Whether it’s adding shape to a flat landscape or flattening out a slope for a patio or lawn space, effective excavation allows you to rearrange the natural lay of the land to better actualize the vision you have for your Orange County, CA yard. The following techniques can be used alone or in conjunction with one another in order to create flow, connect or differentiate spaces and create your perfect landscape.
Rolling hills and gentle valleys are a great way to achieve the backyard look of a manicured golf course or English countryside. The added dimensionality of the topography provides an easy visual interest that allows the eye to drift across the landscape. Hills can also act as an aid to drainage, preventing pooling and guiding water towards gutters or flowerbeds. Smaller crests and troughs can be used to the same effect in smaller yards or be used to form the basis for waterways and the meandering water features of Zen-style landscape design themes.
Creating Multiple Levels
While gentle hills add dimensionality with a naturalistic aesthetic, multiple levels have a more cultivated look and can be achieved using gentle slopes leading from level to level or be clearly defined using retaining walls. Multiple levels allow for the clear distinction between landscape spaces of varying function, as well as to create smaller spaces in which groups of guests can gather. Dividing your yard up into smaller areas with flow between spaces draws people into the landscape while making a large yard more manageable. Stairs can be used to link spaces on varying levels and contribute to an aesthetic incorporating natural stone or other attractive materials.
Flattening out a slope
As attractive as hills and topographical variation is, slopes are not always conducive to the plan you may have for your yard. In such a case, earth moving equipment can be used to reduce or flatten gentle slopes. With steeper gradients, retaining walls may be necessary for support to hold dirt back from a cleared space. Flattening out a slope may be necessary for laying a patio, creating a flat lawn space, or creating a minimalist backyard aesthetic.
Creating an even space for a lawn or patio
Slopes are not the only obstruction to a sound patio foundation or even ground for lawn space. Rocks, clefts in the ground and small discrepancies in the level of the soil also require excavation to correct. This can be used to create an overall smoother lawn surface, and provide a safe area for children and pets to play.
Gentle gradients can be used to draw the eye towards the home or into the landscape itself, while mounds can form the banks of meandering walkways providing a pleasing lay to the land that draws guests into the yard. While flow is increased where the difference between levels is minimal, sloping walkways and stairs create flow between spaces of different levels. Excavation can also help create flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. A backyard that slopes down to reveal a breathtaking view or immaculate landscapes, for example, contributes to the flow between indoor and outdoor areas by increasing the impression of space.