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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by tkhooper on May 19, 2005 10:13 PM
Well I finally took measurements of the weed patch while the forum was down and this is what I have.

It's 75 feet long by 18 feet on one side and 14 feet on the other. The difference is almost all vertical lol.

At the top there is 17 feet of clay embankment that is erroded and that is worrisome because people park their cars up there. I transplanted a honeysuckle that was growing on the retaining wall to the center of that area but is there anything else plant wise that I can do to support the bank?
by Longy on May 19, 2005 10:21 PM
Can you post that foto of it again please TK?
Or direct me back to it.
by tkhooper on May 20, 2005 02:04 PM
Of course I didn't get a good view of the area I'm talking about but I'll post what I have. Thanks for taking the time to look it over for me.

Well this is fun I can't get to photobucket.

I think netzero is having a nervous breakdown. If I get lost for awhile at least you will know what happened to me. That's comforting.

I'll try again later. It may be one of those cyber holes in the net.

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Got them. The second view does show where the errosion is but you can't see it because of the grass being so high lol.
by Longy on May 20, 2005 08:56 PM
Hmm. A challenge no less TK. I can't suggest species of plants to put there as i've no idea what grows well in your area.
However, I'd plant local hardy native shrubs and bushes which will require no watering after establishment other than natural rainfall.

They'll handle the vagaries of the weather and will repel attack from pest and disease. They will also help to support local endemic wildlife, esp birds and butterflies. There is a Virginia society for native plants i found googling. I'm sure they could point you in the direction of a suitable nursery or landcare centre.

To prep the soil, do not remove the grass as you will increase the chance of erosion. Better is to cut it short and cover with some pelletised chicken manure and lay newspaper a minimum of 10 sheets thick then mulch very heavily with spoilt meadow hay or similar. For that area about 20-30 bales of hay would do it. After a few weeks dig holes and plant the tubestock seedlings. Water very well, try and plant when rain is imminent.

If it's too big an area to do in one hit, do a small section whenever possible rather than try and spread the time , money and energy over the whole area and end up with dead plants and weeds galore. If you just go along poking a plant in here and there it will never reach its potential. It could look fantastic for not too much money if you do some research on local plant types. There may be a local government organisation which will assist?????
by tkhooper on May 20, 2005 09:37 PM
Hey Longy,

Thank you for the information. I think I am taking your advise sort of anyway. The honeysuckle was already there but within reach of the landlord who occassionally goes overboard when it comes to killing plants so I felt I had to move it immediately since the landlord had already killed the parent plant. For the flowers I have planted I started bottom left and worked right until I got to the maple tree at the center of the garden but other side of the retaining wall. Then I terraced in approximately 18 inches and started the next row with gladiolus. Behind them are the chinese lanterns. Just to the right where the maple shades the garden is where the steepest part of the garden is and it is a problem. There are 1/2" roots through out the area that are probably doing most of the retention work right now. What they belong to I don't know. There is a ground cover type evergreen that spreads by root so hopefully that is it. I would like to find a way to encourge that to grow more densely but so far I haven't been able to identify it. I have removed the grass from around each one of them I find so the landlord doesn't mow them down anymore. Other than that I've been keeping the tree seedlings from growing there because the landlords father doesn't want any trees in that area. I have some barberry cuttings that I hope will root even though it's too early in the year to expect much from them this time. I thought they might make a nice border plant along the top side of the area. But I'm wondering if that would help or hurt the situation? What do you think?
by Longy on May 20, 2005 09:50 PM
Barberry. What do you think?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
What the heck is a barberry???
I already wrote what i think TK. All those other plants sound like a lot of work and probably won't be successful because they require too much water and richer soil etc etc. Go the local natives and they'll just grow themselves. Sounds like you've just gotta convince your landlord. I agree not to put trees there, the root systems will eventually damage the retaining wall. The existing roots are probably from the nearby trees in the photographs or maybe from the vine. Have a close look at some and compare to the lower growth on the trunk of the trees and the vine.
I know exactly what i'd do to the area but the plants i'd use are Aussie natives.

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