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Dry Bank..need suggestions


Im quite new to this gardening business and need some help if possible.

I have a steep west facing bank at the front of ny house. It slpoes at approx 50-60 degrees. it is about 12ft high by 40ft long. There is very little soil as is mostly stone. The garden drains into the last 10ft of the bank and this is always very damp. I have a few plants growing in it and doing well. However the remainder is very dry and anyhting I plant doesnt survive, only weeds. 

Can some suggest something I could plant which would cover this area well, possibly something with a little bloom at some point in the year? As I said, Im quite new to gardening, some something hardy would probably be best.

All suggestions welcomed.

Many thanks.


  • Eddie JEddie J Posts: 108

    You could try Vinca 'Minor' or 'Major' 

    Both survive very well under harsh conditions, and spread/root freely.

  • AbiMAbiM Posts: 17
    Watch this week's Gardener's World on Iplayer if you missed it- whole section on planting on banks.
  • AnnieseedAnnieseed Posts: 21

    Hi Jason, most alpines thrive in rocky conditions and need the sharp drainage that a steep bank provides - potentially tons to choose from! Including evergreens, too. I'm sure the GW site has lots of good suggestions if you search for 'alpines'. Maybe some sempervivums? You say the bank's west-facing but if any of it's shaded, how about some primulas/primroses, lovely in spring?

  • AnnieseedAnnieseed Posts: 21

    ...Or another idea, how about sedum 'Dragon's Blood' planted en masse? It's great groundcover, drought-tolerant and happy in poor soil, and also the bees love it! If you planted lots it would look spectacular in flower in the late summer/autumn, and if you grew from seed (easy) it wouldn't cost much, either. 

  • LadyG2LadyG2 Posts: 29

    Hi jason,

    I have the same problem area in my garden, My garden is an old quarry, so you can imagine the dry bank on the Southwest side.

    Gardeners world gave some great ideas so watch it on iplayer if you can.

    Hipericum grows very well on mine, to such an extent that i am trying to clear some of it in order to have some different plants aswell. I thought alpines and some wildfowers too that will spread quickly and seed thmselves.

  • meiowmeiow Posts: 51


    I'm a real fan of the bugle plant, for it's quick growing ground cover & pretty blue flowers in Spring. It will spread, quickly but gives a ground cover all year long.

    It might get established in the wetter parts of your bank & then spread else where. I've grown it a pot before and I think it can stand peroids of drought. It's hardy, grows in partial shade/shade,needs no maintence, easy to dig up &  very easy to propogate. It's my type of plant.

    Also what about the yellow primose?

    They seem to grow everywhere, spread like mad & look lovely in spring, just let them get on with it

    Spring bulbs in my experience don't need much look after, just plant loadsimage

    I agree with a previous poster,lasts week GW show had a piece on planting banks.

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