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What Can I Plant As Low Groundcover on Hillside In West Virginia?

Posted by midnightstorm Zone 6 - West Virgin (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 22, 07 at 20:48

I am having a new home built and I need to come up with a good groundcover for the hillside that begins at the back of the house and goes up. I need something that is deer resistant. I don't yet know the soil pH and it looks like the area may get partial sun once the home is finished.

I don't care for ivy so that's out. I'd like something 12 inches inches or lower; maybe something colorful (purple, pink, or blue?) or something that smells good since my deck will be very close to the hill. I thought of lavender but I don't know if there will be enough sun. Plus I don't know if Lavendar would do well in my area. I had thought of catmint but I don't know the drainage requirements or whether it would get too tall.

Anyway, the rest of my house and garden will be done in a Cottage Garden style. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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RE: What Can I Plant As Low Groundcover on Hillside In West Virgi

It's a pretty broad question and some of the variables still undefined, so I'm not sure how specific one can get. There are MANY plants that would work, although some are not specifically indended as groundcovers.

The amount of sunlight and the soil conditions and steepness of the slope will be the primary determinates, but I don't see why you couldn't maintain your cottage garden style throughout this area as well with a careful selection. If enough sun, things like dianthus, creeping phlox, even groundcover (sometimes sold as flowercarpet) roses would work. For fragrance, dianthus is a great candidate, as is sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) or lily of the valley (Convallaria majalus), but those two prefer some shade.

The attached link will connect you to a factsheet on GC's for West Virginia, as well as a number of plant-specific resources. Remember that a primary attribute of GC's is to spread and cover some real estate, so be prepared to deal with some aggressive, spreading behavior with certain species, but with attention, all can be controlled and contained. As to deer resistance, IME they will taste pretty much anything and depending on other fodder available, can dine quite heartily on even those plants with a reputation for deer resistance. Once you've made some lists of choices, I'd double check with local sources for those that are the least palatable.

Here is a link that might be useful: groundcover resources

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