Cut out hillside landscape ideas / prevent more erosion

justind000June 10, 2012

This is a pano shot of my new backyard. It's surrounded by a chain link fence and is cut out of a slope. The apex of the slope is where that power line pole is. From the bottom flat area to the top, the apex is about a 10' rise. From the fence to where the dropoff comes is about 5' wide all around. The hillside is eroding away slowly, so I've left the weeds there until I figure out what to do with it.

I live in the desert of S. California, so we get very little rain, high summer temperatures of around 115, winter lows of 30s. I live in a wind corridor, gusts up to 80 mph, sustained up to 30-40 mph at times. There is no sprinkler system in the back.

I've considered a steppe all the way around, with maybe a second steppe at the high point. I think that the little cliff could be a nice looking thing, but I just need to figure out what to do. I'm able to do/build/make most anything myself so it's just a matter of time and money. Another thing I've considered is a pond and some sort of waterfall in the high corner, but that leaves the rest empty.

In short, it's a lot of open space and I'm not the idea type, more a doer, so any inspiration would be greatly appreciated.

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You could add some pea gravel,rock to repress the sand and form a river bed garden.plant bescborneria, agaves,asparagus,gladiolus,pulmonarya,yucca...and interplant hostas,rosemary...but some my friends often mess to plant them,careful.if need,I could take time to design some visual pics for you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:42AM
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You will likely need an engineer to design the resulting 5 ft high retaining walls.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:07AM
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check the link below, there are several slopes done different ways. Austin, TX gets more rain than you do so you should rely on plants that grow well for your area.

click this link:
before and after photos page 2 has a good one

I did a search on this forum for "slope" and several threads showed up. Read through them all to get some ideas you might be able to use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Slope threads

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:24AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Anyone recommending large soft leaved woodland habitat plants such as Hostas or Beschornerias for high desert conditions obviously doesn't have a clue about desert landscaping. Similarly thinking that a pond/waterfall feature so exposed to the elements seems futile, or at the least expensive in time and money to keep functioning. Water features would make much more sense in a protected from wind and brutal sun within a courtyard garden.

Erosion control in high desert conditions is as much about wind erosion and the sporadic torrential cloudburst which dumps intense rain over a short period of time. As such, local professional expertise and knowledge of your soil type is critical for efficiently addressing the best approach for ersion control. I'd recommend using adapted native and hardy exotic plants of lowest water use to stabilize those slopes with some grading to bank rainfall to percolate into the soil where possible. Again, visiting local water agency water conservation demonstration gardens would be most useful in helping be more pragmatic about landscaping your high desert back yard.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 3:52PM
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