I need some advice in how to plan for our yard. We are starting from scratch. The only thing I can say for sure is we have 60 cubic yards of dirt to make off for the 3 foot drop our yard does 10 feet out from the fence. We are building a retaining wall along the back so not to knock down the neighbor's fence, but outside that we need help.
Any ideas or suggestions on how to plan a nice little terraced garden (want the garden lower than the rest of the yard to collect water) with grass to play in and a run for puppy.
Also any suggestions on what we can do to improve our soil? We live in NE Denver close to DIA the soil is kind of a sandy, clay type. Hard to explain, but the garden I planted this year did very poor.
Re: Landscaping advice
You don't say where you're going to get your 60 yards of fill from, but I would recommend everything below the 2' depth be cheap, clean fill. Everything above the 2' mark should be "top soil" which is typically a mix of compost, sand, and run of the mill dirt of questionable quality. To the top 12" I would add as much organic matter as possible in the way of fresh manure from a stable or similar local where it's clean poop with bedding materials. The introduction of this fresh organic matter will keep the top layer from compacting as well as provide vital nutrients for grass and vegetation that will most certainly be lacking from any "soil" product used in the backfill process. I would also suggest layering in the materials at 6" to 12" and compacting during the back fill process so as to minimize compaction after the fact.
I can't help with the construction of the retaining walls because I don't know your local or codes. From the sounds of it the yard will have full sun, so select grass and shrubs of a type that is conducive to your environmental needs (drought resistant, full sun, etc. ). Be sure to plan for irrigation, landscape lighting, and electrical power for everything from an outlet to a water feature or specimen lighting. If you think you'll be entertaining, you might want to account for speaker wiring and "temporary" power as well.
Re: Landscaping advice
We already got the dirt sitting and waiting to be moulded into a yard. It is good clean dirt. Not sure how much is "top soil" but it is much better than what we actually have in our yard. Most of the garden area will have this in it.
We already have advice on the wall, and most of the plants. I was hoping for layout advice and maybe a site that can help us choose a good layout plan that would work for us. I did forget one thing, however, we are the lucky owners of the local phone box so we must be careful when we dig and compact, we do not disturb, or burry the boxes.
But thanks for the advice. I will find a farm where we can get some nice compost to throw over the top of the yard before we till the land. Yes we do plan to have a sprinkler system and are trying to figure out where everything will be going now.