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Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Posted by bagsmom 7 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 11, 10 at 9:49

Well, guys and gals, I am still working on removing the sod from my front yard slope -- gradually doing it to avoid erosion! But I am at the point now where I will be doing some planting. I'd love to hear your ideas on what I'm planning.

The front yard is maybe 30 feet wide. If you are standing on the sidewalk, facing the house, there is a little 1 1/2 foot high wall, then the yard slopes up and back from there. The slope is about a 45 degree angle, going up about 6 feet before it levels out into the front yard -- house is set well back from here. The house is a 1930s white colonial revival with a green roof and a purple front door -- screened in porch. Sort of what I call a little "grandma house."

If you consider the slope area to be a big horizontal rectangle, I'm thinking of taking the two top corners and doing double flowering knockout roses in hot pink. I think this will be a nice way to frame our view of the neighborhood when we are sitting up on the porch. We also have knockouts elsewhere in the front yard, closer to the house.

Working my way down from the roses (down and toward the center) I'm considering daylilies, with sections of purple -- then an area of stella d'oros. This will be somewhat symmetrical, but not completely. The bigger center area (which is now going to be an inverted triangle) could be some sort of juniper -- maybe one of the blue-toned ones?

I was thinking of putting thrift (creeping phlox) along the bottom edge, to soften the edge of the concrete wall by the sidewalk.

Here and there, I thought about having some plantings of purple coneflower, probably up near the top of the slope. I'd underplant the hill with patches of daffodils too.

What do you guys think of this? Maybe you can think of other, better, more striking plant choices. The slope faces East, by the way.
I'd love to hear your ideas!!!!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I can not picture this at all. A photo will help?


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I would love to add a picture -- I thought of this... but I am computer illiterate. Maybe my husband can help me figure it out. :)


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Yes, a picture or two would help. The easiest way (I've found) is to open up a free account on a site like photobucket.com. It is easy to upload pictures from your computer to there. Once the picture is there, you can just copy and paste the link from there to here.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Here is a photo-- by the way, our neighbor cut down her giant oak, so our yard is now very sunny!

I hope this helps get a better idea of what I'm describing above!

Here is a link that might be useful: slope picture


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Here is your picture for those that want to look at it and read at the same time:

How does the big tree in the center of your yard play into this?


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Esh --you are too cool! Thanks!!!!!!!!! (I have a green thumb, but when it comes to computer stuff, forget it!

I really appreciate it.

What do you think of my plan? Do you think it will look good?


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

If the slope faces East then that is a good morning sun exposure, right? How much sun does it get during the hot summer?

I assume you want to eliminate the grass from the low wall up to where it levels off? Juniper would be nice and the good thing about juniper is that it enriches the soil and should you ever decide to get rid of it, it won't be hard to do. I think it is a good choice for beginners and you can remove it when you feel more adventurous.

Daylilies are similarly foolproof and very rewarding. Purple coneflowers are a little more tricky, but having them at the top of the slope will provide for good drainage and that should help.

If you want to play off purple, though, consider some plants with purple foliage as the purple flowers won't be around for too long.

And whenever you want to post a picture inside a post, just use the "HTML" link that photobucket gives you. You should see the picture when you hit "preview".


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

  • Posted by mk87 7b/8a (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 12, 10 at 14:15

Soooooo jealous of your beautiful trees!

Agree with esh -- junipers are easy and they give you a great sense of accomplishment. I personally like the Blue Pacific Shore variety. It's not too "prickly" and it has that nice blue color you mentioned. It spreads very nicely and looks well. It probably won't mind if your shade tree gives it a little rest in the hot afternoons either. But, that's just my fave...there are many, many choices!

I like your idea about the creeping phlox, but if you wanted to try something a little bigger, maybe Lantana? You could go with the purple (it's really more like lavender) trailing variety. Plant it a LITTLE farther back than you actually think you'll need though, because it does spread in one season faster than you think. I have not had any problems with the lavender being invasive at all (or the white trailing variety either, for that matter). They also are easy and the butterflies love 'em.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Thank you so much for the ideas! I hadn't thought about using purple foliage. Is there a perennial with purple foliage that would be good? If it's not something that would work lower down on the slope, I could always put it up higher.

There is bright shade in the afternoon in that area.

Now that I know how to do pictures (Thanks Esh!) I'll have to take a few shots looking out from the yard. I am excited to get to the work -- and I'm having to force myself to stop digging for a while. I don't want to strip off the grass until I can afford the soil amendments, plants, and burlap to keep the dirt in place.

By the way, I have used both landscape fabric and burlap for this sort of work. I'm sure this is obvious to you experienced folks, but I really prefer the burlap. In an area where you want the plants to grow and spread, the burlap degrades as the plant grows. It keeps the soil in place, but allows the growing plant to take root through it.

Pike's has my double flowering knock-outs in stock. I REALLY want to take the credit card and go get them, but I'll be good and wait till my "payday." (When hubby gives me my cashola.)

He can always tell when I spend the grocery money on plants. We have some pretty strange suppers. :)

Thanks again for all the ideas!!!!!!!


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

bagsmom, there are TONS of perennials with purple foliage! I have a yard full of 'em (and always willing to add more).
Lorapetalum is a shrub and pixi is the low growing form.
There are many Euphorbias with purple foliage such as black bird
Heuchera (many varieties with dark foliage)
Setcrecea (tradescantia purpurea)
there are more, that is just a start. I have files with lists of 'em. I'm just not near my files again until tomorrow.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

There is a lovely purple sage (unfortunately I don't know thw scientific name mine was snipped from a neighbors). The one I had in my garden in Asheville got tremendously large and was pretty all year. Nice fragance also which is always a plus in my book.

I just moved to Atlanta and brought a cutting so I don't know how it will do here yet.

Good luck!


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I always think rosemary is a nice easy, hardy cottagey addition in sun or partial shade. (Planting guides will always say full sun, but I have HUGE rosemary plants in partial shade.) Also, don't forget some of the more striking hostas to soften edges, like Sum and Substance or the blue hostas. These can often be salvaged from infill lots or divided from friends. If you get a few hours of sun a blueberry bush or two might be a very nice edible addition to the higher portions.

My personal opinion is that juniper is overused in Atlanta landscapes and can get scraggly in partial shade. Sorry, all you juniper lovers who posted above- that's just my opinion. I spent hours ripping it out of an overgrown patchy hillside at my house and cursed it every minute.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Thanks for the info, esther! I agree with you about juniper -- but it really works to hold the dirt on a slope. I'm planning to use it on only a third of the hill, with lots of other cool stuff on the remaining 2/3.

I LOVE rosemary!!!!!! I have seen some very pretty creeping rosemary, which would be nice along the lower edge, cascading over the rock wall!!!!!!

Thanks for that idea!


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Bagsmom, Don't forget Homestead Purple Verbena for a good purple flowering groundcover. You will loose 25% in a cold winter but nothing will flower like it! Consider Creeping Raspberry to hold the soil rather than juniper. Juniper are such a commercial plant and once you are tried of them they are sooo hard to get out. They do not take shade either. Expect the heucheras to last 3-4 years. Consider Dwarf Creeping Plum Yew (Cephlotaxus harringtonia drupacea NOT Duke Gardens) in groups of 3 at either end of the wall with thrift in between. It will look rough in the pot but fill in nicely as it ages and drupe over the wall. Don't forget gold and white varigated hosta can take morning sun. They might work mixed into a perennial bed mid yard. You have a nice looking spot to garden. Have fun with it!


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I am going to suggest something nobody else has! Only because I'm about to hunt it out and plant it on the woodland side of my house.

Mitchella Repens (Partridgeberry). Great spreading native groundcover, with some flower and berries for small animals like birds, etc. Will handle foot traffic. Likes part shade, part sun or full shade.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

You want some of that? I got a patch working overtime in my yard ... I'll be happy to share. It's a good plant.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I'll trade you for some Sedum ;)

I actually just promised off all the yellow spikey sedum, I have and the fothergilla and sweetspire I'm pulling. If you're nearby, I'd love to come grab some though. I just planned on buying a tray of it somewhere locally .... if I can find it.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Yeah, that's the issue - finding it. I don't think I'm nearby; I am north of Roswell, so outside the Perimeter.

But if you have any other reason to come up here, let me know.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Like, "past exit 10" north of Roswell?


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

I am very close to Ladyslipper nursery. I usually get off at exit 7 or 8 and it is about 20 mins from there.


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RE: Working on my slope -- your thoughts...

Ah, I have a friend around the corner. I still have your email buried away from conversations last year. Will drop a line in the next couple of weeks when ready.


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