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Perennials/Perennial landscaping ideas

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slope next to house
slope next to house  

slope next to house
slope next to house  
Hi Tom,

I have a slope on the corner of my house where I would like to do a two tiered retaining wall in the future and be able to plant some shrubs or perennials on the mid level, but the larger landscaping stone will be out of my budget for the next few years.  In the mean time, I'd like to till it up, grade the slope down evenly and lay some landscaping fabric and plant perennials (my wife and I are far from master gardeners and like low maintenance projects when it comes to landscaping).  What would you recommend for planting in this area to fill it up and make it stand out (in a positive way, not like the weeds we have now.  I'd also like something that would be easily transplanted in the future.  I've included some pics of the area in question.  Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Answer
Hi Brad,
Thanx for your question and the pics too.  That is always helpful.  I'm not much of a landscaping kind of guy.  I know how to propagate plants, etc., but, I've not got the artistic eye ya know?  I do know what I would do if it were my slope and I had the ideas you have.  The idea of low maintenance perennials to maintain a nice look and manage the soil is a great idea and easy to implement.  I'd plant hostas, daylilies, hollyhocks, iris, coreopsis, rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan), Russian Sage, lavender, achillea, columbine, sedum and lamb's ears (stachys).  Place the tallest plants in the background (ie, Hollyhocks) then the shorter plants and end with low growing sedums and lamb's ear.  Coreopsis actually comes in a number of varieties as does Rudbeckia.  You can also look at some coral bells which have various types of foliage from dark green to light yellow-orange.  All of these plants are easily dug up and transplanted when you're ready to move them.  All do relatively well in your climate and can tolerate some drought.  Just make sure the soil is free draining.  I'm going to assume that the side of the house gets at least 5 or 6 hours of sunlight a day and not completely shaded?  Good luck and I hope this helps!
Tom

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Tom Alonzo

Expertise

I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.

Experience

I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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