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Potential is my favorite word

12 years ago

I left my previous place in the city, where the lot was 1/5 acre, most of which was occupied by the house I'd grown up and lived in most of my life. It was there that I developed an interest in gardening.

When I moved from there, I searched until my RE agent had grown frustrated with me - I had so many specifics I was looking for; no HOA, not in a subdivision, some type of water on the property, not a scraped lot, existing trees (big ones), some distance from the neighbors. When I found this place, I knew it had a lot of potential. I got lucky. It seems I got everything I was looking for and more.

There's a saying though, "Be careful what you wish for." :) Don't get me wrong; I love this place and don't plan on leaving, at least not anytime soon, and not of my own free will. So what's the problem? I see so much potential that I'm afraid to mess it up. I don't know where to start. It's a very strange feeling. It's almost like the potential represents more to me than the eventual garden it could be...

I pretty much want to just embellish what's there; add some evergreens because it gets pretty ugly and barren in the winter. I'd like to add some flowering that isn't weeds, that is, add some flowering trees and shrubs, but not a fussy cottage style garden or beds (I don't have the time for dealing with massive showy flowers which mean a lot of work). I don't want to rip out lots of trees (though ripping out some weedy vines like blackberry, muscadine, etc. is on the agenda), or add a lot of hardscape (though some simple paths and a set of stairs will go in).

I want a retreat, like a nature park or a walk in the woods. I also want a safe haven for the wildlife because too much of this area has been stolen from them already. I need a small shed, and plants that will deter the agressive weedy stuff from growing back so quickly once I've rid the place of it.

I am going to hire a designer for consultation, not necessarily for a drawn plan, but for expertise and guidance. I thought I would post it to see if any of you have any comments, concerns, or suggestions that will help me to consolidate my thoughts.

Here is a plan of the existing property. The property line, drawn in red, is taken from the survey. The total is about 1-3/4 acres, but probably about 3/4 is in the lake - hey, someone's got to own it, and it lets me dream about building an anchored floating island with a gazebo on it. LOL.

Behind it is a faded down satellite view, which doesn't seem to match up exactly (camera distortion?), but close enough to give an idea of where the trees are. Makes it seem a little more real, right? I've drawn in the house from my own measurements, driveway, and some features I thought should be noted. On the light gray grid, each square is equal to a square yard.


I'm not concerned about "curb appeal." The front of the house is mostly obscured by trees for people passing by. The house is downhill from the street, and people drive by pretty fast, most people don't really see the house. I do, however, want it to look nice for my visitors, once they arrive.

This is a photo from January 2007, taken from the road in winter when all the green is gone. There are more trees between the road and the fence now. Some stuff has changed, and everything else has grown since then.


The walkway to the front door is the builder's standard narrow concete walkway, but the only people who come to the front door are workers or Jehovah's Witnesses. My friends all come to the back because it's closer to where they park. (I had a potential burgler come to the front door AND the back door, but I met him in the kitchen, me with weapon in hand, before he could get in the back door, and he ran off.) Anyway, I am not overly concerned about the narrow front walkway as something to change immediately.

Something that is more of an immediate concern is a set of stairs from the house level to the lake level. It needs to be natural looking, but also not break the bank. The hill seems to be made of a lot of rocks with red clay between them, so it will probably not be easy to dig into. I was considering a set of wooden stairs that kind of "float" above the hill, but also considering slab stone steps.

View down the hill; the bare area is the natural path taken by me, and by the geese and ducks when they come up to see me (and beg for corn):


Up the hill:


What I think the hill is made of:


There is also this interesting area, where the sewer pipe runs out to the road, which I have jokingly referred to as the "tractor trailer parking space". The land slopes away from it on both sides. This may be the right spot for the shed, down at the far end. Here is a photo in the winter, so you can see it more clearly:


And in spring, so you can see how pretty it has the potential to be:


A view from it, back toward the house:


Another area I feel has potential is this boggy or marshy area, which is pretty ugly in the winter as it is:


but looks nice in the spring (on the lower right, if you look closely, you can see the handiwork of the new resident beaver who's been helping me by taking down the weedy pine trees that have planted themselves too close to the house):


And a look into the wooded area at the end of the driveway:


and one of its residents (she and her friends are planting oaks to replace the pines the beaver takes down, lol):


I have a lot of photos and, to avoid cluttering up the post and showing a bunch of things people may or may not be interested in, I'll not post all of them in the thread, but link to the sets:

House, Lake, and Yard - January 2007

May 1, 2011

In the first set, this plan view is keyed to show the angles from which the photos are taken:


Feel free to post any in here you want to comment on, discuss, or want more information about. I look forward to hearing anything, whether it's good or bad. For all I know, everyone will say, "What a mess! What is she thinking??" I'm thinking.... "Potential is my favorite word." :)

Comments (8)

  • nandina
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    My landscape career has been spent dealing with large properties, woodlands, golf courses and commercial properties. Where you plan to meet with a consultant I will only toss out a few thoughts for your consideration as they come to mind.

    1. Your property is not a mess. Rather it is a natural setting and should be treated as such.

    2. You mention clearing certain areas. FYI, I know of no plant that will choke out weed growth and keep weeds from returning. Mother Nature is in charge here and she does not give up easily. Clear only what can be controlled with a riding lawn mower to keep nature paths open, etc.

    3. I note 'flood plain' on your plan. Hopefully you have flood insurance. A good idea.

    4. Living with beaver can be a love/hate relationship. I just did a search for "laws controlling beaver ponds + GA". Suggest you do the same to familiarize yourself with them. As you read through those pages you will find reference to and instructions for building a Clemson Beaver Pond Leveling System. Print these out and file them away. In the future your beaver may create a flooding situation and this Leveling System will allow you to keep water draining out of the pond and minimize flood problems. I have seen it in operation and it is a very clever device. With some searching you should be able to find someone capable of building and installing one if needed.

    5. Keep an eye open for rustic birdhouses. All types from owls to wrens. Great to scatter throughout a woodlot.

    6. The boggy area pictured is interesting. This is where the beaver is building? I may be way off base but it has the same appearance of old dumps I have found on former farm lands. Why don't you tunk around in it with a metal rod to see if you hit old bottles and kitchen middens. Of course it also could be an old clay pit from which clay was dug for pottery making. There are such suitable clay formations scattered throughout the south. Or it is just a solid clay depression retaining storm water run off.

    When you do meet with your consultant perhaps you would share those thoughts with us. It would be interesting to hear how you work with this project over the years.

  • drtygrl
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Beautiful house and property; thanks for sharing it. One of my customers has a house with a very steep slope to a lake. They made a winding path which is shaped like an "S" to get down the slope. The path is made of rough cut wood chips and in a couple of very steep places the put in 3-4 log steps. The overall effect is very natural and as you look down to the lake the path is barely visible.

    I am glad to hear you are embracing the woodlands around your house. We discussed this on another recent thread - but many people are intimidated by shade gardening and woodland settings. Its just a different palette of plants. On that thread I recommended a book called The Woodland Garden by Richard (?) Gilmore. I lent it to clients so I cant check on the first name of the author. Its a very interesting book with a great DIY feeling.

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  • AncientDragonfly
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks for your comments and your expertise, nandina.

    I do agree with you on treating the property as the natural setting it is. This is, I believe, where some of my hesitation to take a step (any step) in changing it comes from.

    The main things I want to clear out are the vines and other prickly things. For instance, the wild blackberries, which appealed to me at first because of the novelty of picking fruit I didn't plant, and they do have pretty little white flowers, but they've started springing up everywhere with large stiff canes. I don't know if you've ever dealt with them, but it is impossible to get them out of anywhere they are without getting stuck, and it hurts. You can't walk past them without them catching on your clothes, or worse, your skin. If I don't get them under control, give them 5 years and I won't even be able to go outside. It's a shame they have the stickers because the birds seem to love them.

    The wild muscadines don't produce anything much - I only know what they are because I saw some brownish grape-like things once, the first year I moved here. They are extremely prolific, and cover the ground in places and try to climb the trees. To their credit, they don't have stickers, and they're not quite as bad as kudzu.

    I'm very mindful that there may be nice native plants growing, and I would certainly want to keep anything that's native but not common. Anything I keep is something I don't have to replace ($$). I really need to get with someone who knows native plants and have them walk around and point out anything that I should keep. I occasionally find something that looks different and I try to identify it.

    This year, I found some interesting little white flowers that look similar to fuchsias, hanging down with flipped up petals (5), but instead of the fluffy, skirty part of fuchsias (the purple part on those red/pink and purple ones), this flower had a mass of yellow stamens. It was growing on a tree or a stemmy bush, and it may be a bush honeysuckle - it smelled heavenly - but definitely was not the invasive japanese honeysuckle so common here; these were short and more rounded. I have the japanese kind too, and although they're said to be invasive, they're just part of the south to me, and I'm not so intent on getting rid of all of them. The other new plants I found this year are striped wintergreen. At first I thought they might be a variety of trillium, but they weren't. I may post the white flowers to the Name that Plant forum to get an ID on them. I would hate to pull up something and then later find that it was the only known specimen of a rare native plant. ;-)

    With regard to the flood plain, the house is at least 12 feet above where it ends, and there is a lot of lower lying land that would have to flood before water got to me. My property is essentially 3 levels - the street level (highest), the house level (middle) and the lakeside level (lowest, obviously). The lake is actually a stormwater retention pond, but it's been here since at least 1982 because I saw it pictured on a 1982 topo map. It has life, so to me, it's a lake. :) This explains the red clay area you see in the photo. If I poke into it, I probably will find old bottles and other assorted junk, but most likely, it will be from litter that has washed into the drainage system from somewhere else.

    I hunted around for a topo map of the area and found a county GIS mapping system, with different layers I can turn on. I basically hit the motherlode of data for the property. I took screenshots, and will be adding this info to my overhead plan. I now have topo in 2' increments, drainage inlets and outlets for the water, sewage pipes, and the soil type.

    The water comes through a big pipe (3 or 4 feet in diameter) into the boggy area. I didn't get this from the GIS info, I saw it down there. There is a culvert under the across-the-lake neighbor's driveway which spills into a lower lying area on his property. Only one time since I've been here, the water has covered the lower lakeside level (the flood plain). The culvert had gotten stopped up (don't know how), and the neighbor was most alarmed and hurried and got someone to work on it that night because it didn't have far to go before it spilled over his driveway and into his yard. His house, and the subdivision that surrounds it, are lower than my house.

    The beaver seems to be building somewhere toward the left side of the lake (on the plan view). I've seen him carrying limbs from the near the boggy area (right side) to the left side, then coming back for more. When I first saw him, he was going after some from a dead tree that fell into the lake years ago (before I got here). I think he's more likely to be building a home than a dam. I have, however, bookmarked the Clemson Beaver Pond Leveling System - my neighbor may need it more than I. Also, from your suggested reading up on beavers, it said they leave their parents in their 2nd spring and set out on their own. I haven't seen him before this year, so I think he must be 2 years old.

    All the water wildlife I've seen, at one time or another, has gone to the dead tree to sit, fish, sun, preen, flirt, or whatever else wildlife does with their spare time. I have seen (regularly) turtles, Canada geese, mallard ducks, seasonally visiting hooded merganser ducks, blue herons, belted kingfishers, and (not so often) an otter, the beaver, and a green heron, all attracted to the dead tree in the lake. I'm sure the fish and frogs love it too, but I can't see them as easily. And that's just the water life.

    I have also seen all kinds of birds, including red shouldered hawks, vultures, blue tailed skinks, eastern green anoles (saw a couple making out, took photos; he was a gentle but agressive lover, and she didn't seem to mind - and he stuck out his red throat afterwards), tree frogs stuck on the windows at night, some kind of little splotchy gray frog that matches the concrete on the patio almost undetectably until he moves, gray lizards of unknown variety, deer, something that may have been a fox, and I've probably skipped some critters. Oh, and dragonflies, lots of dragonflies and damselflies. Lots of other bugs. (sshhh... let's don't talk about the scorpions.)

    I will keep the forum posted on future developments with this project. I'm planning on contacting the designers after the spring rush is over, and will update y'all once that happens. This is something I would like to see more people do, so I'd better make sure to do it myself. :)

    Drtygrl, thanks for the complement. I've seen log steps, and I like the look, but I'm afraid they would rot out here after a few years, with termites and other kinds of insects (and beavers) eating on them. If I do wooden stairs, I was thinking I'd use concrete deck piers to minimize the digging to several spots, and have the steps about 6" above the ground. This would keep the wood from having contact with the ground, and make replacing parts easier as it became necessary.


    Kind of like this, but with the piers instead of the posts directly in the ground, more rustic, and no handrails. I'd like to have enough plants growing around the sides to keep the piers from being visible.


    Getting the stairs built (and I am planning on hiring that out, not doing it myself) will probably be the single most expensive thing I will do. I'd prefer stone, but it will probably cost a lot more than wood, but then on the other hand, if the wood costs half the price of stone but I replace them in 10 years, I haven't saved any money, have I. I have no idea of how much any of this costs, or really even how many steps will be needed. This is part of why I want a designer, so I don't end up spending all my time researching - first, what I should do, and second, to find someone with the skills to do it well. I should be able to calculate the number of steps after I assimilate my topography data, though. More stair ideas and comments are welcome. I really think they are the first thing that needs to be done, before I decide what to do with the hill.

    I like these A LOT:


    Thanks, too, for the book recommendation. I've seen it, or something similar recommended before - I've lurked a good bit on the Woodland forum as well. I'll see if I can get a copy.

    Ideashare/Designshare sent me a link to one of her designs also, for the front yard. She must have been inspired by the fountain. I'm reluctant to share it without her permission (well, that, and I don't want to draw karinl's wrath, lol), but I do think maybe she is getting better. She just needs to understand better what a person is looking for, as far as style goes. It wasn't bad (no giant broccoli), but I'm not looking for so much hardscape in my natural woodsy setting. Thanks just the same for the effort, Designshare.

    I hope I haven't bored everyone with my late night rambling about wildlife and drainage. :)

  • bahia
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Beautiful site you have there, and I agree, lots of potential. I would be concerned about planting shrubs and trees, knowing that you are dealing with beavers; I suspect it would be worth protecting any new woody plantings with wire cages to give them a chance to mature. I'd suggest that you look into woodland type plantings that would look natural yet be vigorous enough to suppress weed growth, and not being from the Southeast, would be hesitant to make actual plant recommendations. Large drifts of plants would have more impact than onesies and twosies on such a large site. I have one book on plants for southern landscapes, by Neil Odenwald and James Turner, called Identification, Selection and Use of Southern Plants for Landscape Design, ISBN 0-87511-816-8, that might prove useful for you.

    As to the stairs down to the lake, an elevated wood structure on piers would probably be most elegant, and you could also build this of pressure treated wood, provide a waterproofing membrane and lay some sort of cut slate or stone over it if you prefer that look over wood. If you do go with wood, I would spend the money to use something local and long lasting under your conditions, such as cedar.

    As we don't know what USDA zone you are actually in, I will resist the urge to talk about plants I grow here in California that would be suitable for the zone 9 areas of Georgia, where you probably aren't located. I would look into using plants that colonize by the roots, such as Acanthus mollis, maybe some of the dwarf bamboos such as Sasa palmata, shrubby shade tolerant plants such as Callicarpa americana, Calycanthus floridus, Camellia sasanqua cultivars, shade tolerant bulbous growers for naturalizing such as Crinum americanum for you marsh area, or selections such as Ellen Bosanquet' for drier areas.

    The following list of plants are all things that would look good planted in mass, with associations chosen to play off different heights, blooming seasons and foliage characteristics, and should be hardy to USDA 7-9 locations for the most part. Obviously it would make sense to refine any such list to plants that will do well in your location with minimal inputs of supplemental irrigation. I suspect that weeding to cull tree seedlings and other local rampant weed species is simply an ongoing battle in your area, and any plantings will require periodic grubbing out of unwanted plants to avoid a thicket of small trees over time.

    Some ferns and shade accent plants in massed groups could also complement the woodland setting; things such as Fatsia japonica, Tetrapanax papyriferus, whatever evergreen or deciduous ferns do best in your part of Georgia for naturalizing, Mahonia species such as M. aquifolium, bealei, fortunei, and lomariifolia, Nandinia domestica cultivars, Osmanthus x fortunei, O. fragrans, O. heterophyllus, Philadelphus coronarius, Pieris japonica, Pittosporum tobira, Sarcocca hookerana, Spiraea species, Ternstroemia gymnathera, Trachelospermum asicaticum, Trachycarpus fortunei, and Viburnum species.

    Shade perennials for naturalizing might include Alpinia zerumbet, Alstroemeria psittacina, Begonia grandis, Blettilla stirata, Bergenia cordifolia, Hedychiums such as H. coronarium, H. flavescens, H. garnerianum, Helleborus niger and H. orientalis, Ipheion uniflorum, Lycoris africana and L. radiata, Petasites japonicus, and Thalictrum species.

    You might also consider relying greatly on what native plants do well in your area, and a visit to local botanic gardens in the area could give you good ideas for naturalizing in a woodland shade garden.

  • lpinkmountain
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    By weeding our prickly, invasive and itchy plants (I imagine there's lots of poison ivy there too) and focusing on native and shade plants, you have so many options! I too would caution against taking out a lot of trees. Poison ivy LOVES dappled shade, hates deep shade. Take out trees and you're just setting yourself up for a constant battle with PI. Meanwhile, gets some good books, (two I love are "Landscaping with Nature" by Jeff Cox, and "Noah's Garden" by Sara Stein) for ideas. Don't underestimate the options you have for shade. You might have to take an excursion to a high quality nursery, because Ye olde suburban box store does not carry many options, or you might have to mail order some things, but believe me, there are tons of lovely options! Even some edibles that grow in shade. Try replacing the blackberries with blueberries!

  • AncientDragonfly
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you, bahia. I'll look into the book you mentioned. I have a feeling my library is going to be expanding soon, now that I've decided to pursue this.

    Great idea for the stairs, to cover the wood with slate or flagstone - I didn't even think of that! That would allow me to get the stairs built by someone else, and then add the stone myself, as I get the money and time. Do you think I would need to attach the stone with some kind of adhesive, instead of trusting that they will stay put? Since you say the wood will be elegant, though, I might just leave it without the stone.

    I am about 35 miles east of Atlanta. There seems to be some confusion about what zone we are in - we have been 7b for years, but some people seem to be considering us to be in 8a now. We've had temperatures as low as 9F this past year, but only for a day or two, and several in the low teens, but generally, we don't get that cold, and when we do, it doesn't stay that way for long.

    I'll try Zone 8 plants, but 9 would probably be pushing it too far. Interesting, of the plants you list, I have quite a few already. I thought I'd put the more unusual stuff closer to the house and in some of the open spots, and leave the more native things for the wooded area.

    Callicarpa americana was here when I got here, and the ones I have are, I believe, growing naturally. There was very little in the way of landscaping around the house, other than badly placed things that are either removed now, or things that will be moved or propagated and removed.

    One thing that will be propagated and removed is a huge cranberry viburnum by the garage door. I like it a lot, but it's in the wrong spot for how big it is (maybe 10-15 feet?). There are some smaller ones growing up around it from the berries it gets, so I'll try to move them. The birds like the berries, and the flowers are pretty and resemble lacecap hydrangeas.

    I have 2 Viburnum Davidii, one of which almost got smothered with the blackberries last year, but it's coming back to normal now.

    I have several Nandinia domesticas, one Pieris japonica (one of the smaller varieties with not as reddish new growth as many get), and 4 Pittosporum tobiras (Wheeler's Dwarf, I think).

    I have a Fatsia japonica that I brought from my old house - it was sold as a fixer-upper so the buyer let me dig up anything I wanted to bring along. It's about 12 years old now, so even though it's supposed to be a Zone 8 plant, it's surviving. It puts its leaves down on the really cold days, but picks back up when warm weather comes.

    I like the "tropical look" and big leaves, even though I'm not sure they're appropriate for the woodland area, and have a Trachycarpus fortunei in the front of the house that was about 12 inches high when planted in 2006, now a little more than 5 feet.

    I have some things you didn't mention: Acuba japonica (the kind with the gold specks, and which is ridiculously easy to propagate from cuttings, so will be getting planted some more places), gardenia radicans (the low growing creeping kind), a Carolina jessamine, a rhododendron that needs to be moved, a purple smokebush that needs a spot in the ground, and a redbud and some Rose of Sharons that were dug up and given to me by a coworker. Oh, yes, and a wild Southern Magnolia that I dug up from an abandoned parking lot and needs a place in the ground somewhere it can get big. (Sorry, I can't pull the latin names out of my head for some stuff, without looking it up.)

    There are 3 huge Indian Hawthorns in front of the dining room window that need to either come out, or get trimmed into poodle style topiaries, a la laag. I figure I can try, and if they don't look good, I'm at least on the way to removing them. They are enormous, way too big for me to move.

    I'll definitely try to locate Tetrapanax papyriferus, because of the leaves, and you reminded me that I also want a Manihot grahamii. Camellias are on the list too, as are hydrangeas. I already have some azaleas, but am not as crazy about them as some people are, even though they are evergreen.

    I have a few Helleborus (not sure which kind) and some naturally growing ferns around the lake, but would like to have some more.

    I'll have to look up some of the other things that I'm not familiar with. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I also have to find a sunny place for 3 Euphorbia Blackbirds that I couldn't resist. (Yes, I have a bit of that sticky pot syndrome.)

    lpinkmountain, yes, unfortunately, I do have poison ivy. It's not too bad, but I need to get on it with some herbicide (not sprayed, just painted on cut stems). Fortunately, I have never been allergic to it in the past, but I hear you can become allergic any time, so I'm armed with Ivy Block, old clothes, and gloves.

    I'm about halfway between the State Botanical Garden in Athens and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, so trips to both of them will be in order.

    I have blueberries! They're growing wild; I don't think any of them were planted. Thanks for the book recommendations, though. Like I said, the library will be expanding. And I'm not planning on taking out any trees except the ones that come up in areas that are planted with something already or are too close to the house. Anyone want some baby water oaks? I'm keeping the Sassafras tree that came up on the hill. And I think the beaver has dibs on the pines. :)

  • missingtheobvious
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I envy you the woods -- though not the beaver!

    I've had good luck killing poison ivy with Ortho Max Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer (triclopyr); unlike Roundup's PI spray, the Ortho only affects woody plants, so herbivorous plants are unaffected. Of course, I'm mostly spraying pasture, and that's apparently not your situation.

    In 4 1/2 years, I've gotten rid of 99% of the PI that was here before me. However, seeds wash downstream into my property; birds eat the fruit in other locations, sit in my trees and rhododendrons, and poop the seeds -- and every year I find PI popping up where there wasn't any before. So it helps to be able to identify the seedlings (I envy you for not being allergic).

    The dicots look just like wild violet dicots (which I only have 50 zillion of).... The first "true leaves" are apt to be single leaflets rather than triples. Look at the 10th photo on this page:

    While we're on the subject of look-alikes: sometimes you'll see a young PI plant, but you'll notice heart-shaped dicots. That's not PI but Virginia creeper, which as a young plant may have 3 leaflets rather than 5.

    If any of your trees have large vines growing up them, attached to the trunk by roots, check to see if they're PI. You must cut the vines or they'll shower you with seeds from on high!

  • AncientDragonfly
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks, MTO, for the lesson in recognizing PI seedlings. I got the Ortho Max, now if I can get a weekend when it's not raining or threatening to rain, I'll be good to go. I didn't know that it doesn't kill herbivorous plants; that's a bonus for me.

    I do have PI growing up a couple of trees, and I am not taking it for granted that I've never been allergic before! :) I'm sure this will be a yearly battle, but it does get easier as you get rid of more, doesn't it?

    I have some Virginia creeper, but not much. I like the way it looks. Will it play nicely, or do I need to get rid of it too? (At least it's not poison!)

    Nandina, please don't think I didn't take your flood warnings seriously. I used the topographic info I got from the county GIS site, and put together this image of the topography around here, just to make sure my assumptions were right. In this image, my house is red. The lake is the large blue crescent shape.

    I colored the top of the hill in dark yellow, along with everything else at that elevation. The colors change as the elevation drops by 2 feet, down to the dark, almost black area, which is 30 feet lower along a stream that runs to another lake. I appreciate your concern, but I feel confident that it would take an extreme flood to flood my house. This will also give people an illustration of the amount of drop I'll be putting the stairs on (10-12 feet).