Simple Garden Landscaping – Digging Down, Piling Up

All you have to do is visit a National Trust garden, English Heritage property or stately home and you’ll see stunning, rolling landscapes to die for, complex and interesting gardens stretching for what feels like miles, full of visual secrets. Awesome. Then you go back home, look at your flat grassy square… and despair.

Can you do your own simple gardeb landscaping? Is there any way to bring the same sort of visual interest to your little plot, mimicing those lovely, rolling hills and valleys? As it turns out, yes you can. And it can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your back yard.

Even the smallest outdoor space can be hard-landscaped. Here are two of the simplest landscape design ideas on the planet, both of which will help you make a magical space perfect for your chiminea, fire pit or pizza oven.

Garden landscaping ideas – Digging down

You’re looking out of your living room window at a flat grassed rectangle. Yawn. Go grab a spade, or even hire a small digging machine for the day. As long as your garden doesn’t just consist of a few inches of soil on top of solid bedrock, you should be able to dig down. Why bother? Because it’s the perfect way to make:

  • A winding pathway, where you’ve dug down to make a secret sunken walkway instead of making an ordinary garden path
  • A wildlife pond, fish pond, or several ponds linked by a sunken stream
  • An actual outdoor ‘room’, for example a simple six foor square depression with sloped walls for safety, or a lovely curved bowl shape, a grass-walled space out of the wind
  • A beautiful curved, turfed seating area

Garden design inspiration – Building up

The best thing about digging down is it leaves you with lots of spare earth to build up! You can use it to create hillocks, make the sides of your dug-down feature higher, build a feature hill or make pretty circular turfed mounds to sit on in groups of three or five. Here are some more bright ideas.

  • Make a raised and turfed dining area
  • Build a hill for a gazebo or shed to stand on, or for your chiminea
  • Create outdoor art, for example turfed abstract and figurative shapes
  • Make gentle rolling slopes
  • Build a four-sided stone or wood ‘box’, fill it with soil, turf the top and you’ve made instant garden furniture to leave outdoors in all weathers
  • Create an earth sculpture: a shell, a heart shape or a simple abstract, and plant it with fragrant chamomile
  • Make a series of wide grassed terraces in a sloping garden to even things out and make it a more practical space, joining them using grassed, wooden or stone steps

Make a cool spiral garden

Take a square section of garden. Mark out a spiral. Dig down and build up until you’ve created spiral pathways between spiral hills. Now you have a secret garden whose delights unfold as you wander in ever decreasing circles to the centre, where you’ve stood a chiminea, fire bowl, pizza oiven, sculpture, driftwood, fountain, focus plant or pond.

Where to find inspiration?

Type ‘grass sculpture’ into Google, hit the ‘images’ tab and you’ll find the most amazing collection of images of grass sculptures. Do the same with the search term ‘sunken garden’ to find loads of gorgeopus pictures to inspire your digging down adventures. And explore our site for a very large, particularly fine collection of chimineas, fire pits, fire bowls, pizza ovens and chiminea accessories.

If you have any questions about chimineas or any of our quality garden entertainment products, just get in touch.