Difficult hill out front

mrfred(z5/6)October 28, 2003

I just moved into a new house and am having a difficult time with one spot out front. I live in a split level home, I need to decide what to do with the "hill" that slopes from the main part of the yard down to the driveway...it's much to steep to mow + grass is would be too boring anyway. The front of my house faces north, the area is pretty much shaded all day long.

I'm looking for something that either branches laterally or spreads fairly aggressively to fill the area. I either want flowers or bright interesting foliage to brighten the area up a bit. At my old house I grew "The Fairy" rose in a fair amount of shade so I've considered that. I've also considered lily of the valley, ditchlilies, and ribbon grass, but for whatever reason none of those are doing it for me.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions at all?

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Cornus(z5-6 OH)

I removed my mother-in-law's lawn on the hill in the front. I prepared the bed as I would any new bed and laid burlap sheeting (: biodegrates :)anchored with 'U' pins to hold the hill. I then mulched. We chose Choc Chip Ajuga (easy to remove for desired shrubs) planted by making small slits in the burlap.
This was three years ago and the hill is now covered with Ajuga in shade/ part sun.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 9:59AM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

How about rhyzomatous hostas? Something like H. 'Lemon Lime' for bright color, or H. 'Groundmaster', or H. lancifolia. There's a lot of hostas that make excellent groundcovers.

Or, lamium (dead nettle) of which there are a variety of variegated types. They spread nicely but root shallowly and are easy to pull if they get where you don't want it, and more easily controlled than ajuga. Note I said lamium and NOT lamiastrum, which is invasive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta Photo Library

    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 1:45PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

I have a similar hill in my front yard and so do all my neighbors. One has lily of the valley which is a treat in spring but turns brown and scraggly later. Some have vinca around small shrubs and those small weeping japanse maples that have leaves that look like marjuiana. One nearby place has a weeping blue spruce or cypress or something like that and a maple, like a little miniature japanese garden.
Personally, I love the look of mixed colored and textured evergreens, several of my neighbors have spreading ground juniper. One neighbor has all roses, gorgeous, but not four season interest and definately take a bit of work. Not so for the groundcover roses though, I'd definately go for some of those. If you don't mind keeping the soil acid, there are blueberries that are ground covering, and you might get some tasty treats before the birds.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 7:13PM
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A groundcover in place of the lawn....vinca or a taller growing one..Japanese Spurge or "pachasandra" terminalis.
Cotoneaster.....now how do you say that word....
in any case, its being used more and more as a groundcover.

Its Co tone aster.......but I still say cotton easter.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2004 at 8:04PM
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tall graceful grass with day lilies. Large rocks to identify focal points.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 10:49PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)


I though it was "Ko-TONE-ee-aster"! I used to say "cotton easter," too. lol

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 2:45PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

It is Kuh-TOE-nee-aster.

The UCONN site has sound clips of pronunciations. Click on the ear icon.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCONN cotoneaster

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 4:34PM
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ScottReil_GD(z5 CT)


I like Cady's pronounciation (at least on the web I can't hear her drop her R's...) ;)))

(heeheehee; fancy bumpin' into you here, Cady. You do get around the forums...)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 2:51PM
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