A Multilevel Garden: Answers to an Awkward Yard

Multidimensional landscaping ideas can save an unusual garden space.

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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Allen Land Design

Photo By: Image courtesy of Heather Hardcastle, Breaking Ground Landscape Design

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Paul Wrona, Designs By Sundown

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sierra Hart, Allen Land Design

Upper Deck View

A cleverly planned solution for an awkward yard, this garden is overlooked by tall buildings, but the plantings maintain a sense of seclusion and intrigue. Wooden steps and decks unite the space, and take you on an interesting journey.

Dining Level

This decked terrace is screened by a neatly clipped pittosporum hedge, which has colorful foliage. Wooden paths and steps have a warmth and texture that complements the foliage plants that spill onto them.

Contemporary Tiers

Terraced tiers evoke a sense of peace, excitement and interest in this urban backyard. The modern bench in the corner makes an ideal place to pause and take in the space and the reflections in the mirrored wall.

Multi-Levels Link Spaces

A multi-leveled terrace provides a variety of linked spaces with plenty of places to sit and enjoy the garden.

Zig Zag Hedge Divides Garden Border from Walkway

Boxwood is shaped to form a zig zag design bordering the walkway and steps leading from one terrace to another. The linear shapes help define the space and bring an artful interest to this garden.

Steps Tie Terraces Together

This cottage garden includes a lower and main terrace joined with brick steps and a graveled entrance that ties the space together.

Terraced Front Yard Landscaping

This California home features a multi-level garden boasting a mixed Mediterranean palette of green-grey foliage, ornamental grasses and lavender and yellow flowers. Tall containers are planted with Italian cypress for vertical interest.

Steps to Terraced Patio

Use a hillside garden's natural contour changes to add dimension to a landscape. In this example, stone stairs draw the eye up to a higher seating area.

Tucked-Away Seating

Hillside gardens can be enhanced with outdoor rooms, such as in this example tucked between flowers and plants and framed by flowering cherry trees and Japanese maples.

Multiple Decking Often Used in Contemporary Design

Decking is commonly used in more contemporary garden designs. Materials are usually made of weather resistant, pressure-treated wood, which can be treated to protect against rot. Decks are adaptable to most sites.

Deck Garden

An overhead view of this decked garden shows the different areas for entertaining and relaxing, all in a 45 degree design.

L Design

Different levels create interest in this garden. A series of rectangles links a narrow section with the main garden, and strikes a balance between plants and decking.

Wooded Waterfall Path

A path along a waterfall leads upward to separate seating spaces on various levels of this hillside garden.

Mediterranean Patio

A dense Mediterranean-style flowering garden borders a small outdoor patio. Leading from the patio are several concrete steps.