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Need No-to-Low Maintenance Ideas for Backyard Slope

8 years ago

We are building a house in Western New York (Zone 6). The backyard will consist of a flat, grassed area leading to a slope that extends upward to a large, flat wooded area. The slope has north eastern exposure, getting some morning sun but mostly shade for the remainder of the day. Currently the slope is mostly covered with tall weeds (ragweed?) and some rocks.

This will be our retirement home and we are tired of weeding and doing constant yard maintenance. We want zero to no maintenance wherever possible.

In a preliminary discussion with the landscaper, he strongly recommended that, to limit the maintenance, we simply have him clear off the slope and plant grass (which he hopes to mow regularly for us). I don't want that much grass, and the idea sounds very boring and disappointing to me. However, that is what most of the neighbors have done.

I would love to hear/see ideas that (inexpensively) would turn the slope into a beautiful focal point without requiring any or much upkeep. Ideally, the design would add some color throughout the year, as well as some evergreen features to make it less dreary during our cold winters. I would love to include some type of natural steps going up to the woods in the less steep area on the right side of the slope. We also would like to preserve a small area on the steeper (left) side that grandchildren can use for sledding.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!


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