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HELP - subsiding bank


i have a problem at home at the moment, our driveway has a steep bank (think 5:1 gradient) which is starting to subside and lose soil.  i and my parents are worried that the whole bank will collapse / subside.  i have the idea of planting some plants or shrubs on it and hopefully the root system will help to keep the soil intact.  it has no plants at the moment, and the soil in some places is starting to fall down.  its approx 2.5m high and 12 metres long.  the alternative to keep the bank intact is an expensive retaining wall. 

plants / shrubs or trees (if they are the way to go) would also look a lot better than MORE concrete / stone.  the driveway is fairly narrow so a retaining wall is the last option we would like.

am i on the right lines?? are shrubs the answer?  im NOT green fingered so thats why im asking all you guys. haha.  any help would be much appreciated.

thanks in advance, tom


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    the slopew sounds a bit extreme for stabilty but maybe I haven't grasped it properly. Can you post a photo showing the angle

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,457

    If it has already started to subside I doubt shrubs will be able to stop it.  They take time to establish and create a decent root spread in order to have any effect.

  • I've seen slopes in some fields around Llangollen (very steep in parts) being stabilised by having a heavy duty netting/mesh pinned in place & then sown with grass seed. You wouldnt see the netting once the grass had grown through. I guess you could incorporate some wild flowers as well for interest? Good luck!


    Is that the sort of thing you were thinking of dolgarrog?  It certanly looks as if it would do the job if I'm understanding the problem correctly.  Once the  mesh is fixed there are all sorts of plants that could be sown/planted in the cells to provide attractive groundcover on the slope, including spring bulbs like scillas etc.

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

  • hi dovefromabove! Yes, this is exactly the type of thing I saw being used - you cant tell it's there anymore either now plants have colonised it.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    If any plant will do it, it is Lonicera nitida.

  • How unstable is it? It will naturally lose lose soil after it rains.

    I put a lot of Dogwood, Juniper and Primrose on a similar though not as steep part of my garden and it has worked well to date. I put in some treated decking boards at the top, middle and bottom of the slope to help contain it as well, with some rocks behind those for drainage and strength with plants in between.


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