My hill rock garden needs help

butterfly4uAugust 18, 2009

My hill "rock" garden doesn't look that great.

It was a lot of money and work, and the dirt itself on the hill is clay, which is covered in sand.

I added lots of manure when I planted the plants, and they are alive, but the water in a storm is doing alot of damage, and it just looks like I should do something further to keep soil on hill.

ANy ideas and suggestions are welcome, please.


The hill is steep, but I can get a wheel barrel up it with effort. I put cinderblocks in for stairs.

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Is this a full-sun spot? Are you near the coast (sand?) I would put some natives in the garden. I would be sure to have a mix of sizes for variety. You could put a tree on the hill. Crape myrtle would be pretty, or a shrub that has a weeping shape to enhance the hill. Some grasses might be nice (if you are near the coast, sea oats are pretty). If the garden gets shade, hostas are always wonderful. Some evergreen plants are nice, too, so you have winter interest-do you get winter in zone 8??? Natives may do better for you, although maybe that is what you have-hard to tell from the photo and I'm no expert, anyway! You may also need to water a fair amount until everything is established.

I would also partially cover some of those rocks, so they look as if they belong and aren't just dropped like marbles. Some look as if they are laid out in rows, but that could just be the camera angle. Maybe you could roll several closer to each other to make a threesome in a triangular shape (just not in a row) to mimic a larger boulder. I think it might have worked better if you had some really big stones in there, but you can still get that effect now if you want it.
I think this will be lovely once your plants fill in and you did a great job with your steps. I need to do that on my hill, but I just can't lift and dig like I used to. Oh well.

Hope this helps. I am sure much wiser folks will give you even better ideas.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 1:05PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, also, once the plants are established and fill in, the dirt will hold. Maybe you could get a few more now. Maybe neighbors or a local garden club will have plants to trade or give away as we come into fall.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Thank you for the suggestions.
I do think I need bigger rocks. Give it a more "scattered" look. I could use more grasses also.
Some of the plants died from the intense sun this spot receives most of the day.
The late afternoon it is partically shaded.
Someone said daylillies are great for errosion, so I planted 3 yellow ones. They bloomed, and are still alive so mabey if I see some on sale I will add more of them.
I am gardening in the sand, which is hard.
I am close to Augusta, GA in South Carolina, and unfortunatly I have a sand to contend with.
I feel like I live at the beach, only with no beach around.
I will add more plants.
Thanks for your help!
Good Luck with yours.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 12:03AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I know your area-but from 35 years ago as a newlywed-that husband is long-gone-oh well! Anyway, I also thought that you might want to add a couple of larger shrubs for variety and some height, although I am not sure what would work there. My dream is to have a pondless waterfall down my hill, but we had to add a dry creekbed to try to alleviate flooding at the top of the hill-heavy clay here in northern Virginia and it would probably be way expensive. Post more pictures when you get it the way you like it! Cynthia

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 4:47PM
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TO everyone who helped me with this, this is what it looks like as of June, much better with the erosion.
Cynthia, you were so gracious with your help.
Click on small pic to see larger one.
As you can see in the pic, there is also a garden above the hill that I have been working on, and I planted wax myrtle, japanese maple,clematis, sweet olive and butterfly bush up there, but I think I need more rocks to divert some of the rain water into the woods so it doesn't run as fast towards to hill.
The steps are coming out, but I have limited skills and money to fix that this year. Mabey next year.
Well, anywho, the water isn't washing the hillside away like it was before, and thank God for daylillies!
Still a work in progress like any garden, next year is another season for improving it.
Thanks all.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:50PM
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    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:57PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Hi butterfly!

I am about to start redoing our hillside and I came across your old post. I don't know how I missed coming back to see your pictures and now they are gone! I could kick myself.

Anyway, if you are still visiting this forum, just wanted to say hello and let you know I hope your hill is looking splendid these days. Mine is all weeds-busy month ahead of me, I fear. Not much time until I go back to school-ugh.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Hi Cynthia!
Great to hear from you!
Time to tackle the hill ha? You couldn't have picked a hotter summer! LOL!
The hillside is coming along slowly, the main problem I had was the soil being so sandy.
I don't rake any leaves that fall on it, and still try to mulch as much as I can afford, but the hill is very big long way, and it takes alot of mulch!
THe yucca bloomed and the St. Johns wart is slowly spreading, I am going to try to get a pic soon and put back on with an updated pic as of this month.
How is your hill coming?
Try to post pic too!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 12:23PM
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