclimates. The top of the hill will tend to be warmer than the bottom, and a north facing hill is much cooler than a south facing hill. This means that plants with different requirements for climate can be planted at different elevations on the same hill.

• Where Is the House?
A house on the top of a hill looks rather grand, even if it’s small. One way to take advantage of this is to build a meandering walkway to the front door edged with shrubs, flowers and other interesting elements.

• How to Plant
Before any plants are established on a hill, the soil will need to be amended so it’s not too acidic or too alkaline. After that, the hill will need to be covered with landscape fabric and the fabric covered with mulch. This will keep down the weeds, which can be difficult to control on a hill. It also controls erosion.

The plants all need to have enough space on the hill for their roots to establish themselves firmly. If the plant is large, like a sapling, the uphill part of the hole should be dug a bit deeper than usual. The downhill side of the hole should have soil mounded up around it to stop erosion. Holes can be dug flush with the slope of the hill for smaller plants.

Though it takes a bit more planning and work than a more level area of land, landscaping on a hill can bring its own unique beauty and satisfactions in the end.


Trey Palmer is the owner of, a leading provider in Zoysia Sod and other turfgrass needs.

Ceiling Remodeling: How to Give an Old Ceiling a New Look

June 10th, 2014

Your furniture, appliances, walls, doors and windows are not the only things to consider when remodeling or redesigning a house. Uplifting the ceiling and giving it a new look would make the transformation more phenomenal and make your home fresh and visually appealing. To yield good results, here are some tips on how to give your old ceiling a whole new appearance.



1. Choose a Light Color


Your ceiling should not be necessarily a light color but definitely lighter than the color of your walls. If not then the entire room would look dark, especially when you live in a house that’s not located in a sunny place which inhabits more or ample natural lighting. Also, lighter ceiling shades can visually enlarge a space. Most households prefer white as this color is safest. Other alternatives are beige, light gray, light yellow and off-white. For the paint, it is suggested to go for high-gloss to reflect light more. On the other hand, a matte finish for the ceiling will make it appear more fixed or static.


2. Show Creativity


If you want to show more of your creative and artistic side, get inspired with the artsy ceilings of churches. Paintings of angels, the sky, lush greens, animals in the wild or even fruits and vegetables may seem pretty interesting. Guests who would visit your home for the first time would feel most ecstatic about the design of your ceiling and it would be the first thing that they notice. Particularly if your home has a high ceiling, this option is best.


3. Get Rid of Parasites


Because ceilings are commonly overlooked as you can’t reach it, you need to schedule a regular checkup to maintain cleanliness. Termite control should be done so you can be rest assured that your ceiling won’t get damaged and be cracked by these pesky parasites. Sometimes, termites can camouflage as dirt so if you are not good at detecting them, hiring a professional to get the job done will be most effective.


4. Install Light Fixtures on Ceiling


A modernized ceiling still would not be complete without also modernizing the accessories such as lights attached to it. So when the ceiling renovation is done, don’t forget to also update your lighting fixture. A simple chandelier would make a large difference in a room. You know it is time to also replace your lights when the fixtures are ones that date back to the 1970s to the 1990s.  


5. Add Beams


Instead of the plain look, adding horizontal or vertical beams would really bring immediate grand effect to the ceiling. To bring forth powerful architecture, these beams should blend with your color scheme. If your house is on the rustic side, choose beams that are made of wood or stones. Easily, the overall design would be warm and elegant. Installing beams is pretty straightforward but is as well cumbersome.




Remodeling your ceiling is one of the most effective ways in giving your room a face-lift. You don’t always have to stick with the norm. Feature accents as you like and dress it up with wallpaper or paintable wallpapers. Have more time and budget? Get your ceiling tiled and see how attractive it will look. Also, along with the designing, restoring the ceiling to a new condition is a must and this can be done by scraping and priming it first. Giving the ceiling a new look may be an expensive and long process but it’s a good investment to make your place a more loveable one.

Robin Vinz Salvador is a freelance writer who enjoys challenging his creativity. He is an art enthusiast who pays close attention to details. He loves the photographic medium for expressing what he loves about life. He is also a self-proclaimed foodie and wine enthusiast who loves scouring the net for new ideas and trends in food creation and presentation. Follow his journey on twitter and google+.

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