Sloping Backyard Ideas
peggyberger
May 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We live in south-central Wisconsin-zone 3, and our backyard receives only an hour or two of afternoon sunlight. We have about 4 acres for the backyard (all uphill with a lot of trees) but only the space in the pictures are what we're concerned about (the SLOPE). The degree of the slope is about 45 degrees and we're not sure what can be done to make it more visually appealing. Any ideas?! (besides getting rid of the crooked bird house :) )
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DMH DESIGN
Peggy, I would start by finding out from your City or County, information re: geotechnical nature of the soils in your area. By zone (3) are you referring to the seismic zone? or climate zone? Seismic zone designations changed a few years back, and if this is to what you are refering, 3 equates to C now. Just get what info they can give you, don't divuldge your intent to the bureaucrats (yet). Depending on the makeup of the soils in your area, I would caution you to involve a soils engr. in any sort of terracing/retaining of your rear yard. Drainage will likely be an important component of any rework of the hillside in this area. Depending on your municipality, any slope in excess of a certain percentage is considered to be in a sensitve area, and may require State Environmental Protection Act compliance. I suggest consulting with a Geo-Tech (soils expert) and discuss what sort of things you're considering. The soils engr. will be able to offer you guidance re: what you can and cannot do, and likely be able to explain all compliance related issues to SEPA and permitting. Depending on the soil condition, you may be required to provide a soils report based upon test holes and slump tests performed by the soils engineer. You may need this in order to have your retaining wall and drainage system appropriately designed by a landscape architect for terracing your lawn in this area. Involving professionals for the potential issues I see will save you time and grief in the long run, and protect the intrinsic values of this beautiful wooded site. I hope that this helps you in your process.
May 16, 2013 at 8:45pm     
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kathleen MK
I'd enjoy it as a wild scape. Find your native plant society for wildflowers for your area. They should hold the slope and not need much babying one established. Maybe some flowering shrubs or under story trees like dogwoods would add interest and attract birds.
May 16, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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