Our Problem Child Grows Up

I mentioned in an earlier post that we have a slope garden that has been a problem child. In the spring of 2008 we decided to make a garden on the slope just above the main veggie garden. Not only would Dave have less grass to mow, but this garden would slow down the rain runoff to the vegetables.

This was taken in spring 2008.

Slope Garden 2008

On the right of this picture is our main veggie garden before we put up the deer fencing. For this garden I envisioned  us walking on the path through this area, oohing and ahhing over all of the beautiful plants. We had this divided into six sections and a center. Originally I thought it would be nice to have a sundial in the center. In the area with the concrete mushroom we  planted our wedding favors – seed-embedded paper. A few poppies bloomed, but otherwise nothing much happened in that area. In the foreground are Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans. At the top right corner are the seven lavender plants. In one area we planted annuals.

So all of the plants were in, I mulched (no picture of that)  and then we waited for this beautiful garden to take hold. Then the rain came and washed everything down the hill. It was so sad. All of our hard work washed out. Barbara, my master gardener friend and a veteran of slope gardening, came over to help advise us. Within three years, her garden, which is on a much steeper slope than ours, was absolutely beautiful. She assured us that ours would be too if we just had a little patience, which Dave can tell you that I’m not long on.

She suggested we build up the top, adding stones and plants to slow down the water. So we did.

Starting to work on the upper garden on this slope

This is mainly a shade area so we added hostas, astilbes, and ferns and again mulched. This seemed to slow down the water, but we still had plants wash out. I added a channel to direct the water through the garden ending in the middle spot where we planted comfrey.

2008 - This is me eating blueberries and looking over the slope garden with new upper garden area not yet planted.

We also had another problem. The deer came through and pruned our coneflowers. We added cages around them. I hated the look but if we didn’t do that, we’d have no plants.

So later that summer, even with the deer and the water still washing down the hill, we did have some pretty views.

2008 slope garden
Looking down from the top in 2008

I have no pictures of this whole garden area from last year. With my work on the SWIMGA garden walk and the production garden, I didn’t do much to this area except add five new lavender plants to border the north side of the garden to protect the coneflowers from the deer.

So I’ve been busy this year working on this garden. I’m really pleased that the upper area we added last is doing quite well. We’ve lost a few plants but everyone is starting to look happy there.

Upper Area of Slope Garden

The north side and the perimeter of this garden is looking real good this year.

In the front left are two of the five lavender bushes we planted last year.

South area of slope garden

This is one of the two areas that I had to replant this year. At the top right of this picture are the four remaining lavender plants.

Middle area of slope garden

This was the last area to replant which I’m still working on. The comfrey, which in the middle of this garden, is in the foreground of this picture. Dave built a berm and planted azaleas further up the yard to slow the water down even more.

It’s funny that when I started this post I was thinking about this area and how it’s been such a problem and still a problem. But it’s been three years and except for the two areas I had to replant this year, it’s really looking good. I can’t wait until it’s all in bloom. Barbara was right.