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Step Up

This front yard was old and tired but the main problem was a steep and narrow set of steps that rushed to the upper level of the yard at the level with the house. From there a path that was neither straight nor curving but a bit bent led to some more narrow steps into the porch. Also the steps were uneven throughout (a pet peeve of mine and dangerous.) The owner wanted lush and green landscaping, not too flowery. He also had some very strong opinions about the plants he wanted and what he did not want.

The main challenge was to manage the grading. A lower level was established to create a short run of wide, deep and shallow steps up to a landing then another run of steps led to an inviting patio. Another short, wide run of steps led up to the porch. An area for an irregular lawn and a featured tree was created with a minimal slope and the front of the yard dropped toward the yard. The planting was kept simple with a lot of structural plants with strong foliage forms and colors.

The front slope was planted with plants with large spreading root systems to help hold the soil in place. The owner was not interested in water conservation but a smart controller, drip irrigation, low water use lawn and medium to low water use plants kept the water budget reasonably low.

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