Building a Flower Bed on a Bank

Planting a flower bed on a slope can add a beautiful addition to your landscaping. However, it takes a little more effort than planting a flower bed on a flat area. Keep in mind that you will need to terrace on steeper slopes which requires some degree of excavation. Also, you will need to ensure that you can access the flower bed after it is planted to maintain the flowers.

Step 1: Determine Location and Plan Flower Bed

Take some time to plan out your flower bed. Drafting a diagram on paper often helps resolve some issues later on. Take note of the size of the flower bed and draw it to scale. Here you will want to take note of the slope and natural contours of the area. While preparing your diagram determine how many terraces you will want and where you would like them. This gives you an idea of how much excavation will be necessary.

Step 2: Stake out Your Flower Bed

Using posts and rope stake out where your flower bed will be located and mark where each terrace will begin. As you begin excavating you can always change the location of these posts, but this will give you a rough idea of where to begin.

Step 3: Begin Excavation

Start at the top of the slope and begin excavating your first terrace. Keep in mind that you want to excavate as little as possible, so as not to interfere with the stability of the hillside. Clear away sod from the slope and excavate carefully. Only excavate the minimum height and level necessary for your terrace. 

Step 4: Install Barriers for Erosion

You will need to install something to prevent erosion and the terrace levels to slip. Natural materials are preferred over artificial. Good choices are rocks, wood, or climbing plants such as ivy. Stack rocks or pavers along the height of the terrace. If you are working on a very steep slope, you may need some artificial material such as chicken wire. Use wood pegs driven into the ground to hold up chicken wire. Keep in mind that a very steep slope may not support terracing. Move down the slope as you complete each terrace. 

Step 5: Level for Planting

Level the terrace for planting your flowers. Work the soil clean and place topsoil down to plant. Put mulch such as wood chips of rubber mulch on top of the topsoil prior to planting flowers. You may also want to place a weed barrier under the topsoil to prevent weeds and other plants from intruding into your flower bed. At first your terracing will show a lot of the work you have done to cut into the slope. Choose plants that will cover some of this work until your plants fully grow and cover the area.