Church Needs landscaping Ideas

Livermore, KY(Zone 6a)

Our new church sits on a hill, has a huge steep bank out front that goes around the church and cemetary. It is imposisble to mow and the man that mows is not able to weed it down to where it looks nice all the time.

I would like to plant one of several ground covers to fil up this bank. Someone in the past has panted what I thought may be vinca it is green/white var leaves with small purple flowers. It is not spreading quickly enough.

I wanted to redo the whole back and plant something in with the what is there. If we mow down the green/white var leaves will it reroot where it lands. If so we may want to start with that.

Any suggestions, me and the youth at our church want to make this bank look nicer. Our project this summer is to beautify the outside of Gods house.


Sharon Nell Boyken

Saint Louis, MO

It can be tough to try to incorporate 2 different ground covers. Keep in mind, too, that you will need a groundcover that doesn't require an eveny moist soil, as a steep bank will tend to be dry. Most ivy type plants don't grow quickly the first couple years. The saying is "the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap." Maybe, in time the vinca will fill in completely. If you can't wait the year or two for that to happen, you might try pachysandra or stonecrop sedum to fill in the bare spots. Eventually the strongest plant will takeover. That's good, though, because you can bet the winner will do well in that location with the least amount of effort on your part.

You might try Virginia Creeper if your in a big hurry. It will fill in very quickly and looks full and beautiful when grown across the ground. It doesn't need much water once it's established either. The only thing I would caution you about is the long vines could present a tripping hazzard if this area is walked across regularly. It is also deciduous, so it won't look very good in winter. English ivy would be a much better choice if that is a concern.

This message was edited May 9, 2008 5:46 PM

Livermore, KY(Zone 6a)

Thank you so much for your suggestions.

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

the vinca that i have likes partial shade. but it loves to grow around shrubs and trees. it will even hop over a bare area and spread to be near a shrub. But the slopes sound to me like a fine place to grow lilacs. lilacs will also sucker. even the common lilac, syringus vulgaris, has the strongest lilac smell. rugosa roses, like difficult places, no spray, flowers and fragrance. Since this is a church, it should look and smell heavenly. the vinca should then spread faster as the lilacs and roses grow.

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