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Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hillside

Posted by meadow_lark 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 4, 12 at 8:36

So... our yard and property lost 48 trees in August, when that big wind storm blew through Southern Maryland... (Oak, pine, dogwood, cedar all came down...) Our area was hit very hard...

We are left with a southern-facing hillside that once was wooded, that is now close to barren. The soil is clay... and is awful to work with... so we realize we will have to add amendments as we go... We've tried putting mulch on it... but of course... it runs right back down the slope. The hill looks like Godzilla came through, chomped my trees, and then took a major leak on it for good measure!

I'm drawing up sketches, and trying to figure out what to do... Putting in terraces would be extremely expensive... and so I'm looking at "living" options.

So far, I've put in some iris, buddleia, a Japanese Maple, a viburnum, a smoke bush, and a red flowering buckeye... There are 3 baby oaks that survived, a couple of sweet gum, and 2 small cedars.

I would like to make some long sweeps (groupings) of low-growing plants, and I'm considering the following: Buddleia Low and Behold "Lilac Chip", Fragrant Sumac "Gro Low", and Russian Sage. I could use a few more suggestions. NO VINCA, NO PACHYSANDRA! The previous home owners planted that all over, and it's invading everywhere! I'd also like to stay away from junipers, as this area will need quite a bit of upkeep (due to the remaining pines and sweet gum)... Junipers are hard to work around...

I'd appreciate any suggestions! Thanks so much... Shelley


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

NJ Tea. Itea.


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

lindera benzoin, prefers shade but does OK on the prairie; caterpillar host for butterlies, red berries in fall for wildlife


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

winter jasmine--evergreen, spreading, crazy tough. It's not terribly dense though.


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

Though I personally don't like it, cotoneaster might fit the bill.


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

  • Posted by petet z7a VA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 25, 12 at 14:05

How about some native wildflowers, like Rudbeckia (aka Black-Eyed Susan)?


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

Might want to try Rus aromatica 'Gro-low' (selection of native sumac). It stays a couple of feet high at most but spreads well. Leaves are small, shiny, dark green; fall color is a nice red. I have a patch in my native corner, and it has filled in very nicely without any care except in the first year. Another possibility is northern sea oats. You are welcome to come dig some out of my garden, they spread prolifically and deer don't eat them. Nice seed heads in fall, strong root systems.


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RE: Low growing, drought tolerant shrubs for a lousy looking hill

Since you had some pines and therefore must have some acidic soil, you might try a few blueberries. They seem to like well drained areas, and granite rocks.


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