Make over a backyard slope
By: Garden Gate staff
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Turn a tree-filled rocky slope into a backyard retreat
This sloping area started off as a tree- and brush-filled empty lot. Although space had to be cleared for the house and garden, leaving some of the trees was important to cast cooling shade and reduce summer air conditioning costs.
Retaining walls helped create level planting areas that keep soil in place. The ones in this yard — built up 3 feet tall in spots where erosion was a problem — are made of treated landscape timbers and limestone dug out during construction.
Click ahead to learn more about this transformation!
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A 7½-ft.-tall wire fence on three sides of this garden keep these hostas (Hosta spp. and hybrids) safe. The only open area is up by the house, where the deer don’t usually wander.
Vines, such as Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), which tolerates shade, grow on the fence so it’s not as visible. And a number of gates provide easy access to other parts of the property.
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Planting in sun and shade
Though these trees are large, their canopies don’t grow together, which means sun-loving flowers do well underneath. Although some perennials, such as coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), may flower less in part shade.
As the trees grow, hostas (Hosta spp. and hybrids) and impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) replace the sun lovers.