Asked on Nov 1, 2012

Wooded slope needs attention

JulieMelissa KNanette F


I keep posting pictures of this slope, but can't seem to do it. The pictures do not tell the whole slope, believe me. I need retention walls and some plantings. Sometime think I should take out all the trees...but there are dogwoods back there and is shady during the summer. Looking at other scenes of slopes on our site and they are gorgeous!. How do I get started> Remember there are just the two of us and no machinery. Just hard workers.
This is the slopy part near the road we cut
This is the beginning of the road at the beginning of the south property line. This is actually the second landing. To the left is a steep drop-off. To the right you go up the hill to my house.
Cleaned underbrush can make a difference
These sapplings can go! This is near the north property line and is steep enough to need steps, ramp, etc.
This is the drop-off to the creekbed in the rear of the property.
This is on the second landing looking toward the first landing where the storage room is located; as you can see, this is pertty steep
Next undertaking. Near the north property line where all the lumber was cut and undergrowth is being held back by ME!
See the piles of debris
My grandchildren won't dare come back here because directly behid the swingset is where the forest begins. Also, this is where the road is that we cut
Looking up the slope toward storage room to the right of the swings
The end of the road cut so far. Needs more trees cut down, but also to the right forward is the beginning of the foremost slope and the wood we are trying to bring home.
8 answers
  • 3po3
    on Nov 2, 2012

    It seems like your best bet is some on-site consultations from good local landscapers.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Nov 2, 2012

    I would be very careful with excavating yourself. You could easily create a bigger problem than you have. And I certainly would not take out all of the trees, which are no doubt playing a very important role in keeping that slope in place. I would keep this area naturalistic looking, clearing out the underbrush as you are doing and perhaps limbing up some of the trees to allow in more light. You can then plant all manner of shade-loving things underneath them, from rhododendrons and azaleas to hellebores and ferns (and many more).

  • Melissa K
    on Nov 2, 2012

    No local landscapers for me. Douglas, you are right on every point. Making me think what I REALLY want for this area. Naturalized, but with some color. The paths are sort of creating themselves throughout the landscape, but I guess I'm looking for a good project of how to comfortably get from one landing to another. I'm going to try actually digging out steps with a pick and shovel, them applying some type of treatment to keep them in place. I am aware that some of the areas can be flowing zigzag down...maybe I have something there! You guys always make me think!

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Nov 4, 2012

    @Melissa K, it seems that you are overwhelmed by the scope of the project. Try breaking it down into smaller chunks. The paths through are your backbone and the most important step to take. Use some bright string and stakes to mark your trail out. Then you can work towards a goal and not just see the whole darn thing every time you view it. If the path seems to be dragging you down with no results choose an area that you view the most, a SMALL area and create a 'mini garden'. You can use the 'rooms' concept throughout the pathway. You could maybe even put it down on a piece of paper so you can track your progress that way. Even though it will be a PITA to put the existing trees on your design paper it will help greatly to decide what trees to remove and which to keep. Go out and put a ribbon around the trees you think you really like or need to keep, before you start chopping them down for firewood. Start a pintrest board and invite folks on a shared board ( such as Doug and Me :) and a lot of others here that know plants) to post possible plants for you area so you can look at them all in one spot.

  • Nanette F
    on Nov 4, 2012

    Leave it be and stop mowing except along edges. U'll be amazed at what will restablish itself and it will help erosion. If ir not using it, stop messing with it. Carve out a few niches for urself using rock or fence posts trenched into the soil. Ur going to drive urself crazy fighting mother nature. Leaving it natural will help stop erosion and attract wild life beyond ur wildest dreams. Concentrate around the house and close to the spigots. If the hose don't reach, it goes native. If u want to help nature along, shop online for wildflower seeds for ur zone and scatter those around. Those may need some help with watering to establish but don't do it during ur rainy season.I stopped mowing and let nature take over. I have flowers, vines and trees doing all sorts of blooming now. My gardens around the house are pristine, but my slopes are tennessee natives and they are beautiful.

  • Melissa K
    on Nov 5, 2012

    I find these posts so very, very wonderful! 4S and Nannette, thank you so much. Four Seasons, you seem to have picked up on the greatest problem...looking at the whole. As I read your post, I felt the tension and anxiety ease due to your commonsense approach. Oh thank God for you. Can't see the forest for the trees here, but now I shall take your advice and create pockets of interest and do the paths exactly as you say. I think a leisurely approach will work better than where I was headed. Truly, thank you all. As for a nursery, I am looking for a nurseryman...Do you sell bulbs and ship? I want plants that I can't seem to find here in SC. Also, I want a lot of evergreen shrubs that I can view all year...but I have found that daylillies come in all varieties and colors. They do wonderful in my yard. Nannette, there is no grass there as it is completely underfilled with years and years of straw, some of which I have started transporting to my gardens on top. I like these ideas, they are my starting point. 4S, need some blooming evergreens, bulbs...where can I find a catalog for you?

  • Melissa K
    on Nov 5, 2012

    Just went to the Four Seasons website! Happy Happy

  • Julie
    on Mar 8, 2018

    i start with a bench, then make the gardens.
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