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Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Posted by fpmom none (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 11, 13 at 14:26

We have just purchased a new house and the garden needs work i.e. there is no real landscaping ... what I don't like is that to the right of the house the yard is unlevel ie not flat (the lawn/ground is also in poor condition - seems very 'rocky' and the 'lawn' is full of moss so it's going to need work to get it back in condition)
My question is: thoughts on what to do here and how can I level the yard where the dip/slope down is - is it as simple as getting a lot of soil to even the dip or it that too simplistic a fix? I have no idea and welcome all thoughts
PS We have children and dogs so I want to put a play structure in there somewhere and also add a fence to keep dogs in - probably in line with the front of the house to divide the front and back yards


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Nope, judging by the slope in the photo it is not going to be as simple as bringing in some soil to fill 'the dip'.

This is a case where a landscape designer and or landscape contractor will be of value.

There are several factors that require attention and a seasoned professional who is familiar with your local codes, soil conditions, drainiage, retainment construction, and climate will prove to be valuable.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

fpmom, one would need to know the elevation of the terminating end of "the dip" in order to know what can be done with it. If your property line there is much lower, then you cannot just raise the grade without first installing a retaining wall (much $$$.) Surely, your yard can be made usable without major grade change ...? It's probably a better idea to come up with a plan that works with the grade you already have (or close to it) instead of spending much money on something that will not give you a $ return. The good news is that neither dogs nor children care about slope insofar as their play area is concerned.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

A slope is much more fun than level ground. Both for playing and gardening.
Mike


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

do you have more pics of your house? especially the back yard's?


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

this is one of my ideas, hope you like it.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 11:08

The slope directs water away from your home, which is a good thing. If you want flat, a retaining wall would be required, which is a job for licensed professionals and not cheap. Flattening out a small section in the back for a play area rather than the whole property would be more economical. Keep in mind that changing grade/drainage needs professional expertise to avoid damage to your foundation. Your municipality might also require permits, etc.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Oh my gosh, a slope IS a play structure! And as someone already pointed out, slopes make much more interesting gardens. It would help to know where your property line is, and this is probably not a DIY job, as significant grade changes may have consequences not only for your property, but for neighboring properties as well.

Are you really wiling to give up the natural light from those basement windows?

As for a fence, check with some local fencing companies to see how they have dealt with similar situations. We have one in our area that keeps a scrapbook of past installations in their show room - it's full of ideas.

With respect to the soil and improving it, if there is moss the soil is most likely compacted and acidic. Even if you are going to raise the grade, that situation should be addressed, as many plants have roots that want to go much deeper than you might think.

Sorry to "rain on your parade", but I'm stuck with a flat yard ... OK, there's just a little hillock at the base of the drive, but it's not much ... and would be thrilled with such a site! Just want to get you thinking about some other (and more interesting) options, as well as some possible consequences you might not have considered yet.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

My idea is to create a new area where could put play structure, also could be a little patio… either using steps or raising the grade a little bit will work. I do not suggest filling the whole area to flat, but using steps to create a level flat hardscape. Then growing plants to softer the boundary and connects to the nature slops gradually. I think it would be nice.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Something tells me the OP isn't buying our suggestions. I'm sure fpmom has plenty of reasons. I'd be interested in hearing them.
Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden pics


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

I loved your pictures Mike. Thank you.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Mike,
Your yard is gorgeous! I would love to have mine look like that! Well not mountains lol. If you have any ideas for me see my 'planting ideas' post. I am quite open to suggestions!


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

Thank you emmarene and Messymarsy2.
I posted the link to my garden as a way to show some 'credentials' as to what my advice might be worth. Some people post advice and they have very little experience and knowledge. It's hard for the original poster to separate valuable advice from downright wrong advice.
I was a garden designer and landscape contractor for over thirty years here in the hilly Seattle area. I have built many rock walls over that time in doing new construction landscaping and yard makeovers. Everybody has a limited budget, especially right after buying a new house, so I learned how to get the most out of what was available. Rock walls cost a lot of money for the square footage involved and building one, plus backfill, just because you can't live with a slope, doesn't make sense to me.
Yardvaark and the other posters gave good advice and worded it far better than I just did.
Mike.....and I like building rock walls and rock outcroppings.


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RE: Advice needed re new 'garden' ... how to level yard? photos

You can build a play structure right on the slope!..Jjust build one side with shorter support posts and the other with longer posts. The slope can be part of the playhouse design.


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