Slopes in residential gardens present challenges with erosion, accessibility and safety. Grassy hills turn into slippery slopes, especially in shady areas. Grass does help to bind the soil together, but may not be able to cope with heavy rains. Root systems of trees and shrubs perform much better in slowing down water running down the hill. An interesting pathway can be created with stepping stones or steps zigzagging through the vegetation, possibly including a small level, terraced area with a bench to sit down and enjoy the garden.
Risers for steps are ideally 15-18 cm and no more than 19 cm high. If a slope cannot be negotiated in a straight line with steps of a comfortable tread width and length, and with risers below 19 cm, then a meandering or zigzagging patway is the best option. If the gradient is not too steep, then a direct route of steps can be constructed perpendicular to the slope. This option is particularly practical if the existing circulation route follows a straight line. A direct pathway can also be designed as the viewing line for a vista to a focal point of some sort at the top and/or bottom of the path.