Garden, Gardens

A guide to creating a structural multi-level garden

Image credit: Bartholomew Landscaping

While some see a sloped garden as a drawback, Corobrik sees it as an exciting challenge. With its range of clay brick and paving solutions, you can turn your tricky hillside landscape into a dramatic masterpiece. Before you get started, however, consider our top tips on creating a multi-level garden.

1. build retaining walls

multi-level gardenImage credit: Lynne Marcus Garden Design

The genius behind retaining walls is that they decrease the gradient of your garden, thus making it easier to plant and enjoy. Use a series of parallel retaining walls to create multiple levels on a large slope. You can even create terraces with tall retaining walls to turn into seating areas, lawns or vegetable gardens. Multiple levels create the illusion of space, making them a great tool for smaller courtyards. You can also blend the walls into the rest of your outdoor area by turning them into vertical gardens. Find out how here [link to vertical gardens post].

2. pave the way

Image credit: Trendir

Here is where your number one paving specialist, Corobrik, comes in. Now that you’ve created your sections with retaining walls you’ll need to pave pathways, staircases and seating areas for an overall structured look. When paving, choose one style throughout to keep your look focused, whether it’s monochrome, patterned or graduated. Typically, lighter colours such as Corobrik’s Fynbos Geel or Wolkberg Lite do well for outdoor areas. However, if your garden calls for a darker colour like Graphite, there’s nothing stopping you. For those tricky edges, Corobrik saves the day with its special-shaped bricks and paving.

3. get planting

Image credit: Dorling Kindersley Limited

No garden is complete without greenery. However, multi-level landscapes require a little more effort and consideration. A few things to keep in mind:
  • Small shrubs and flowering trees are better than large, shady trees as their root systems won’t destabilise your retaining walls and paving.
  • Make use of vines and trailing plants to soften the look of structural elements.
  • Be aware of the intensity of the sun on your slopes and be sure to incorporate plants that can either withstand direct sun, like succulents, or love shade, like ferns.
  • On steep slopes, use groundcovers or erosion control fabric to keep soil and plants in place.
We’ve partnered with Corobrik to find and celebrate the people behind creative landscaping, innovative outdoor design and, more specifically, beautiful clay paving. The #PavetheWay competition was open to all readers with privately owned and maintained gardens, provided that they had incorporated clay paving in their spaces. Keep an eye out for the winners in a House and Leisure magazine early next year.