okay, we'll start with this section

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

I have a huge yard. But this is half of our front walk. Comes down 2 steps from driveway. We have to keep the bannister, DH's mom is handicapped and has to hold on. You can see the section towards the bottom is concrete with pebbles embedded. We'd planned to do that with the top section, but because of the rain, we put sod there this year. All the water flows straight off the driveway down the walk. We're not sure the sod works there, but more concrete will only make the situation worse.
On the top left, I want to take the bed and round off down to close to the walk, and then it will flare back out on this end into small bed that we'll work on later. It's started, but have to move some things. I have a flared bed on the left, you can only see top few inches.
This is mostly sun area on the right of walk, but it's winter, and changes a bit, but it is very hot, sunny and dry on the left of walk. The right side that you can see is almost totally shade. We're taking out all the monkey grass you see for sure. I want matching beds on each side of walk, but due to the runoff problem I really have to have a solution to that before I can get any further. We've tried ditches, and stuff, nothing works.
So here I bear one of the worst parts of my yard, but my biggest problem.

Thumbnail by tiG
Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

tiG - wait'll you see the photos of my front walk. Very similar, although yours has more of a drop from the driveway.

The first thing I would do - if I were you - is get some sort of retaining wall where the sod is allowing water to run off onto the sidewalk. The landscape blocks that interlock and stack from Home Depot can work very nicely to build a more solid frame to hold the soil and water in a bed. Or if you have native stone available, a dry-stack wall always looks nice (my opinion again.)

Once you get that in place, then you'll have a lot easier time deciding what to plant.

I'm guessing your house is to the right of this camera shot, and lot slopes from right to left (away from the house)? If so, can you remove some of the sod from the left side of the sidewalk, and that way, any runoff can continue out into the yard? It almost looks like the landscape timbers would create a mini "canal" when it rains. But I could be off-base, since I'm looking at a photo that is not after a heavy rain.

And if you're getting rid of the monkey grass, give me a shout - my BIL is needing/wanting some, and I wouldn't mind trading for some of yours. Hope this helps a bit - keep your chin up; there are lots of folks in the same/similar boat! :)

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

unfortunately, the house is right behind the camera. There is one more long section of walk, even lower than what you see. The slope is from the driveway to the house and then further back:)
I can see where if I can contain the runoff to go under the bed I'm wanting on the left, that would help with dry summers, but there is no one place the water comes from. The street is a lot higher than the house, don't really know feet or angle of slope. We've tried to stop it by putting gravel on the driveway, we dug a ditch at the top of the step, and tried diverting the water. It comes off the steps in inches! And gets worse as it comes down to the house, by the time it gets down here, it's 3 or 4 inches deep, we have pipes taking it out under the house to the back. Had a great picture of the rain, but it's on the broken computer:(
No way to take the dirt from left and make the right side higher. it would make the wash sooooo much worse.

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

oh, and I could fill a truck up with monkey grass, that's all that's to the right, another huge area we have to fix:)

Saint Petersburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I was kind of thinking the same if you placed matching walls of some kind I would try landscape timbers and have each bed slope away from the walk way and they would help match the hand rail and the timbers you have down the walk way now then like go said the plantes will become easy to pick and I need no monkey grass.....lol

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

so if I do that, then I need to do this, right?
1. pull up sod
2. put in retaining walls, but doesn't have to be much because the water comes straight down the walk.
3. make a better way for the water to get under the house faster to the backyard
4. live with the water when it rains.

does seem the easiest way, don't fight it, work around it. Is that what you would do?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Another idea, although it may not be your ideal landscaping solution, is to dig some sort of a dry gulch running under the sidewalk area - basically left to right across the photo above. Line it with large smooth river rock which is pretty even when dry, but divert the water to the side and then to the back of your property. A "bridge" to cross it, and then sidewalk the rest of the way?

Perhaps I'm not seeing enough of the property, and like I said - a dry gulch isn't for everyone.

Midland, PA

I like the retaining walls thought. You could terrace them in a stepping pattern with smaller beds that lead to the "blend" point of the yard.

Another thought is similar to the bridge idea -- build up 5 or 6 inches from the existing concrete slab with decking and then blend that into the yard areas.

For the terracing in the walls - is the slope the same on the right side as it is to the left? If so, you could do "mirror images" on both sides of the walk.

PS - Your's is MUCH better than mine. I guess it's off to get some pictures developed so I can post. (I didn't want to be the first to post pictures and scare everyone off of the forum.)

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

hope you don't mind if I put up another shot from different angle.

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