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Yet another request for help...

Posted by roadtrip z6 OH (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 9, 07 at 14:41

OK. I come in search of enlightenment.

Here's a pic of my hillside (taken last spring) and my first attempt at trying to grow something here. Area measures about 43 feet from the retaining walls to the end of the drive by about 8-10 feet to the top of the slope.

The deer quickly found the plants and I had quite a time just keeping them planted. They liked to nibble at them and leave the rest of the plant, roots and all, discarded a few feet away from the hole.

In July/August this area gets very hot and dry as the area is in full sun most of the day. Last year we paid a landscape company to mow the grass as I refused to do it. After falling several times attempting to mow on the hillside, I simply could not and would not. With every check we wrote the landscape company I counted the plants I could have bought!

DH has allowed me a small budget to landscape the front first. I'm hoping to try and do at least part of the back yard slope, but I'm still going to have to mow at least a portion as we simply don't have the funds to do both right now.

The slope in the front seems a bit more severe, compounding the slope, is the curve at the end of the drive moving to a yet steeper portion of the hill. This made it harder to operate a mower on this hill. The entire hill is like a backwards "L" with another 2o feet out of the picture to the left.

Another view of the front yard:

Funds won't allow full retaining walls like the previous owner had started, so my plan in to install several 2-3 foot drystack walls to create "pocket" plantings along the hillside to help in irrigation and getting the plants at the correct depths on the hill.

Back yard (future site of a very large shade garden!!):

Any suggestions in either plants or the task of mowing the back yard??? Would greatly appreciate any input I can get.

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Yet another request for help...

With deer you either need to fence them out or grow stuff they won't eat.

RE: Yet another request for help...


I have ordered two ton of wall stone and plenty of soil amendments, so I'll have plenty of work ahead of me. Right now my plan is to create pocket plantings along the hillside, mixing in some smaller evergree trees and grasses, working with progressively smaller plants the further down the hillside I go.

As for the deer, as you can see by the photos it would be VERY difficuly to fence the deer out so I have to plant items they really don't like or "protect" them with items like Liquid Fence. I don't plant Tulips any longer as I couldkn't keep the deer off them. If I were to plant them in the future I would do a mass planting and surround or mix in plenty of Daffodils which they don't like.

Any other ideas before I get started???


RE: Yet another request for help...

I think you've got the right idea to do wall pockets along the front, eventually building it into a living wall of plants. I would plant lots of sedums along the edges of the rocks to help soften the edges of the rocks and they will help fill in the area pretty quickly. I would also plant some mounding plants or bushes at the edge of the retaining walls you already have to help transition between the different building materials.

On cutting the back, are you using a push mower or riding mower? Do you have a self-propelled mower? My hill is steeper than yours and I couldn't cut it at all until we got the self-propelled mower. I can now cut across the hill with no problem, the self-propelled mower keeps it going across the hill with little effort. I would highly suggest wearing shoes with cleats or boots though when the grass is damp.

Good Luck and keep us updated!

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