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Planting for 45° bank

Hi all.

Can anyone help with suggestions for evergreen low spreading plants for a West facing 45° bank that drops into a large pond?

The recently created bank is a 17m x 3m area consisting of soil over hardcore and we are looking to quickly cover it with attractive foilage to stabilise the bank that doesn't require ongoing management (due to awkward access) or obstruct the pond view.

Many thanks.



  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    It's a big area. I'm wondering if it could be broken up by different types of plants. Variegated ivies would do the job but on such a large site might just look a mess. Other plants, such as cotoneaster horizontals, while not evergreen, would provide wonderful bee-friendly flowers in summer and red berries for the birds in winter.

    How about some decorative grasses?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,797

    I agree, cotoneaster horizontalis would do a great job there.  Groundcover roses are another possibility - Partridge is a good one

    Again, not evergreen, but attractive hips in the autumn, good for birds.  

    Both plants look great covered with haw frost in the winter. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    How about Picea abies "Nidiformis", also low/flat growing junipers (google), interspersed with vinca minor, all are evergreen. And a few clumps of daffodils every couple of yards or so.

  • Have researched all these suggestions - fantastic! Thanks so much!

    Any more for any more?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366

    We had a similar issue at last house and the bank had been planted with lots of heathers (which were rabbit proof!) but we also had junipers, cotoneaster and purple berberis. The berberis provided a good contrast to the lower growing stuff. There was a lot of Alchemilla mollis which was useful but we had to keep it under control!

    Here's a pic which may give you a general idea.


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • image


    ^^^^^ A pic of the almost complete earthworks showing the bank ^^^^^^^

    Brilliant Fairygirl, no wonder you lament parting from this garden!

    We have many junipers throughout the garden already, so I am leaning that way, plus we want an oriental flavour...

    Thanks all for taking the time to respond!

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,049

    Perhaps Hypericum Calycinum would work.


    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366

    You have a big project there Hfl - very exciting though! We had an Acer  next to the bank too (which you can see just next to the stone gate posts) but it was the wrong location for it- too exposed and sunny. They would be lovely if you want a slight Japanese touch. I think whoever planted it did so because of the colour!  Groundcover plants that knit together and stabilise the bank would be a big help to you. The Vincas previously mentioned are ideal for that, as is BL's suggestion of hypericum - it's taller too so you get a contrast. The problem with lots of ground cover plants is that you can end up with everything the same height which is very uninspiring. We had a  pencil conifer for vertical interest (not in that pic)and you could use something like that very effectively - there's a blue/green juniper that is similar. At the foreground of my pic you can see where the area flattened out and there was more conventional pond side planting etc. That end of the bank (right hand side of the path) had phormiums and crocosmia and hostas. It all had to be bunny proof!   Some of those could be incorporated too for your oriental look and are all pretty low maintenance. Ferns are another good plant beside the pond and are easy to maintain - the Hart's tongue varieties are evergreen.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Loving all these ideas. I think we are going to try and create a tapestry of colour and texture keeping it all pretty low growing, along the lines of a living wall.....with grasses,ferns, junipers, vincas, berberis and some dwarf rhododendrons.....with acers in large corten planters on either side of the seating log at the top....

    Cheers, this has helped immensely! Such a great forum!


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366

    If you hadve a nice seating area planned - a few scented plants there would be ideal, even if it's just annuals or something in pots during the main season. I forgot to mention grasses as we couldn't have them -they just got eaten! Some of the Carexes are lovely near ponds- there's some good green/gold varieties as well as the bronze ones,  and Hakonechloa  'Aurea' (arching green/yellow leaves) is particularly 'Japanesey'!  Most of the carexes are evergreen too. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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