After years of designing, constructing and excavating sloping gardens, we can conclude that slopes present their own special challenges. Here, we talk about how to embrace a sloping garden and make the most from it. A natural contour in a garden provides visual interest. It can, for example, allow for a raised decking area for relaxing and dining, overlooking a lower lawn area where kids can enjoy playing games.
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For those who want to reduce the amount of turf grass in their garden or have areas that are difficult to mow, a perennial groundcover species may be the perfect choice. Groundcovers are an integral part of any low maintenance landscape. Groundcovers are particularly useful on slopes, which are prone to unstable soils.
Many gardeners think of groundcovers as low growing, herbaceous, evergreen plants that spread quickly to form thick layers of vegetation. While this certainly describes the typical groundcover such as spurge Pachysandra or English ivy, there are many other options. Many other herbaceous perennials and shrubs make great groundcovers. A number of woody plants can also serve as good groundcovers, especially creeping juniper, fragrant sumac, bearberry, and Russian arborvitae.
Although groundcovers are generally low maintenance plants, they will still require some care, especially until they become established in the landscape.
Until the new ground cover fills in, it can be assumed that weeds will make their way into the garden. Some groundcovers are more prone to weed problems than others. Short, herbaceous ground covers are more likely to become infested with weeds than taller shrubs, because taller plants do a better job of blocking light from reaching the soil. Be wary of plants that propagate by suckers, stolons, or rhizomes. These perennials often spread quickly outside of their intended borders and sneak into neighboring beds, lawns, or woodland areas.
A number of groundcovers can verge on the point of being invasive so do your homework before you plant. Ask UNH Extension for specific ground cover recommendations for your own yard. Pictured at the top: creeping phlox, a great choice for a perennial groundcover for steep, sunny slopes.
Got questions? Call toll free at , Monday to Friday, 9 a. Home Blog What perennial groundcover can I plant on a sunny slope that is difficult to mow? What perennial groundcover can I plant on a sunny slope that is difficult to mow? A Question of the Week. Wednesday, May 23,Author s. Landscape and Greenhouse Field Specialist. Email: Emma. Erler unh.
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Don't let uneven terrain interrupt your hillside garden landscape plans.
Sloping gardens can present a real challenge. But there is also fantastic benefits. Sloping gardens present some great design opportunities. If your garden has a slope, you need a landscape design plan that allows for maximum impact. A sloped backyard looks stunning with water-wise plants and clever landscaping. Use natural slopes to create tranquil water features. Or build water features into retaining walls.
While contractors will have leveled the ground directly under your home, the surrounding land may still have an uneven pitch. In fact, you can use natural features to create a stunning and functional space. For inspiration, take a look at these twelve ways to deal with a sloping lawn:. For many homeowners, leveling the area seems like the most effective way to deal with a sloping lawn.
Wish you could get more out of your sloping garden? Carol shares her tips on how to be strategic with steps and retaining walls.
Are you challenged with sloping land? This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. In , I started Hillside Community Garden, and as the name implies, we had a steep challenge. The hillside was prone to land-sliding and erosion. Any topsoil and nutrients that may have been there at one time had since washed away.
A sloping garden can be difficult to manage and hard to enjoy, but with terracing and the right plants they can become an exciting outdoor room with a view Garden designers respond to steep slopes the same way plumbers react to bathroom renovations: with a sharp intake of breath and a knowing shake of the head. Yes, we can sort it, but it's not going to come cheap. Inevitably at least some of the space will need terracing to create one or two flat areas. This is likely to involve heavy machinery or retaining walls and probably both.
If your slope will be viewed from the bottom looking up, select shorter plants to allow the eye to move comfortably through the garden. Use large drifts of the.
When landscaping on a hillside with trees or shrubs, proper planting is key. Taking a few extra steps during planting will ensure that your landscaping stays put and grows strong. Create a flat area or small terrace in your slope, about three times the diameter of the root ball of your tree or shrub.
Do you have a sloping garden? They can be impractical to maintain but, at the same time, offer unexpected opportunities. To take advantage of a sloping garden you have two contrasting solutions : follow the contours of the land, or reshape them. The two approaches are clearly different and which one you choose will affect the work to be done, the usability of the spaces, the type of vegetation you can plant, the maintenance methods and so on.
Sloping ground can be difficult to garden on, because the soil on a slope is often much thinner, and the soil can be more easily washed away. However, you can still grow vegetables on sloping ground, provided you choose the right plants and listen to your soil. Look for plants that grow low to the ground, and look for those that grow in a clumping rather than a spreading habit. There are several ways to plant a vegetable garden on a slope. If you are an avid gardener, you may have a slope in your backyard that is ideal for planting a vegetable garden. The best way to start a vegetable garden on a slope is to choose the right plants for the site.
Terraces and gentle slopes are so appealing that often they can also be found in gardens on the plains where, on the contrary, one of the most common desires is to create different elevations with earthworks, planting raised flowerbeds and adding pathways, stairs and walls. This way an anonymous space can be transformed into an outdoor space with a strong personality, innovative design and attention to detail. At this point it's up to you: if you have a more or less gentle difference in height around the house, it's time to give yourself a sloping garden. Indeed, your own unique, bespoke garden, beautiful to see and experience on any occasion.