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top of slope inspiration, please

  • Can I ask for help please - after a number of years of developing the steeply sloping back garden, starting at the house at the bottom and working out, I'm now left with the plateau at the top. The tree is leaning at a dangerous angle and has to be taken down and then I totally lack inspiration as to what to do with the space left. The whole garden is built on sandstone and the top slopes both to the east and the north - at the moment its just grass and I was thinking of a laurel hedge at the top boundary but then don't know whether to plant it or leave as grass - the latter feels dull but I've run out of inspiration - all ideas gratefully accepted, thanks!


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,617
    edited June 2019
    I'd say it was crying out for a wildflower meadow!  What you've done so far looks fab.  What a pity you have to lose the tree.  What do you plan to do with it?  When I had trees felled, the tree man didn't take much away.  The logs he sawed up for me to use as firewood, and the smaller stuff went through his shredder to use as mulch.  You could use some of it to make bug hotels.  I don't think Laurel does much for wildlife.  How about a mixed hedge of hazel, hawthorn and elder, which feed pollinators, birds and small mammals.
  • thanks! laurel caucasia is very good for bees and birds apparently which is what I'm thinking of...a wildflower meadow is a great idea, but does that mean its never mowed or just mowed at a particular time of year? the wood is probably heading to my neighbour with a wood burning stove but great idea to keep some back for bug hotels
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,617
    In agriculture, a meadow is a grassfield grown to be cut for hay, as opposed to a pasture which is grassland for cattle and sheep to graze. In gardening, a wildflower meadow is cut after the flowers have faded and the seed has had time to ripen.  You take off the cut grass to keep the nutrient levels low in the soil.  This maintains biodiversity.  If the soil is too fertile, you end up with a few species of plants dominating.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,935
    Holly hedge provides a lot of cover for nesting birds, robins in particular like to nest in it.  I like the wildflowers idea. I think you need something like that, you can go in once a year and scythe it down, trim the hedge, and leave it for another year.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • EricaheatherEricaheather North West uk Posts: 197
    I would stick with something with height. The tree draws the eye up and probably makes your garden look a lot bigger than it is. I'd plant another tree or go for plants with height such as hollyhock etc. I'd definitely be trying to add some colour to the edges and overhang with lobelia/fuschia/bacopa Or such like. It's a really lovely area 
  • thanks everyone, it is a lovely spot but the size and gradient have always made it challenging - the whole approach is to future proof it to make it manageable - still working on that! good point about needing to retain height and also adding colour - any suggestions as to suitable shrubs that would solve this?
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 566
    Our garden is steely sloped so I understand why you want something low maintenance.  A slow growing tree would be a focal point but I would be tempted to plant shrubs with contrasting foliage.  Abelia kaleidoscope/ Physocarpus LIttle Devil / Choisya Ternata or Aztec Pearl / Phormium Platts Black or Evening Glow.  This might give you some ideas

  • Lovely, thanks for your suggestions, i’ll Certainly investigate
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