Kathleen Groll Connolly

Residential Landscape Design

Three challenges: Steep slopes, wet driveway, desire to enhance the views

Challenge: Steep Slopes

Hillside path too steep for vehicle safety and a strenuous climb

steep slope
Illustration emphasizes the 42 percent incline in the area where easier circulation is desired. steep slope

Second illustration shows how a switchback path could accomplish more manageable 15 percent slopes.

See the plan view of the new switchback path.

steep slope in residential yard

This western Massachusetts site is atop the ridge of a hill, where the house occupies a level area. Beyond the backyard, most of the five acres slopes into a deep, shrub-covered hillside and forested valley. The valley vista is about 1.5 miles wide.Dense tree cover on the south, north, and west sides creates a sense of privacy. The kitchen, sunroom, and back deck are graced by magnificent hill-and-valley views. The sunrise is in full view. Old stone walls stand on the north, south, and west sides, reminiscent of the property's agricultural use. An old tractor path runs along part of the north side, leading onto the steep hillside. Structures on the property include the house and garage, a 9 foot x 9 foot compost bin, a 12 foot x 16 foot chicken coop with electrified fence, play equipment, and a 25 foot x 45 foot garden with electric fence.