We had a garage put in about 5 yrs ago - they had to jack hammer into
the rocky hillside to make a flat spot for it. I've been trying to rid it of weeds
for several years and am finally getting it planted now. I put in the dwarf
conifers last fall and added a variety of geramiums this summer. You can
see its a work in progress!
And one last one. We got almost no rain in May and June. I was
wondering if I was insane to plant there. The nearest water source
is quite a hike. We've gotten about 8.5" of rain since the end of
June so things are a bit easier now! Whew!
Tammy--looks like a great project! Love your idea for little iris...and don't forget to order some tiny narcissus and other iris bulbs for your spring garden. They would be really pretty in there, too. t.
tammy- missed these pictures until now! you'll have fun filling the spaces! nothing like new space in the garden. you have lots of slope, don't you...we do too here- and lots of rock. how perfect that youve gotten the rock garden bug. i'm a mini iris fan too- besides the sdb's or pumillas which always get me, been meaning for several years to order some really interesting sounding irises (ones i've never heard of before, anyway) from "odyssey bulbs"..have you ever gotten anything from them?? watchdog gives them a good rating- this year for sure, i'll order something- i've been too late in years past- so, yikes, NOW...
I'll check into Odyssey bulbs. I've not ordered from them.
And I certainly do have a lot of slopes! I just didn't think I'd
be able to get anything but that awful crown vetch to grow
on the hillside. But I dug it out (over & over & over) and found
there's a bit of soil in there (along with lots of rocks). Its
really steep so I have to make planting pockets with the
rocks to secure enough dirt. More bulbs would be fun!
This project is not one I'll finish in one year. but I'll update as
I get major changes.
yep - hyacinth & anemone blanda so far. And I've got a bunch of little dianthus going from seed now.
(I planted some on the "upper" half of this hillside and they have self seeded.) I'm planting more! Plus
helianthemum and geranium (several going from seed plus I picked up some from a wonderful nursery
in Amish country Lancaster County).
Helianthemum is great for those hot dry places...We put one in our garden on the side our house last summer where it gets very hot and dry and it grew great. I can't wait to see what colour it is this year! I think my dianthus might have self seeded on me last year too, although I haven't seen any of the little plants this year. I'll have to check tomorrow if we don't get that snow we're supposed to. You could also try mini dafs? they're so cute!
That stinks! You could though, use those little mini yellow dafs that are always in grocery stores and WM. They work great! Just let them dry up and die back after they flower and then plant out the bulbs. Thats what I did and come they come up great next spring. They're just coming into flower now.
I think I'll just wait 'til fall. I've planted over a 1000 bulbs a year for 8yrs.
If it weren't for the deer, squirrels & other misc critters, I'd be totally out
of places to plant any more. So I'm kinda glad I have something new to
plant this fall.
Holy! Thats alot! I usually just buy a bag or 2 each fall and maybe a few in the spring :) I would plant alot if I could, but when it comes down to it...I don't really have the room. The mini daff I have is 'Tête-à-Tête'. It's very cute. Those pesky squirrels can be so annoying! The other day they ate half of a freshly planted lily...I checked with the lily forum people and it should be alright though.
It does look good! I just have one clump of this and one clump of that. Which I think I'm going to work on this year...getting more of the same things, cause my garden will probably look better that way. Do you have any other daylilies beside the roadside ones?
Oh yes! I have been stuffing daylilies in various gardens (though I did not keep track of names.)
I have a number of dayliles along the rocky hillside. You'll see 'em when they are blooming this summer
if you keep an eye on this thread.
I'll make sure I keep an eye on this thread. I just went to a garden show today in Burlington Ont. and I picked up daylily(root) 'destined to see' it's really nice and almost blue in the center! I hope it blooms this year.
A close-up of Hieracium Maculatum. I'm really happy with this little cutie I got from a Hardy Plant
Society Seed Exchange last year. It started blooming about a month ago and seems to be
picking up strength (in bloom) every day. The folliage is a lovely mottled green. I have seed if
anyone wants some - saved from the blooms I got last year (planted in troughs).
The hillside on the other side of the garage - planted with lilies and dayliles (and lots of bulbs, sedum,
penstomen hirsutus & smallii, and heliathamum). Right now the lilies & daylilies are stealing the show.
hey Tam- I've just been waaay tooooo busy since when- I don't know---as soon as spring came- which was right after I saw you at the flower show- which really was so great- and I'm embarrassed that I haven't checked in to tell you! I still hope to see your place one day! - your hillside is coming right along- those lilies make me jealous- mine are struggling with those little red lily beatles that have worked their way into our area in the last few years- whew! they are awful!! so that little plant with the yellow flowers and mottled foliage is Heiracium maculatum?...somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking it was a senicio...it grows and multiplies quite freely here--sometimes a bit too freely- and I make sure to cut the flowers down- the foliage is great though. The problem I'm having with my garden as a whole, and the rock garden in particular (that's why I can't post any pictures) is that I work in other people's gardens and hardly have time to work in mine!- sarah
No problem! Its always fun to hear positive reinforcement!
I just keep stuffing more onto the hill & its really looking lush. I have plans
to work on the upper part of that hill this fall - clear out the junk shrubs/trees
and prepare for some pretty ericaceous shrubs.
Tammy, your place is beatiful! I hope you don't mind if I borrow your thread to bounce a few questions your way... I have a small hillside that appears to be about as steep as yours, and I haven't had much luck searching for plants suited for a hillside. It's slowly dawning on me that I can use a lot of the stone around here to my advantage on this hill. Are there plants you would 'rule out' for a hillside? And would clusiana tulips be suitable for planting among stones? I see on another thread that other species tulips are...
If you can think of any sites or other resources to get started, I'd sure appreciate it. So far, just looking at pictures of gardens has been the best source of ideas. There may be not as much to it as I'm thinking, I guess I'm just a little wary of making mistakes. I can easily imagine the whole bed washing downward in one of our rainstorms, but I guess that's what rocks would help with? I have a bunch of pieces of this flat-ish red shale I plan to insert perpendicular-ly to the slope, does that make sense?
Thanks for any input. I suppose I should look at the Bookworm tab,too. Mike
By the way, I think it's really neat to have a 'real' name for a user name, I didn't bother trying LOL
Howdy Neighbor! I don't mind answering questions via the thread. And there are
a lot of other folks with more expertise than I here too!
I was so afraid of the hillside just washing out too. I actually had just planted a bunch
of it before one of our big fall storms & it stayed put. (I find I have time & inclination to work
on such projects in the fall. Too hot in the summer & so much to do in the spring!)
I positioned the rocks as best I could to hold the dirt. Some stayed and some didn't.
But I just keep plugging in new plants and it seems to be working. I haven't completely
finished yet - the upper part is still in need of work. (Well - I've never finish it but I have
plans I have not implemented on the upper section).
I haven't tried species tulips on the hillside but I bet they'd work. I figure anything
that thrives in good drainage will like my hillside. Most of it is very sunny & the soil
is very sandy & rocky.
What exposure do you have with your hill? And what is the situation w.r.t. existing plants?
I had to really work to clear out the old stuff - lots of multiflora roses & crown vetch. And
bittersweet, honeysuckle and verbascum. I pulled and pulled and then I very carefully
used round up. It took a few years to clear it sufficiently to attempt planting it.
Mike - you don't live that far from me. You are welcome to send me D-Mail to arrange
a visit on some weekend day for a little tour. (Its much prettier in the spring but you'll
get a better sense of what I've done in person).
My hill is lawn that I've manged to remove sod from, and used carpet scraps to keep weeds down while I'm working (slowly) on it. It's mostly sunny, but the one end is shaded by a big white pine, so I have a lot to choose from in the different areas. I have some azaleas and hostas for the shaded end, and daylilies, iris, coreopsis, miscellaneous plants for the sunny end. I'm doing one of the wintersowing swaps, so I'll probably wind up with who knows what next spring. I ordered a lot of bulbs from one of the co-ops, so I need to plant those next month.
You're right about working in the heat, these next few weeks is my time for The Big Gardening Effort !
I managed to remove a big,sick Norway (just say No Way!) Maple from the front yard, so that's full sun now. I'm looking for a nice kousa dogwood or something there. Boy, the weather is perfect today, no more excuses!
Hi Tammy, thank you for luring me over here. The progress on your hillside is wonderful to see, and inspiring even for ours with so much in full shade. I'm thinking a "primrose path", but first the vinca needs a talking to. Is anyone else gardening on a hill with lots of shade? We made "random" curves on asymmetrical terraces with stone left over from double trenching other gardens 30 years ago, and those stones really compensate for drought conditions while at the same time providing necessary drainage. Pinks and campanulas (partially shaded areas) have never grown so well just planted into plain garden dirt here. I'd love to see those fringed, white bells of Shortia galacifolia colonizing the sloping drystone walls in this shade.
Thanks again for starting this thread.
PS - Mike, regarding keeping a slope from sliding down, I seem to recall hearing in a class about a product called "Tack" (Tac?). If you've mulched a slope, supposedly you're supposed to be able to spray it with this Tack to keep the mulch from sliding down in a hard rain. Our instructor said it was available in hardware stores.
Love your view, Tammy - your garden is doing it justice.
An early evening shot of the orange mum's coming into bloom.
Bluespiral - pls post some pictures of those Shortia galcifolia! And pins
and campanula's... it sounds lovely. I've got a very small spring and boggy
area on the property that I've planted with primroses. I love primroses. Do
you have a moist place for your primrose path?
Tammy, thanks for the image of setting sun - beautiful. Would love to see that view in different seasons and times of day.
Nope, don't have a DC. And I am in the habit of looking at something and seeing something not there - like shortia colonizing one of our drywalls, LOL. Yes, these plants do require evenly moist conditions, which we don't have. But I think we have several factors that would ameliorate our dry shade in that spot:
1) moisture-retentive clay-based soil heavily amended with compost and peat;
2) I might use those hydrating crystals - I think a tablespoon or teaspoon mixed in the ground just below the roots of each plant; Am not sure who sells them or what their brand/trade name is;
3) rotted-leaf (or shredded bark, whichever is available) mulch on the horizontal plane of the bed;
4) stones on the sloping "vertical" parts that for reasons I don't entirely understand maintain a relatively even moist environment for plant roots with good drainage at the same time (capillary action of moisture in the stone?);
5) planting in "communities" as opposed to each plant in its own place (for example, here the primroses would share the same beds with ferns and whatever other compatible associates I may discover). Within a plant community, individual plants benefit from the combined synergistic effect of the whole with respect to water retention/availability;
6) Maryland has a relatively high rainfall (although we are no rain forest);
7) choosing primrose species relatively tolerant of dry conditions like P. kisoana (possibly because of its purported creeping habit). I have found that many shade plants that go dormant without water in summer do fine every spring - Dicentra spectabilis did that wonderfully right within the roots of a monster Pawlounia in the years before we had any water with which to water the garden. So, I'm hoping that perhaps a species like P. sieboldii might be similarly cooperative - its spot will be near Christmas ferns whose fronds should fill in their space, if all goes according to plan. There's another species said to be tolerant of dry-ish conditions - P. nervosa, if my memory is working right now. Another plant that grew for years in our stones without any additional water was Primula veris (cowslip).
8) last, but not least, I'd have to water every 2 weeks in a drought, which I'm prepared to do in the small spot I have in mind. For the most part, I'll be looking for plants whose needs match the conditions of the site like epimediums. I may have to treat a small number of primroses like annuals, because as a whole, I'm not looking to create a water-dependent garden.
I apologize for preaching to the choir, here, but thought it might be helpful for anyone reading this who is just starting out.
Can anyone suggest some plants that would associate well with primroses? I'm thinking of small vignettes, with the greater part of the garden being more self-sufficient with respect to water.
Mike, one of the best books I ever found on rock gardening was by Lincoln Foster (H. Lincoln Foster?). I can't remember the title, but the chapters were organized by type of habitat, and there were great little essays on the plants he grew. Hope you can find it. I'm looking forward to checking it out from the library again for "woodstove reading" later on, myself.
And, we're in the same seed swap. Can you and Tammy use seed of the following? (I could just send this into the swap with your name on it) -
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
??? (I apologize to others, but I don't have more seed of these to share)
Tammy, I hope I'm not hijacking your thread. Leave it to me to write a book if asked a questions grrr. It might be a while before I can post here again - DH just came down with shingles. Fortunately, he started treatment early enough to hope for a good outcome.
Thanks for the trade Claypa and Tammy - will be sending mine to you shortly. I've posted too much about my garden here - apologies if I have hijacked your thread. But the subject of creating a gem of a rock garden out of what may seem a recalcitrant or difficult situation really struck some chords in me. I hope you two keep posting as your gardens develop and share those wonderful pics.
Exciting! Looks like you've got soil amendments there top? It'll be fund to watch
your progress as you go. The stones will help with the soil retention, help moderate
temperatues and add to the visual beauty of the hill planting.
Today is a glorious sunny day! I cleared out the brambles (and poison ivy)
along the stone wall behind my hillside. More planting space!
I cleared out the brambles & weed trees in front of the stone wall that runs behind the gardens &
garage. I've always tried to clip off this part of the scene in my pictures 'cause it was so wild.
You can kinda see the stone walls before in the post of Sept24 8:49. Anyway - I'm gonna be
planting some shrubs /bulbs in front of the stone wall and maybe some pretty trees behind it.
Am very much looking forward to the development of your gardens come next spring, Tammy and Claypa. If you two haven't poked those seeds of Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens' in the ground by now, it's not too late. They always come up - a little late - in the following spring when I do this in December...about 85 - 90% should be "black"-leaved.
Thanks for the reminder!... I have winter sown only a few plants so far, and now the holidays are winding down, so I can get back to it. I've never done it before so I'm a little wary of this weather, but it seems to be cooling down finally.
I still have to clear out more of those nasty multiflora roses (I took out quite a few
more today but I just didn't have the time to do too much. So many weeds and
so many garden beds ... I'll have to come back when thing are more under control).
Here's the steepest part. I got it cleared quite a bit last fall. There are mostly
sedums and little rock garden plants (penstemon hirsutus, dianthus, heliathamums
and such) on the lower portion. I've got more dianthus & penstemon seedlings
going to put in later. I'll have to weed there again first though.
How lovely to revisit this thread. You have done so well with what you were given and have worked with it instead of letting it defeat you. Well done. I'm sure you'll be rewarded in years to come with your hard work.
gosh- its been a while. was that last summer tammy? your hillside looks well established and very harmonious! i was just in philadelphia visiting my parents, and went to the philadelphia flower show- thought of you!-- everything was still under snow in their yard, though.. usually i see the snow drops, some crocuses. made it out to longwood gardens too, for a dose of conservatory extravagance..
hello to Todd and Galanthophile as well- i think i've been on about a year or more break from DG ... its good to see some familiar names!
PS... have been reading Janis Ruksans "buried treasures" about his bulb hunting days-- wish I had met him when he was speaking in Mass. his collection of crocus and corydalis are something.. i'd love to order from his nursery... has anyone done that?
We've had a bit of a heat streak. Much of the snow melted. I have eranthus, galanthus
and today, iris reticulata in bloom. In addition to the first of the species crocus. They are all
a very welcome sight after such a white winter.
At last spring is here. Been to a couple of open gardens and the snowdrops and crocus are in full bloom and even roses and trees are starting to shoot. At last! Narcissi are far behind but I think they are soon to catch up :)