More Landscapalooza Questions/Thinking Out Loud

ninebarkseeds_july.jpgDear Lazyweb,

Instead of the small evergreen shrubs I’m thinking about Ninebark. Saplings has some really nice ones that look even prettier than the pictures at that link, with a nice medium red color in the summer.Ninebark has flowers spring to mid-summer and in the fall has fruit that birds and other wilidlife eat. It loses its leaves in the fall, but that’s probably OK, since we’re not using this for privacy. There’s a new variety called Coppertina that has a copper color in the spring, and I found some for sale at a local garden center.

Ninebark sounds easy to grow, too: “The plants are found on moist soils in thickets, along streams in sand or gravel bars, and on rocky slopes and bluffs. Dirr (1997) observes that “the species is adaptable to all conditions, probably even nuclear attacks, and once established, requires a bulldozer for removal.”” More info on planting. One caveat is that it likes lots of sun, and if it doesn’t get enough the leaves may turn green.

Any reason I shouldn’t use Ninebark? My only concern is that I need to make sure I get a compact variety that doesn’t need to be pruned too often.

Ground cover for a slope

We have two slopes – each about a thousand square feet, at about a 40 degree angle. If we can’t find an alternative we’re going to plant them in vinca major. Vinca tends to get a bit out of control, but we’re stumped to find anything better.

The challenge is that we’re deaing with red clay soil that’s badly eroded, and replacing the soil is impractical. Because of the height and angle of the slope we’re not going to be able to weed it once it’s planted, so we need something that will grow fast enough to shade out weeds.

Any ideas for another ground cover?

9 Responses to More Landscapalooza Questions/Thinking Out Loud

  1. Anonymous says:

    Vinca major is very invasive. Vinca MINOR isn’t as bad.

  2. CL says:

    Vinca major is very invasive. Vinca MINOR isn’t as bad.

  3. Les Jones says:

    Yabbut the previous owner tried using vinca minor and it got overtaken by weeds. Vinca major’s an asshole, but it’s my asshole, as the saying goes.

    I want a plant that’s as much of a badass as vinca najor, but … nicer. An aggressive grower that plays well with other plants. Summin like that.

    Also, I don’t think vinca minor could take the full sun at this location, which is something I should have mentioned.

  4. Steve K. says:

    Yabbut the previous owner tried using vinca minor

    No I didn’t. And stop calling me Yabbut.

    Ninebark is a big blob when it’s not blooming. And it contains the word “nine”, so that’s two strikes.

    More later.

  5. Steve K. says:

    WRT Ninebark, Dirr also observes:

    “I still came away with the opinion that about anything is better than a Physocarpus.”

  6. Les Jones says:

    Really? I thought your mom had some tried growing some vinca minor?

    And I thought yabbut is what all of your old girlfriends called you, because … you know… .

  7. CL says:

    A nicer badass? The only other thing I can think of is ivy. You would have to make sure it’s a type that handle full sun. I have a hillside that get full sun and I’m thinking about purple homestead verbena. I don’t think it enough of a badass for you.

    GardenWeb does have a hillside forum. They might have some ideas.

  8. Someone help me out as I’ve drawn a blank.

    What’s the ground cover used so frequently on steep cuts for interstate exits?

    It’s low-growing, thick and blooms constantly … also eliminates all competitors in short order.

  9. Les Jones says:

    Probably crown vetch. Not a bad plant, really. I talked to one landscaper who had the equipment to blow it in. I saw some the other day that looked really nice.