When to introduce terraces is a problem that requires careful consideration. On a ground slightly undulating and where the surface slopes are rather gentle, the effect is more pleasing if the lawn rolls right up to the walls of the house. On more rugged ground, where there is a great variation in levels between the various corners of the house, a level plateau surrounding the house is better.
The width of the terrace will depend somewhat on the size of the building and the lot; ordinarily it should not be less than fourteen feet; if there is to be a paved terrace or a porch, the turf terrace, being of different texture, should be at least one-third greater in width. It is very unsatisfactory to have a terrace of greater breadth than the remaining area between the bottom of the slope and the line of the property.
Fig. 72. - When the distance CC is less than BB it is better to eliminate the slope BC and grade along the lines of AA. - See page 70.
When a condition exists wherein the space is not great enough to treat it as above recommended it is more advisable to have the slope extend from the plateau at the house to the property line by a gentle inclination (Fig. 72). The surface should slope at least one-half inch to the foot, and the slope from the terrace to the surrounding lawn grade should not be steeper than one foot to two feet, while one to three is much preferable as the grass is more easily cut on such a slope than on one with a sharper inclination (Fig. 73). The slope should always be uniform and the line next to the house should be parallel to the building, while the bottom line of the terrace may vary according to the slope of the abutting lawn. When close to the house, where straight lines predominate, it is best to have two lines of the terrace well defined.
A terrace along a property line (Fig. 74) may be graded to a convex surface at the top, and at the bottom it may be given a concave surface, thus gracefully merging the steeper grades into the more gentle ones at top and bottom.
TREATMENT OF TERRACES.
Fig. 74. - A section showing convex and concave lines at the top and bottom of the slope to meet the existing grades gracefully. - See page 70.
TREATMENT OF TERRACES.
Fig. 75. - A section showing lines of a slope and the space between the bottom of the slope and the hedge, where a hedge is to be provided at the toe of the slope.
Where hedges are to be planted along property lines, at the top of the terrace, or at the bottom, which is the better place for them, the lines should be decided (Fig. 75). When a hedge is to be planted at the bottom of a slope, the toe of the slope should be at least three feet back from the line. This will provide a level space to stand on and trim the hedge with much more comfort than standing on a slope. The plants, too, will thrive better. Slopes should always be sodded where a good, clean turf is procurable.