Landscape Design forum: Groundcover for brush-filled large slope

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(Zone 6b)
Lrdr88
Apr 8, 2018 4:10 PM CST
Hi everyone!

I just purchased my first home in southeast PA this past fall. I have an acre of land, and while I was never terribly interested in gardening in the past, there are some areas of my yard that need serious attention!

In particular, my driveway is several hundred feet long, uphill, and is bordered by slopes that are filled with some poplars and other scrubby, brush-y, (read: not particularly appealing) thick stemmed weeds. I'm looking for anything that is very easy to plant and grow amid the scrub that is already there (I'd rather not spend the time uprooting probably a quarter acre...), will survive the southeastern pa environment, and is likely to spread, the faster, the better. Something that stays green year round is ideal.

I did read about bishops weed and found that the plant doesn't have many fans, but I find myself wondering if it might actually be ideal for my scenario. I do think the white trimmed leaves are pretty and I read that bees like the flowers so that a good thing too, right?

I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts and opinions, and if anyone knows of any other plants that would do the job. Again, my gardening experience is pretty close to zero, so I'd love to learn a thing or two, thanks!!
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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csandt
Apr 8, 2018 5:08 PM CST
@Lrdr88,

I would suggest Liriope muscari. I also live in southeast Pennsylvania, about two miles east of the Susquehanna River. I would be happy to give you enough for a good start on your hillside if you can to come to my farm and dig it out.

In mild winters it is evergreen, but loses its green color in cold winters. In August it produces pretty purple flowers. It is very easy to grow. It grows well in sun or shade and is not fussy about how much water it gets. It is drought-resistant but can also soak up water in damp spots. It competes successfully with other plants. It spreads, but is not aggressive.

Here are some photos:

Looking uphill on a steep slope; Liriope surrounds the entire garden, and does a great job preventing erosion:
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Flowers in August; this plant is happily growing under a red maple tree that has very greedy roots:
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You can contact me by tree mail if you want some Liriope muscari.

Carol H. Sandt

“Unlike writers of passing fame, a classic author speaks a new word in every generation." -- Daniel Ritchie
[Last edited by csandt - Apr 8, 2018 5:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Kathy
Arkansas (Zone 8b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Region: Arkansas Region: Louisiana Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Kathy547
Apr 25, 2018 3:05 PM CST
The area where our yard meets the ditch & county road is similar to your issue. I have to mow from the top with a field trimmer over the edge & down alittle. Then to the road & mow that part going up as far as the trimmer will go. This stretch is about 200 feet long so it is time consuming. And there's always a middle section that I can't reach from either side. For years my husband would weedeat and burn it but he's disabled now. I don't trust burning by myself an area that big so I've been thinking of what I can do.

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I tried planting a few bulbs like jonquils thinking as they multiplied they would crowd out the weeds. Nope. The weeds just hid the flowers.

Since I'm getting older I need to think about how I'm going to do the upkeep on anything. So I want to be like the old Ronco commercials & "Set it & forget it". So as soon as I get the money, I'm thinking about doing this:

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My plans are to have railroad ties at the very top & very bottom. Spray everything with Roundup or similar, maybe cover with cardboard to (1) try to protect bees, etc. & (2) keep anything from coming back. Get dump trucks to unload rocks & lay chicken wire over the rocks to keep them from shifting. The chicken wire would then be under the railroad ties.

The neighbor's water meter & a fire hydrant are in this area so for easy access to these, I'm thinking something like this:



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