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Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Posted by special2usa 5B (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 9:25

Hi All,

Any idea what to do with this slope.
It is in a mostly shady area, getting only sun til about 11am.
I already removed a lot of shrubs to open up the space and plan to trim back more trees. But have NO idea what to do with the slope, since I am on the top end of it. Thought about extending the driveway a bit.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Pic 2: Slope descending into yard


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Pic 3: View from the house


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Pic 4: Another view from the house


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

In order to get back a reasonable answer, the question must be put in the context of your overall goals, which depend on your needs, wants and abilities. I could suggest that you fill the area with groundcover, but it there will stay weeds all around it, that's not going to work very well. Before doing any planting, decide first if you ARE going to extend the driveway.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

lets say no on extending the driveway. Overall Goal is to make that area not an eye sore. I saw a lot of suggestions on the web, but they are designs if I was at the bottom of the slope. Not sure what to do since Im on the top.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

If I was looking at that from my house, I'd like to make it inviting, and put a small deck with a little table and chairs or a bench, maybe a fire pit or water feature. A meandering path with some ferns, and shade loving flowers... Even just a hammock!

It's a beautiful spot!

Suzi


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

You don't really show how steep the slope is. Can it be terraced?

Suzi

This post was edited by desertdance on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 15:28


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

The fact that there is slope is not really the critical factor in whether or not a space can look good. There are slopes all over the place that look good. But it will not look good trying to grow grass in a place where grass neither likes to be (because of the shade) or is difficult to maintain (because of the slope.) This is where groundcover is useful. Like a lawn, it smooths out and unifies what might otherwise appear rough and haphazard. The bed line that separates the lawn and groundcover needs to be a distinct and intentional ... not just a willy-nilly meandering edge. The house would represent one side of the space so there is no picture you provided that would allow one to figure out how a line might go. One would need to see the space and its surrounds.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

I like the look of creeping thyme in that area and updating the stone steps to something larger. The pine tree in the middle of the picture will be coming down this fall.
Here is a picture from the driveway


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Additional Pic. Might not be able to bring down all the shrubs in the background as its the property line between my neighbor and me.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Final Pic. View from the slope towards the house.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

There's not a picture that shows how the drive, house and slope all fit together so it's hard/impossible to give advice on where and how the lawn should end.

You mention creeping thyme ... but if grass won't grow properly, neither will creeping thyme. And "updating stone steps to something larger" ... I see no stone steps.

In one picture it looks like there might be a few rocks placed at one corner of the drive to protect it from erosion and disintegration. This is not going to be sufficient to do the job. There either needs to be a lot of soil added (to make it into a slope that will stay) or a small retaining wall built.

The last picture shows a blue spruce a few feet from steps. Visualize this tree grown up. There is no way that it's going to be a workable arrangement.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Here is a picture showing the driveway, house and slope. The slope (on the right side of the pic) looks more like a cliff.

The last picture I posted with the blue spruce, shows the stone steps near the bottom right side of the pic.

Very valid point, I didn't think long term on the blue spruce. What are your recommendations on that? The previous owners seem to love them cause they are more near the garage. (which you can see a snip it from the pic I just posted)

This post was edited by special2usa on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 10:17


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Closer view of the area.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Special, the picture you added is a great improvement on explaining HOW THINGS FIT TOGETHER, which is what is needed for someone who has never been there before.

The "stone steps" ... these could hardly be called that. They appear to be stepping stones laid on a slope. What purpose do they serve? It does not look like it's a place where one would generally need a walking path. Maybe you could get rid of them (use them somewhere else.)

The blue spruce placement reminds me of when little kids want to show you something. They stick it 2" from your eyes! Here, as the tree grows and expands, it will entirely block off the space at the base of the steps. The choice then will be to limb it up so you can still walk into the yard ... or to remove. Knowing it's coming, I would bite that bullet now. The smaller it is, the easier it is to "chew." Trees like this should have been planted well away from the house where they could be enjoyed as part of the view. Does anyone else know if this size blue spruce stands a chance of surviving relocation?

While I can understand the space better, it's not the proper view to illustrate how one might wish to shape and terminate the lawn. I think where you need to stand for those pictures is at the middle of the deck. (Because it affords the broadest view of the overall back yard.) While standing at the exact same spot for ALL pictures, begin aiming at the left portion of the yard. Snap a pic and pan the camera rightward a little to capture the next section of the yard. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE PICTURES OVERLAP a little (in order to see how they relate to one another.) A fair portion of lawn should appear in all pictures while you are more or less holding the camera level.


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here is panoramic pic


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one more


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A panoramic picture is no good ... too distorted so cannot get a realistic grasp of the space. The pictures need to be normal focal length. Also, how can I visualize a line that defines the lawn when you're only showing me one side of the deck? The lawn wraps around the deck does it not? Where is that side? (...Where the pictures were supposed to start!) You should follow the instructions as carefully as if they were instructions for diffusing a bomb. They are not that complicated.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Backyard Part 1...Left to Right


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Part 2 of 6


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Part 3


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Part 4


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Part 5


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Part 6


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Try to create a smooth and fluid division between lawn and groundcover area. It looks looping here but that is only because it's being viewed in a 2-D aspect. If you lay it out in real life, it would look more reasonable. The objective is also to collect the trees outside of the lawn and not too closely to the bed edge. The grass area should be only where the grass grows well, not in heavily shaded areas where it is spotty. Also, work on the small tree, limbing it up a little. It should look like a tree, not a shrub and there's nothing beyond it that needs screening. Enlarge the daylily mass that encompasses the corner of the driveway. I think I would limb up some of the low hanging tree limbs at the perimeter. This is not to say that you couldn't incorporate some shrubs or perennials in the groundcover bed, but try to do it in a way that it has some oomph ... not just little spots of things all over the place. But so that it looks clean and tidy, keep the first few feet of the groundcover bed with only groundcover, which should be something low and that does well ... whatever that is there.


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RE: Slope Suggestions & Ideas

Thanks Yardvaark for your suggestion and insight. I have some trees that need to be removed before starting with the ground cover.


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