Beyond Landscaping


How to Use Mounds in Your Landscape Design


If you’ve ever admired the rolling green hills of a local golf course, then you know the value of mounds in landscape design. They mimic the natural scenery of less cultivated areas while providing graceful, curving, structures that break up the monotony of a flat landscape design. However, there are some things to know about mounds before you just plunk them everywhere. Like any new landscape design element, mounds will create micro climate areas that will require landscaping with drought-resistant plants. They can also divert water into other areas of your landscape when it rains. However, these features can be used to your benefit and can help you create unique, interesting, landscape designs that are low-maintenance and beautiful.


How to Beautify Your Landscape  Design with Mounds

Some people will exchange the word “berm” for mound, but they have two very different landscape designs. A berm is more rectangular in shape and typically used to hold up a solid wall against water or shifting soil. Either way, berms are very linear whereas mounds tend to be curving, soft, and of different heights, much like an island that emerges from the ocean around it. It’s meant to be aesthetically pleasing, more than functional, although you can use it for both purposes.


Here are a few ways to use mounds to beautify your landscape design:

  1. Create a Staggered Landscape Design Planting of Varying Heights – One of the easiest ways to create a stunning landscape design is by layering mounds along a sloping hill. This terraced effect will provide an easy way to view groups of planting in a way that is almost like viewing a framed picture. In addition, the different height of the mounds makes it easy to see even the plantings in the very back.
  1. Create Hidden Spaces in Your Landscape Design – Mounds can also be used to hide spaces so that as you walk around the mound, you can add an element of surprise and delight with a secret, unseen,are a hidden from the general public. You can add a bench at the bottom and invite your visitors to sit a while.
  1. Add Island Beds  – For flat areas, you may want to create different island shapes and sizes in your landscape. They can be curved ovals, kidney-shaped, or irregular. It’s up to you to decide how to split up the landscape into island beds to add more visual interest.
  1. Mix and Match Multiple Landscape Design Materials – You can use different colored mulches or even sparkly gravel as the foundation for your new islands. This can help keep the moisture in and the weeds down. You can also add large boulders and landscape ornaments to a space with some drought-tolerant plants to reduce the need for water to the bare minimum.
  1. Border and Highlight a Walkway – You can add mounds at the edges of a walkway to make the path seem more magical in your landscape design. Add outdoor landscape lighting so that you can enjoy the play of light and shadow at night too.

Before you settle on a design, make sure that you aren’t diverting water towards the house foundation or away from areas that need water more. Remember that the top part of a mound will dry out faster than the bottom. You can grade these top areas into plateaus to help retain the water more, however. Seek out the services of an expert landscape designer who can advise you on the proper way to use mounds to create dramatic landscapes that can wow your neighbors and be low maintenance as well.

Beyond Landscaping can help with plant selection, landscape design and/or installation. Take a peek at our portfolio or request a free quote today!