Problem with sloping area of yard

AWP2007March 15, 2012

We are in east central Alabama, Zone 8.

We have a slope on the front corner of our yard that I don't know what to do with. The soil isn't great. Not quite clay, but hard and a little rocky. Full sun for over 8 hours. When it rains, water comes down through that portion of the yard into the street and grass doesn't grow very well. Obviously, it doesn't look great and we are the corner lot. Our house is on our city's floral trail and I feel like this is an eyesore. So any suggestions as to what I could put there? I'd prefer a perennial ground cover that is low maintenance. But also wondering about a larger flowering bush? Anyone know of one that can tolerate poor soil, full sun and will establish quickly? The area backs up to a huge bed of azaleas and gardenias that are about 30 years old.

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The first thing that comes to mind is to make some sort of a rock garden with a "gully" dug out for the rainwater, or a dry creek bed that becomes a creek in the rain (made with small rocks). I am thinking of a plant like sedum or some other desert-like plant that takes full sun and rocky soil but can tolerate some big rains. You might get some larger rocks and place them here and there to sort of slow down the rainwater.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:22PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Are you up for 'terracing'?
Even if you just cut in one terrace held back with landscape timbers you could plant delosperma (ice plants)
and they will soon weep over and cover the timbers with wonderful blooms for all but the coldest months of the year.
To the terrace you might add a corkscrew willow or a contorted filbert (Harry Lauder Walking stick). Either would give vertical interest and in winter (both are deciduous) the contorted/curly branches are very interesting.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Inexpensive relatively quick growing ground covers are _Vinca minor_, _Vinca major_, English ivy (_Hedera helix_), or the various hardy jasmines (_Trachelospermum sp._). These, and other hardy vines, will remain low and, thus, not obscure your azaleas and gardenias. As you probably know, _Vinca_ blooms during early azalea season and produces pretty lavender-blue, star-shaped flowers. Jasmine also blooms with an intoxicating perfume. Low-growing, _Hypericum sp._ are an excellent choice in ground covers, providing attractive yellow blooms, mainly in the summer.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:47PM
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P. S. Thrift (_Phlox subulata_), is an old-fashioned, spring-flowering ground cover that prefers a bank, or a slope, and soil that is "as poor as Job's turkey." Modern strains come in a number of colors; and the plant is readily available at the Big Box Retailers' garden centers, as well as at nurseries, in general.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:58PM
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