Tackling slippery slopes

Tackling slippery slopes

Tackling slippery slopes

Bonnie Davies is an award winning garden designer who works at Burnham's family-run, Davies Brothers Nursery. Welcome to her blog where she shares her thoughts on all things green.

So many of us have slopes or banks in our gardens that are often a neglected area we try our best to forget about.

In this horrible wet weather we have had lately, they turn into a sludgy, slippery, muddy mess and in the dry, sunny weather they look barren with clay soils cracking in the heat. A common solution is to simply lay turf on top to give some greenery, but the problem with this is that if the slope is steep the lawn becomes difficult to mow.

If we change our perspective on them slightly, to think of them as an elevated canvas that can be used to show off our fantastic plantastry, they become much more inspiring!

I recently designed a planting plan for quite a large slope using mainly groundcover plants including Campanula ‘Take Me’, Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’ and Vinca major variegate. These reliable, hardy plants bind the soil together by sending out roots from their stems into the ground, and unlike grass they don’t need mowing!

Evergreen plants like Ajuga and Vinca mean that it will look good all year round and interesting leaf colours and textures gives the design some oomph.

You can also experiment with informal drifts of slightly taller plants such as Echinacea and Rudbeckia to give some height and colour. I find Carex ‘Frosted Curls’ invaluable for its evergreen soft grassy texture that breaks up expanses of flatter planting and keeps a nice informal look.

If you have any more tips or ideas for sprucing up a slope it would be great if you could share them with me. I’d love to see some photos of your garden too, because there are so many planting combinations that could work wonderfully in theory, but my garden just isn’t big enough to try them all, so I’d love to learn from your success stories.

Happy gardening, and looking forward to a sunny July without a hosepipe ban! Bonnie x

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