Dcz665
Dcz665
  • Hometalker
  • Highland Park, IL
Asked on May 23, 2013

Plant advice for sloping yard

DfmDouglas HuntMarisa Saletnik

Answered

Hi Everyone, I'm looking for suggestions on plantings for a new old garden bed. Here's the issue: we live in NW Illinois, zone 5, heavy clay, full sun, cold winters. Our backyard was basically a sloping meadow that now has grass and a planting bed I dug in two years ago. The water seems to run off the top of the meadow straight into the bed washing away the soil and mulch I've put around bushes & perennials. So far I've lost three weigelas, an elderberry and various grasses and coneflowers. Any suggestions on plants and/or ways to absorb the water (it gushes because the soil is such heavy clay it justs runs across the top). Oh, and if the water or weather doesn't kill the plant the deer &rabbits might munch it so keep that in mind.
3 answers
  • Marisa Saletnik
    on May 24, 2013

    Instead of sloping the bed, how about allowing the bed to "step" down the slope allowing for leveled sections. Also consider a French drain to absorb and redirect the water. As for your friends, try deer resistant plants.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 24, 2013

    I agree with Marisa that you may need to put in some kind of French drain, or something to block the direct flow of water. For plants that like moist conditions and offer a good amount of deer resistance, try brunnera, goatsbeard, jack-in-the-pulpit, ferns, including Japanese painted fern, pulmonaria, thalictrum, chelone, Virginia bluebells and sweet woodruff.

  • Dfm
    on Jan 16, 2016

    my last place had a spot in the yard similar to what you are describing . i wound up planting rocks, above the beds, and below the beds. kinda like terracing. planted in pockets not so much in a "bed". i also used rocks as mulch - have you thought about a "dry river"? different sized rock and boulders, and sand that would allow the water to run off to a safe place to pool and be absorbed? it turned out to be a very comfortable spot to park a chair - evaporation made the spot nice and cool.

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