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jmack
How best to utilize a large sloped front yard

Our home is located on a 1.75 acre lot with about .75 acres landscaped. The problem we have is that our home is located 100 ft back from the street and below grade. Our front lawn, which is the bulk of our yard has about a 10 degree slope and is about 50ftx100ft. The remainder of our lot is wooded, with a perennial stream and wetlands towards the back end. We love the privacy the woods offer us and are trying to find a way to utilize our yard better. We have a 6 year old son and 3 yr old daughter. I’m looking for suggestions in making the most of our yard space and figuring out a way to make our land match the beauty of our 12 year old home. We moved into this home 1 year ago and plan to stay until our kids are out of school and we are retired. I myself am a Marine Combat veteran with a love of the outdoors. We would like to have a yard where we want to spend the majority of our time and pass on this love of being outside to our children. The front yard leaves me scratching my head on how to make it somewhere we would like to congregate. I don’t know if I should wall in our property or somehow figure out a way to add a patio out front without it looking stupid. We also own the land above the rock retaining wall to the right of the house. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I have pictures but for some reason i can't seem to upload them.

A. Spruce
Re: How best to utilize a large sloped front yard

To post pics you have to use an outside photo host, then link the images here. You can thank the spammers for the added difficulty.

As to your property, first and foremost should be the safety of your kids. They are young and susceptible to shiny objects and people that could draw their attentions off the property. I would start with good perimeter fencing, sides and back can be what works best for your situation, front should be at least 3' chainlink with gates at walkway and driveway, taller if the neighborhood warrants it. Solid fencing/walls are generally frowned upon across the front of a property, however, your needs and desires pretty much trump whatever anyone else wants.

Once the kids can't get off the property, focus on safety issues, such as that creek in the back woods. It may be that you put a fence across the backyard between the yard and woods to keep the kids in the yard, unless under your supervision. If there is a pool, or will be a pool, code requires perimeter fencing to keep unattended kids from getting near it, aka an attractive nuisance.

Landscaping:
Because the front yard slopes toward the house, you will want to create positive drainage around the house, sounds like the creek in the back might be the perfect termination point for such things. If you value privacy in the house and front yard, then create visual screens to block street views, either by solid fencing or by use of trees, plants, and shrubs. If privacy isn't such a big deal, then the more open the front of the house is, the less inclined burglars are to test the limits of your security systems.

As for specific green leafy things to plant, I can't help there, one - I don't know one green leafy thing from another, and two - I don't know your particular zone for growing green leafy things. The local landscape supply/nursery will be able to help here.

keith3267
Re: How best to utilize a large sloped front yard

A large porch to the front of the house can be an acceptable and inviting place to congregate. You may need a architect to design a porch that will blend into the house.

You should have a swale across the front yard. This is a sort of shallow depression or ditch that collects water to divert it to the sides of the house where it continues on down to the stream. You could turn this into a natural divider between the house and the street.

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/best-ways-to-deal-storm-water

You might find some useful tips for the woods here.

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/woods-lot-turned-magical-garden-rooms

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