Step It Up: 19 Design Ideas for Landscaping Stairs

Stairs can become a stylish addition to your garden—or a mini garden in their own right.

From: DK Books - Small Garden

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Jamie Durie, Durie Design

Photo By: Barry Block, Barry Block Landscape Design & Contracting, Inc.

Soft Landing

Irregular pathway steps are softened by side plantings of ornamental grasses through this informal garden setting.

Task-Lit Staircase

Grass terraces adjoin task-lit stairs made from cast concrete and set in gravel.

Curved Steps in Garden Landscape

These curving steps lead to lower levels of this garden landscape.

Minimal Metal Staircase Ideal for Restricted Space

This restricted garden space is well served with a simple metal staircase that connects the upper deck with the graveled lower level.

Aluminum Staircase Mixed With Decking Treads

This sleek garden staircase design is constructed with an aluminum frame and wooden decking treads. This combination works well in a garden with a contemporary look.

Flight of Brick Steps Create Cottage Garden Feel

A flight of steps made from traditional used bricks gives this garden the country look and feel that the owner desired.

Graceful Front Steps Follow Line of Bay Window

Curving steps gracefully follow the lines of the bay windows behind them, creating a sense of movement between the outside and inside of the house.

Summer Flower-Filled Pots Line Edges of Steps

Pots of colorful annuals line the wide steps leading up to the house from the garden patio below.

Bold Ornamental Grasses Soften Stone Steps

Oversized natural stone steps leading to the terrace are softened with clumps of bold ornamental grasses.

Timber Step Treads Stained to Match House Siding

Timber, stained white to resemble marble, was used to form curving steps as part of this garden landscape. The steps match the siding of the house, creating a balance between the garden and the architecture.

Balancing Act

Simple wooden steps balance the strong and varied foliage that lines both sides of the garden steps.

Rural Retreat

A mix of stones and bricks creates a rural look and feel for a flight of steps that links a lower-level garden terrace with an upper patio area.

Curves Ahead

A curved flight of stairs contrasts with a cobblestone floor and a curved, white concrete wall.

Lighting the Way

Walkways, steps, and other obstacles should be well-lit for safety. Subtle illumination, as in this example on a curved stairwell, can also add visual interest.

Ascending Beauty

These square cast, concrete containers flow gracefully down the flight of stairs, while the unruly stems of Lady’s Slipper (Pedilanthus macrocarpus) explode out of them like fireworks.

Choose Materials For Mood

Wooden paths and steps have a warmth and texture that complements the foliage plants that spill onto them.

Shallow Steps Created with Gravel Risers

Gravel risers form shallow steps and create a rich, contemporary landscape design. The result is functional art that contributes great visual impact to this shaded area.

Step Right Up!

Wooden stairs are paired with wooden planters to create an attractive retaining wall.

Stone Stairway

Lush plantings spill over the border of this stone staircase, tucking it nicely into the natural landscape design.

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