You have probably seen many landscaping berms in your lifetime without realizing what they were, or what they are for. The concept behind a berm is simple and easy to take for granted, but they have several benefits for your property. In this article we will discuss how to build a berm in your BC landscape, and some of the reasons you should consider it.
What is a berm?
A berm is simply a rounded mound of soil (or some sort of fill), built up on a level patch of ground. Not to be confused with a raised flower bed, the berm gets its name from the rounded top, like a speed bump. Whereas a raised bed has a flat surface and is more rectangular.
Tips for building a berm
When building a berm, you will want to make the slope gradual, this helps the raised portion look more natural and prevents erosion. For every foot in height you will want to expand the base about five feet on average. This depends on your own personal tastes of course, but we don’t recommend going much higher than two feet.
To add layers and texture you can give the berm more than one peak, making sure the highest peak is not in the center of the berm, to prevent erosion. You can also shape your berm to make it more interesting, like a half-circle or kidney bean shape.
Drainage is important to keep in mind when building your berm. Remember you are changing the structure of your property, potentially channeling rainwater to different areas. Building a berm is not as simple as piling up dirt in a mound. Layering your berm is important to prevent it from eroding away in its first spring. Topsoil is the best for growing your plants, however, consider using a more solid clay-filled soil for your base. This will provide stability and will not let water run through it, carrying your topsoil away.
Creating a border for your berm is the best way to prevent erosion, consider stone or brick to trap soil and better define the edges of your berm.
So why build a berm in your BC landscape? One of the biggest reasons for a berm is to add levels to an otherwise flat property. Large flat areas can benefit greatly by injecting a vertical element. In addition, a berm can act as an excellent windbreak or noise barrier. The addition of foliage on top of the berm will act as a great privacy screen for your property.
If you want to build a berm in your BC landscape, or would like a free consultation on the best options for your property, contact the landscape design experts at Blossom Hill!