Low Maintenance Front Yard on a Hill

This Apple Valley family called Southview Design with a specific request. "Help transform our overgrown front yard into something beautiful and low maintenance.” With a whopping 14-foot drop from the door to the street, the front yard caused all sorts of problems for the homeowners and their guests.

Before: A sloped and overgrown front yard.

After: Tiered retaining walls correct the grade and enhance the home's curb appeal.

Slide to reveal the before and after

The homeowners were less than thrilled with the original landscaping. Not only was the grade an issue, but the house was barely visible from the street. They were looking for a solution that was easy to maintain yet gave their home the curb appeal they desired.

Low-maintenance plantings provide a pop of color without too much hassle. River rock was selected over mulch to eliminate the need for regular maintenance.

Curb Appeal? Check!

Multiple tiered retaining walls were necessary to correct the yard's steep grade. The new walls also presented an opportunity for stairs to be built from the street up to the front door – a welcomed addition for visitors!

As for materials, the homeowners selected Belgard Pavers for both the walls and the walkways. The retaining walls are 'Belgard Belair 2.0', and the walkways are 'Afton' pavers in a Northwoods color blend. A variety of easy-care plantings are thoughtfully scattered throughout the beds. Low-voltage lighting not only serves as a guide for evening guests but illuminates colors and textures under the evening skies.


At night, uplights illuminate the front yard trees.

Two mature trees in the front yard presented a slight challenge for the Southview crews. Removing them was not an option, but the expansive root systems were difficult to work around. With a little creativity, the designer was able to work around the trees, and incorporate them into the design.

Steps Guide Visitors to the Backyard

The original landscaping did not provide adequate access to the backyard. This was both an inconvenience and a safety hazard. A new set of steps with built-in lighting safely guides visitors from front to back.


In the backyard, a modest patio was built off the deck. The homeowners now have a cozy, private space to enjoy the sounds of nature and entertain friends and family.

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