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Haute savoie, France Fr

Hi, I have just moved into a new home that we have been building for the last year so the garden is in desperate need of TLC! We live in the French alps so have a few slopes to deal with and I've decided to tackle the one next to our driveway 1st. It faces east so gets morning sunshine, we get virtually no wind here and the ground is quite rocky with lots of stones, (alpine I guess!) summer here is quite hot and winters pretty cold! I'm enthusiastic but a bit clueless about gardening! I was going to cover with a weed suppressing sheet and plant through it, but after reading a post on here I thought I'd try clearing patches of weeds and grass and allow new plants to help stabilize the ground before removing more weeds. I started clearing today and there were a few small geraniums and wild strawberries hidden which I've tried to uncover. I was just hoping for ideas on what plants and shrubs may work to add colour and help suppress weeds and that need little or no pruning as it's quite steep. Also there is a really ugly wall at the bottom and around a manhole cover which serves a natural spring, so any ideas on how to cover them up would also be gratefully received! At the top of the slope there are some blackcurrant bushes, a cherry tree and another tree (no idea what). I've added a few photos. Thank you!

Asked from the GoYpedia sloping garden ideas page

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I wouldn't use use suppressing fabric, especially on a steep slope (but then I wouldn't use it anywhere except under gravel...)
There are lots of perennial geraniums that would stabilise your bank and need little if no maintenance once matured. Depending on how cold it gets you might get away with some perennial osteospermums. Is your soil acid or alkaline? I know some of that area is limestone, but if you are on a neutral part you could try winter flowering heathers (ericas). The summer flowering ones will only grow on acid soil so it would be good to test it if you don't know already. (The stone on the drive looks like limestone so if its local stone that probably rules out heathers) A prostrate juniper will eventually spread over quite a wide area and might be good on the steep part. Another alternative would be to use lawn weedkiller on the grass and just keep it strimmed. Low growing herbs such as marjoram and thyme would look nice

13 Apr, 2014


Thank you for your reply, it's really helpful. Somewhere buried in an unpacked box, I have a soil testing kit which I'll try and dig out. Quite a few people have heather nearby so it might work! Thanks again. Kathryn

14 Apr, 2014

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