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Steep Slope Gardening

North, South, East or West no matter where you live steep slope gardening is always a possibility and there are evergreens for every garden. The luxuriance of their foliage, the different shades of green, their variety of forms, textures, and heights contribute lavishly to the planting design. Indeed, like old friends, they can always be depended on to give us real enjoyment through the years. Their easy upkeep, permanence, and the all-year-round green they provide make them all-important in garden-making. For practical purposes, evergreens may be roughly divided into two main groups: the cone-bearing or conifers, such as Hemlock, Arborvitae, Juniper, and Fir, and the broad-leaved types examples of which are Rhododendron, Camellia, Holly, Laurel, and Japanese Aucuba. Some species of evergreens, such as Abelia, Daphne cneorum, and Lonicera pileata are truly evergreen only in mild climates, and become semi evergreen in regions where the winters are severe.

In making a planting plan for your steep slope gardening needs it is very important to select the right evergreen for the allotted space. This can hardly be overemphasized. For instance, avoid using tall-growing trees or shrubs directly in front of a window. All too often one sees houses literally smothered with towering evergreens placed in just such a location, shutting out the vista, the air, and the light. Furthermore, a planting of this kind spoils the architectural lines of the house, whereas actually one of the purposes of the planting is to set off these lines to best advantage. Another factor about your steep slope gardening that should be considered is whether the planting is to be made in the sun or in the shade. There are evergreens that thrive in every location, and it is an easy matter to find the right plant for the available situation. Some of those that are shade-tolerant include such favorites as Laurel, Oregon Holly-grape, Holly Olive, Cherry-laurel, and the evergreen species of Privet. In mild climates Viburnum tinus will be an addition wherever a height of 8 or 10 feet is required, and it too will grow in semi shade, though a sunny exposure is preferable. Its variety lucidum is superior to the type, since it is a stronger grower and is much more resistant to pests.

There is no problem in finding plants that will flourish in the sun: Pine, Yew, Hemlock, Spruce, Cedar, Juniper, False-Cypress, Arbor-vitae, and Fir are just a few of these. Still another factor to consider is whether a given plant will do well in your particular locality, and in this connection it is always wise to consult a local nurseryman.

Ethan Botan is a freelancer writer who writes gardening articles for numerous print and online publications. Check out his site with lots of a steep slope gardening ideas.

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