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Terraced Yard with Distinct Outdoor Rooms

Before 2019, over half of this sloped backyard was grass. One day, the owner of this garden realized that no one ever stood in the bottom half of her yard except for her when she came down to mow it each week. So, she set to work and in just three years, totally transformed her landscape. This garden is the perfect answer to the question of what to do with a sloped and awkwardly shaped yard.

Note: any bulleted, italicized comments you see come from our in-house landscape designer!

See this landscape design in Simplyscapes.

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In the front yard of the east facing lot, they have a small patio with seating and an herb garden to escape the heat in the evenings and enjoy the view in front of the home.

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Moving into the backyard, you can walk down an impressive stone staircase that's flanked by several thriving Japanese maples.

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  • The most swoon-worthy walkway, woodsy, delicate, natural, and exotic all at the same time.

  • The steps are created with natural, massive stones and filled in with smaller rocks.

  • Featured plants: boxwood topiary, Japanese maples, snow in summer, oaks

This path leads to the perfect example of an open space, a circular grassy area lined with formal hedges, stone benches and pots.

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  • This large, open space offers a breath of fresh air, benches for seating, and a formal feel with the potted plants and trimmed hedge

trellis path spaces

Moving through a trellis brings you into a new space that's shaded by a globe willow and features a stunning fountain surrounded by Red Planet Coleus and Blue Star Creeper.

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  • Plants featured: boxwood (hedge), arborvitae (behind), clematis vines (arch), pansies (potted), coleus (beyond, potted)

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  • Plants featured: coleus, clematis, creeping Jenny, allium, pine, oak, hosta

At a small seating area, the pathway splits to the right, heading to the front of the house, and to the left, to the new section of the landscape.

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  • Plants featured: iris, allium, pine, Jupiter's beard, columbine

Using flagstone chip, the owner has created an upscale path that conforms to the natural slope of her yard.

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On both sides of the path, you can find impressive planters filled with stunning blooms - even in the retaining walls. She also incorporated greenery such as Arborvitae, boxwoods, juniper, and hostas.

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  • Plants featured: Jupiter's beard, petunia, black lace elderberry, rock cress, oak, junipers

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  • Plants featured: columbine, irises, rock cress, Jupiter's beard

In the largest planting bed you can see lavender used as a border, and an expertly woven collection of seasonal blooms.

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A key feature to highlight is her use of drip irrigation. To minimize weeds while maximizing plant success, she intentionally plants near the holes of the drip system.

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As you continue along the path, you arrive at the owners' favorite spot in the yard - an attractive gazebo with comfortable seating. In fact, installing this space is what gave the owners the motivation to finish the rest of the yard, and now they can enjoy the views with friends and family.

The final space in the triangular property is a raised bed garden featuring a miniature green house complete with an indoor potting station.

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  • Though this area is delightful and visually appealing, it's also incredibly productive, from the grow boxes to the greenhouse/potting shed

  • Having a a potting station inside the greenhouse makes for easy clean-up and provides the perfect environment for repotting sensitive seedlings in the spring

Because there are only two people living in this home, they chose not to use all of the beds for traditional edible gardening.

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Instead, she grows flowers (mostly lilies) in one of the beds to give as gifts. The charm of this space is highlighted by several varieties of the award winning David Austin roses.

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  • This is a spot where garden productivity and a beautiful landscape meet. The windscreen in back provides a gorgeous backdrop and also benefits the garden. The hoop in the back right can act as a gourd tunnel, a support for other climbing/vining produce, or a frame for shade cloth or greenhouse plastic cover

This landscape highlights the power of DIY and shows what you can accomplish with consistent effort. In the past three years, the owners have probably felt like it has been a long process, but looking at what they've accomplished in that timeline is thoroughly impressive.

See this landscape design in Simplyscapes.