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What is a Ha-ha?

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A ha-ha is a lawn that suddenly drops at a low retaining wall. The wall isn't typically visible from the top of the lawn. As such, the term "ha-ha" stems from the surprise at finding a sudden drop as you approach from the top.
Historically, large estates maintained lawns by allowing animals to graze. A ha-ha was just tall enough to discourage grazing animals from approaching a house.
Modern landscapes may include ha-ha for security purposes, as they can prevent vehicles from approaching beyond the wall while minimizing visual obstruction. This can lend itself to other security landscaping techniques such as natural surveillance.
Overview: Ha-ha
A lawn that suddenly drops at a retaining wall.
A barrier for vehicles or animals.
Minimizes obstruction to view and allows pedestrian access.
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