blog cartoonGuided Tour – Hillside Landscape

Want a guided tour of a hillside landscape? Let’s do it! For those of you who wonder what to do with your hillside, this may give you some good ideas.

When I was wondering what to blog about this week, one of our properties on a hillside came to mind. I thought – aha, the Morrow propertycartoonShould it be a guided tour, or should I start a new series called Troubleshooting in Landscape Design?

You see, almost every week we tell you, “every project is unique and each property presents different design plan solutions.” It’s true. They do. This property on a hillside fits that description to a tee!  It’s wasn’t just a little hill – it was a monster of a hill! This landscape was going to need a major solution as well as identifying our clients must-haves and incorporating them into the design plan.

BTW, I stuck with Guided Tour – Hillside Landscape but let’s investigate what we did to troubleshoot this slippery slope hillside. Best way to do that – photos of course!


You can see the view from the top, looking down on the hillside. Also, the retaining walls holding the hillside in place. It looks neglected, unused and like an enormous amount of work. It’s no wonder when the homeowners purchased the property, the task seemed overwhelming and they needed a design plan.


Did I mention the homeowners were planting all-stars? They love working with the earth and know every plant, tree, & shrub by name.  You can imagine how this hillside disarray and overgrowth made them anxious to put it in order.


One of the focal points in the hillside design is a natural waterfall that tumbles down the hillside. The custom borderline fence makes a perfect frame. Boulder steps and slab pathway go up & through to access a gazillion plantings. When taking a tour with the homeowners, they lovingly call out the plants & shrubs along the way. They tease and ask, “Do you know the name of that one?” “Uh, well . . . nope,” I reply, “You guys are the experts in the plant department.”  A viewpoint bench sits at the top of the waterfall. Picture yourself sitting a spell to take in the view and tune-in nature. Blissful sigh.


A fun part of the design – the paths lead more than one way. You can go down, around to the center grill island, or to the firepit patio, or take the unique footbridge to the outdoor living gazebo. Relish the options – find your niche – relax and unwind!

Hillside Landscape Design


Notice the waterfall splits in two directions, encircling the kitchen island, coming together again at the bottom of the hill to stream into a serenity pond. Remember what this hill looked like before? Amazing use of land don’t you think? An exceptional design. Thank you Deborah Berger, Paradise Restored Design Manger. And of course, Team Paradise Crews and Project Manager.


Let’s head back to the before photos and take a look at the construction of the fireside lounge patio and kitchen grill island. By the looks of the surroundings, after new retaining walls were built and boulders put in place, these came next.


And then the stunning reveal . . . Are you kidding me? A rotisserie? A stove top and a grill? Don’t forget the kitchen sink. Add plenty of counter and bar space. Does it get any better than this? Once again, remember, it’s an island kitchen on a hillside that rivals many indoor setups. Astonished, yet?

kitchen grill island


As we approach the end of this tour, let’s spend a few moments reflecting on the overall landscape. Picture a large gathering here. Guests could enjoy a number of places to meander off to. Up, down, around . . . this once neglected hillside is a smorgasbord of relaxing destinations spaces.

Let’s give a great, big ‘hoo-ha’ for the Morrows! Their concept for a ‘plethora of plants to tend’ and their collaboration with Paradise Restored, created a hillside wonder few can only dream of. Oh yah, kudos must also be given to the Morrows for the upkeep of this planters paradise. The two of them spend countless hours keeping their hillside paradise pristine. Probably one of those love-hate relationships! Good Work you two – It’s soooo Beautiful!

And so we say goodbye to our Hillside Landscape . . .

But wait, there’s more:

View our  designs in our gallery of works:  Please contact us for a complimentary consultation: @

Thanks for stopping in,



Kim Thibodeau


Exterior Design Services



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