What would you grow here? (Pics)

pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)February 21, 2008

I have a long and large steep slope on the back part of my yard that blends into garden areas and then grass. I thought Snow in Summer would be a great ground cover as I love the folige and flowers it produces. I'm concerned as I have heard so many negative comments on how it cannot be controlled. Any suggestions on what to plant on this slope for ground cover? Would Snow in Summer be a good choice? As you can see from the pictures I live where we grow rocks. Maybe something that won't die back in the winter. I've considered ivy but don't want the area to be a breeding ground for snakes.

Thanks for your suggestions.


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Kemper Code: H590 Cerastium Tomentosum

Common Name: Snow-in-Summer
Zone: 3 to 7
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae (same family as Dianthus, Carnations, etc.)
Height: 0.5 to 1 foot
Spread: 0.75 to 1 foot - reseeds easily and produces long runners
Bloom Time: June Bloom Color: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Medium

I have no experience with Snow-in-Summer, but I wonder if there may have been some confusion between Snow-in-Summer and Goutweed, also known as Bishop's-Weed and Snow-on-the-Mountain, an herbaceous perennial plant that, once established, is extremely aggressive and invasive and hard to eradicate.

(Snow-in-Summer looks to be a nice little plant that might do well in your application - pictures show them nestled among and clambering over rocks. Good "rock garden" type plant and the silvery gray foliage looks attractive, too.)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 4:14PM
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I recently did a similar terrace. Snow in summer would be a good choice. One of my favorite plants to use in a case like this is plumbago. It spreads, but not rapidly. It has beautiful purple flowers in late summer. It turns almost orange in the fall. You must take care in early spring as it is late to come out.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:17PM
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virakech(z5 Ohio)

plumbago gets my vote too. If you want to add some moonbeam correopsis among it you get a nice color combo and bloom all summer prior to the show of blue flowers and then orange foliage completing the show. It a one of my favorite combos.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:35AM
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giantslug(4b/5 SW Minnesota)

I think that a ground cover or creeping type juniper would work well for your location, at least in the sunnier areas. They grow well in rocky places. They are evergreen, drought tolerant and root along the stems to bind the soil together. Another possibility is a small shrub called Northern or Dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera). It has yellow flowers, bronze tinged new growth, red/orange/yellow fall color and grows in almost any well drained soil in sun or shade. It grows up to 3 feet tall and spreads by suckering to form a ground cover and to stabilize soil. Plus it's a native plant. However it might be a bit too tall for your liking and it may be be hard to find locally.
Snow in summer (Cerastium Tomentosum) might grow there in the sunny areas if the soil is extremely well drained.
Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) should do well but dies to the ground in winter.
P.S. I noticed that there are nice mature trees within the area of your landscaping project. Changing the soil grade around mature trees and covering tree trunks with soil can kill trees. Oaks are particularly sensitive to this. Building a tree well around the them can prevent damage to you trees. A link for information on tree wells is at the end of my post. Also, I've never heard of any plant attracting snakes, but snakes often sun themselves on my brick retaining walls!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tree Wells

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 4:30AM
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Crownvetch would be nice


    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Hi Pam,

Crownvetch is a noxious weed - IMO. It will take over.

I wonder if you've been getting the heavy rains we've had in Jasper County lately and if so - how are you handling the erosion problem until you can get something established? I suspect your soil is just like mine, although you do have trees. What was it like before the wall?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:43AM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

How about checking into some of the wonderful native plants?

Here is a great place to get some ideas:

Here is a link that might be useful: Critsite: Prairie and Wetland Center....

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 11:59PM
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