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Planting on a bank

Hi, can anyone advise some ideas for what to plant on a roadside bank between our house and nextdoor neighbour. The bank slopes to the road and has tall trees overhead. I had a romantic idea of planting hundreds of daffodils to make a beautiful yellow spread come spring but the soil is very hard and dense, making it almost impossible to make a hole deep enough for bulbs. Any ideas for perennial ground covering plants or seeds that do not need wonderful soil would be great image


  • What's on the bank at the moment?  Is it rough undergrowth or grass that is regularly mowed, or something in between?  Also which way does it face N,S,E or W?  

    The ground will be softer when we've had some good autumnal soakings image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi Farley West, very little will establish well if the soil is rock hard.  Is the site in sun or shade or a mix of both?  What's the soil like - clay, sandy (unlikely if its solid).  Are the trees overhead deciduous or evergreen?  Sorry, loads of questions but it'll give others an idea of what you are dealing with.  My first thoughts were woodland style planting if the trees are deciduous - bulbs, hellebores, primroses, ferns etc  but you would need to sort out the soil first.  Another option would be ground cover roses if the site gets a decent amount of sun and you could improve the soil.  Vinca minor is a tough little evergreen that spreads well, has pale blue flowers and is a tough as old boots.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,425

    If it's a steep slope and you loosen the ground it will all go downhill. Something planted to hang or seed or root down.would avoid that.

    The Vinca Paula suggests is good for that

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • The bank has grass is sparse areas but is mostly just dry soil. It faces east and the area is mainly shady due to overhead conifer trees. Thanks image

  • XX Posts: 707

    I'd just loosen up the soil near the top of the bank, improve it by adding compost, bulky matter etc and plant vinca minor and let it make its own way down the bank, remove the patchy grass as well.  Not sure how wide the bank is but I'd plant vinca about 40-50cms apart and they'll soon grow together.

  • Thanks for that, vinca minor is very pretty and if i can find something yellow that spreads too it will do the trick image

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    Why not plant all the different colours Farley? Vinca comes in light blue dark blue purple and white. Sorry no yellow but there is a yellow leafed vinca. 

  • Once the vinca gets the soil on the back stabilised you could try scattering some wildflower seeds - something that will cope with the dry condtions - field poppies would look pretty there.  Or you could try a mix for these conditions - even if only a few of them were successful, they would seed around and the numbers would build.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for these ideas, I've ordered some vinca seeds that can be geminating over the winter and will get some wild seeds sown now . Hopefully by spring next year my boring bank will look beautiful image

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