The Q&A Archives: hillside gardening

Question: What plants do you recommend for a hillside? I have festuca and like the pom pom look. I want something that lasts and keeps weeds from taking over. Do I add mulch? What kind? Do you have pics of hillside landscaping?

Answer: Hillsides generally offer a less hospitable environment for plants than do level gardens. Soil is usually shallow and poor, and it's hard to get water to penetrate deeply enough to promote strong, dense roots. You can amend the top 8" of the hillside with compost or other organic matter prior to installing new plants, but if there are existing plants in the area, you may decide against disturbing their established root systems. The following suggestions are for plants that will provide attractive cover for slopes and help prevent soil erosion: Rosa rugosa, creeping rosemary, ivy, Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle), Star Jasmine, and Malephora (Ice Plant)

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