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The methods of landscaping steep slopes and hillsides must simply address creative ways to hold the property in place. And while designs may vary depending on location, materials, and other circumstances, the basics are pretty much the same for most. Some basic methods will hold or simply cover the soil and others will be more elaborate and dependent on other principles
For instance in Eden Prairie MN , if deep rooted ground cover plants are used without any retaining walls or support, the method of watering will need to be adjusted much different than that of flat or terraced ground. So the survival of ground cover plants and lawns on hills and steep grades will also require different considerations for proper watering.
Layouts and Landscaping Small BackyardsLandscaping an irregular shaped lot can be frustrating to most people, but it does not have to be. The uniqueness of it is what makes it stand out providing many more design options. As in any project, you need to consider what type of landscape you are looking for. The possibilities range from low maintenance evergreen plants to a tropical one. Selecting the type of plants you will be using is very important. As we all know, it does get expensive purchasing plants and it is to your advantage to save your plant purchase receipts, especially from major retailers. They provide replacements within one year of purchase if the plant does not succeed. A good blend of plant types is 5% annuals, 15% of tropicals, 30% perennials and 50% evergreens. The reason for this breakdown of percentages is that annuals will only survive one year. Though some tropicals need to be kept in a green house for the winter, many of them will come back in spring, providing they have some protection from wind chill and are properly mulched. Perennials are very resilient and will come back every year. Then there are the evergreens that provide color year round. Depending which direction your door entry faces, you should consider what type of shade protection you will be needing and whether you will be getting the morning light from the east or hottest part of the day from the west. That being the case, the planting of trees in this areas is advisable. Things to consider in selecting a tree is: potential growth, longevity and invasiveness of roots. Take into consideration what underground utilities are within the root growth area, such as water and sewer lines. If your property already has established trees in the path of your lines, it is best they be removed. It will be much more expensive having those lines repaired on an ongoing bases since the tree roots will continue to expand.If your property has a gradual to steep downgrade, you can minimize soil erosion by grading your yard to varies levels. This can be done by either building retaining walls or as simple as planting evergreen shrubs in strategic areas. An example of this is my pie shaped property which is located next to a river. I put in place 80 pound cement bags at the back of the property to minimize soil erosion. I simply stacked the bags criss cross up to 4 feet high and then water them down. This method is very viable and the least expensive.For properties of high traffic noise, I recommend the planting of Wax Leaf Privet shrubs which are evergreen and will grown up to 10 feet. Though there are varies type of Privets, the wax leaf has deep rich green leaves and is very easy to work with. Other plants that can be included are Red Leaf Photinia which can be maintained as a bush or trained as trees reaching 20 feet. Depending on the area that you live in and possible restrictions of home owner association guidelines, installation of an 8 foot treated lumber fence is recommended. This height serves several purposes. It creates a deterrent to possible property theft and the privacy you deserve. A fence of this height will also protect your plants in the winter from wind chill and will keep your back yard at least 10 degrees cooler in the summer, minimizing water evaporation. Also, by landscaping walkways you attract birds which contribute a tropical atmosphere.On my pie shaped lot, I planted Green Ash trees on the North side which provided protection from rain storms which usually come from the North West. To the south, I planted evergreen shrubs getting protection from the constant south wind. For color, I have numerous Crepe Myrtle trees of varying colors which at this point reach 30 feet. They provide an abundance of color visible from a great distance. Since most people do not spend their day in the front yard for enjoyment, it is to your benefit that you have a small front yard. True, that the front yard is judged by potential home buyers and you should keep it well maintained, however, the emphasis of landscaping should be at the back. With all the work it takes in creating a landscape worthy of coming home to everyday, you can add a touch of class to your yard by constructing patio arbors and gazebos. On my property I constructed a 16 foot radius gazebo, 4 foot off the ground, at the corner of the lot. This strategic location provides an overview of the yard and lures you to it to enjoy a morning coffee or a weekend cook out. As a landscape enthusiast, my knowledge based website provides ideas of landscape designs.
While the majority of elements discussed here focus on the erosion control and planting of hills and sharp grades, there are also other elements that may need consideration. In some instances, access may be necessary up and down the side of the lot and so of course there will be a need for stairs or steps. This directory has a lot of great ideas and pictures of stairs and steps that can be used in landscaping and garden.
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