What to plant on front yard hillside

tolleyjenkinsOctober 12, 2009

I just bought a house (my first) and it has a little front yard with a hill at the end of the yard leading down to a stone wall. The hill, while not incredibly steep, is steep enough that I don't want to have to mow it. I know nothing about gardening, but I'll be seeding the lawn this weekend and I want to go ahead and plant something on the hill. I'd prefer something simple, low maintenance, not incredibly expensive, and of course something that's not horrible to look at. Does such a thing exist?

A link to a pic of the house is below. I'd like for the ground covering to run up the hill and end where the stone steps end.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Congratulations on your new home! It is wonderful-I love bungalows. Looks like it gets a lot of sun where you want to plant. Is that correct or was it just the time of day when the shot was taken?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Step 1 is to divide the area from the lawn, you may put pavers from place like Home Depot or just dig down & put in a strip that will divide ground cover from lawn. Chances are the ground cover will grow both up & down. Your lawn seed will also run down into bottom part. My lawn in back grows very deep because we went to Tenn. & brought some home on tent we had, I was cleaning it after the trip & next thing I knew had lot of miserable very deep grass to deal with so you need to dig down & see where roots end. Home Depot sells a roll of brown or black edger that is about 8-10 in wide & maybe 20 ft long or more. You would pretty much bury it except for top edge sticking up maybe 1-2 in. It will be work at 1st but once ground cover fills in shouldn't be too bad. If you want less chance of the 2 mixing you could then add a small wall of stone on top of the barrier couple of stones high,not really stone wall just look like it. back of these pavers is a little narrower than front so you can curve it a little across the yard. Lay a garden hose out to see where it looks right to dig out for whatever you are going to do. This is not a 1 weekend job unless you have lots of help & money. Drove down the street today in rain & saw the mess my neighbor has. Yard all dug out, sprinkler pipe all over & trenches & none of it laid(wonder if it will be stolen by morning) & at least $500 of sod very carelessly thrown on driveway. 1 hot day & he's got a dried out mess. If you want sprinklers that comes before anything else. If you just seed the top of yard & water the seed will end up mostly where you want the ground cover & you just wasted your money. That is why you need to divide it 1st. Then dig out 1 side at a time & have tarp handy as good heavy rain will take out all your top soil. When you get ground cover keep it in fairly shady area & water if they dry out at all. Ground you put the new plants in needs to be moist but not soaked to about 1 ft down. Look at neighborhood & see what ground cover you like. Does it freeze there? How tall do you want it? Green, plum colored or lt. green. Go to library & get landscaping book or 2. Go to nursery & check out what they have in your area. Don't just throw your money on the ground like my neighbors did today! Ok,you can do this yourself, just take a couple of days to find out what you like. I love your house. I really think the front door needs a pretty color on it to make it inviting. You have a lot to work with & you can really have a lovely place there. My 1st thought was make a cottage type garden up to steps & then lawn up to house. For that I would just do the barrier & low wall(not cemented)put the seed in lawn part & wait for spring, then dig out & put in what you carefully chose over the winter that won't be too much work & trimming. There are no perfect ground covers!! Some better than others & work better in Georgia than Ca. For cottage garden in spring several packages of perennial seeds in that lower part. They require some cleaning out just like your ground cover will at times. Gardening is a tossup but it is healthy work & most people enjoy having a nice yard & you do get to see results of your labors. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 12:58AM
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What a beautiful home!
I love it.
Personally, I would plant ground cover roses.
All you have to do is to remember to water them after dinner when it gets really hot in June, July and August.
They would look fantastic on that hill.
Evergreen, you could plant a nice juniper that climbs and spreads out. They are at all nursery like stores.
You don't have to do much to them at all after the second year, the first year you have to water them once a week.
GOod luck with your new home.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 11:56PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

What a beautiful home..that house looks like it has great potenial! I'll guarantee you that house is probably built better than any brand new house today. I know you are anxious to beautify the front but remember it takes time, and money. You want something that grows quick and is showy, right? I think I'd start out with container plants that could sit up on your porch ledge. Take this same picture to a garden center/nursery and maybe they have something already made up like hanging baskets to give you instant color. Putting hanging baskets of colorful flowers will draw one's eye up to the house, not the overall slope. I have bought already made hanging baskets before and just sat them inside another patio container. Instant gratification. If that was my house, I'd rip out that evergreen hedge first thing but that's just my preference. Take a walk or drive around in your neighborhood and see how others have done to their landscaping. Surely you're not the only house with that problem in the neighborhood. You would plant some colorful easy wave petunias along the front wall, so they cascade, making a nice statement. When you first move into your first home, and especially if it is not a brand newly built home, there is a lot of expense, you don't always foresee.
Remember Rome wasn't built in a day! Good Luck with your endeavors and please keep us posting of the progress. We'll be waiting for those new pictures. Start yourself a photo album of all your progress. You'll be glad you did as time passes on. Put a date on your camera so you can look back and see how far you've come and when you did this/that.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:08AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Are you computer knowledgable? If so, you might check into one of those software programs that allows you to design you flowerbeds,etc. on the computer. There are many programs like this out there. There are several members on these forums that use those programs, and maybe if you post a message on this board, somebody might see it. Post over at cottage gardening, container. Look at the Proven Winner website and see many patio and hanging basket container ideas. They have a FREE book of ideas that comes out every year and it is fantastic. You can order it from their website or call 10877-865-5818. Lot of great ideas and combinations there.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:53PM
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LOL! Wow! That looks familiar! We live in an 1870's house built by a stone mason, so our wall in front was all made by him, but the set up is very much like yours. I'm still working on ours but what I did so far is add a flagstone path to the door, replace the missing porches with decks until we can afford porches and started planting. First of all we have scarlet carpet flower roses which are the bee's knees. Definitely do this! They grow about 4 ft wide and 3 ft high so leave lots of room because in3 years they WILL use it all. No need to prune. No need to deadhead. I don't even water them except when they are establishing. Continuous
bloom from June til winter. I've even had some blooming with snow on them. I've thrown in some euonymous and a few yews for winter interest as well as boxwood lining the stairs.I would have even more of the carpet roses if I could, but I can usually only find one or two in the nurseries in my colour which is also the heaviest flowering. Do it! I can't recommend it enough!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 6:51PM
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