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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Slippery Slope -- Help!

The wedding looms.

What with tracking down wayward bridesmaids' dresses, panicking that the dress I ordered for myself is going to turn out to be the worst dress in the known universe, getting Dion to the vet for a cardiac ultrasound, stopping in at the florist for yet another pow-wow about the flowers, and a bunch of stuff I can't even remember at this point in the day . . .

. . . I never got around to taking pictures of our half-heartedly blooming perennials.
You didn't miss much. 

But the gardeners among you, please take a look at this:
Oooo... lovely.  That's our trash bin at lower left; must have taken this on a Thursday!
See those little fledgling evergreens marching obediently all in a row?
Our neighbor planted them along our property line, which was lovely of him.  But below that,
between the baby bushes and the stone wall, is a long strip of . . . dirt.  Sometimes, it's dirt and weeds.
Lots of weeds.

Weeding there is a major pain in the -- well, in the place you get pains in when something is annoying.
Yes, your neck.  You were thinking someplace else?

It's a fairly steep slope, and for more than half its length you have to
clamber up on the stone wall to reach the dirt.  And weeds.
Howard clambering.  I don't do clambering.  I watch and cheer him on.
 The whole stretch is at least 150 feet long, maybe more, as the property is 200 feet wide
but part of it is past the driveway, along the cul-de-sac, which is behind That Old House.
Howard, toiling up (down?) the driveway with a miniscule juniper to plant.
 The stone wall gets taller, until it's kind of tall to be doing a lot of clambering on.

 See that bamboo, below?  It was planted last spring, just about when these pictures were taken, and
I think I've managed to kill it.  Everyone says you can't kill bamboo.  Well guess what?  I can!

 So why am I torturing you with these pictures of the worst looking part of our yard, 
if you don't count the tangle of evergreens and vines along the front stone wall,
or the ditch where the rain water goes . . .?

I am hoping you have brilliant ideas for some sort of fast growing, deer repelling, easy maintenance,
sun tolerant plants that we can tuck in along this stretch of ugly ol' dirt before the wedding.
Did I mention fast growing?
Because as I said ...
The Wedding Looms!
And we want everything looking good before June 25th.

Even though I'll be wearing the worst dress in the known universe, at least
my house and garden will look good.  I hope.  
Howard giving up, realizing that it would take 9000 tiny plants to make any difference on this slope.
I would love to blanket the slope with something like Knockout Roses, but I don't want to give the local deer
any more free lunches.  Lavender would grow very well; it's a hot dry site, but lavender won't grow fast enough.
Maybe I should just pop in hundreds of annuals?  Oh yikes; who's going to break that to Howard?
That's a whole load of clambering!  -- Cass

Visit Susan at
A Southern Daydreamer for
 Outdoor Wednesday!  click here!

That Old House from the rear, not her best side.  The view from the bamboo!


  1. Cass, are you saying the deer like Knockout's? Oy!!
    It is going to be just beautiful when you are all done ...

    Have a beautiful eve ~
    TTFN ~

    5 day GIVEAWAY, pop over

  2. I have nothing to recommend, except that I don't think the deer eat our knockouts, but maybe because they are too close to the house.
    BUT I just have a feeling your dress will turn out to be wonderful.

  3. I'd put a weed proof barrier and some nice mulch down and call it good. Maybe add a row or three of bedding plants along the stone wall for color.

  4. What about russian sage? It gets sizable pretty quickly and is stunning.

  5. Howard is a GEM...
    A friend spelled out the names of the Bride and Groom with Pansie's for her daughters wedding...
    It was stunning!...We served Ice Cream and cake in a little tent right in front of it, all dressed in some fun HUGE flowered hats we made just for the Special day!
    Can't wait to SEE Your dress!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  6. Oh my ! I don't have any suggestions.
    I bet the wedding will be wonderful regardless of what is growing in the garden.

  7. As I have absolutely no success with plants of any kind, I am the absolute worst to make a suggestion of any live plant!! However, that never stops me from throwing in my two cents! I would do something fun with balloons!! Really, I would! Put small stakes spread around the blank space,and tie non-helium (so they don't droop and go flat in one day) balloons low on each stake. It would be wonderfully festive and different! I think either white or colored balloons (possibly the bride's accent color???)would be flat out stunning or at least memorable!

    If that just strikes you as the worst idea
    since the dawn of time, I'd go with spreading fresh mulch and a few strategically placed pretty pots with some colorful blooming plants.

    There's not a lot of time for any new planting to get at all established and either of my enormously clever....ok, feeble....ideas could be done in one day!

  8. I think you need to have a planting party! Get about 10-15 people and give them each a tray of annuals, which will pack an instant punch such as wave petunias for instant color and gratification and perennial herbs to plant for the wedding. Carpet roses are also fast growing, but I'm not sure they's be fast enough . . . to keep the weeds out put down a layer of weed fabric then dark mulch. It should look stunning. Can't wait to see the final reveal! It should be stunning!

  9. We are deer-thwarters of long standing up here. The best, fast spreading and deer-resistant ground covers are St John's Wort and Perriwinkel. The St John's Wort blooms a brilliant yellow in spring and the perriwinkel seems to bloom off and on all summer. If you bought lots of little plugs they'd soon join up with one another. Good luck!

  10. Oh boy, Cass. That's a tough one. I'm in the process of ripping out 150' of perennials to cut down on maintenance, so I'm a fine one to suggest more work for someone else, but here I go anyway! Eventually your neighbor's trees will take up that space with their overhanging branches, so I guess I wouldn't plant anything permanent like junipers unless you don't care if they get shaded out in a few year's time. But you have a wedding to deal with in a few weeks (oh, that made my heart rate go up, too) so, I get it, you want something with Wow Power. The Wave petunias would be stunning carpeting the bank, but if you have deer problems, well, then we're up a stump again. I was wondering about flowering containers...would it be possible to place some large flower pots along the top of the wall, or somehow dig them into the side of the hill for display? You 'could' take them in at night if the deer are ravenous, but I realize this is just what you don't need right now, more work. I wait to see what you come up with, I'm sure it will be stunning. Staying tuned.......

  11. What about wave petunias? The "double" variety look almost like little roses and they spread out about 6 feet in all directions. Good luck.


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