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The treatment of sloping land will depend mainly on the steepness of the slope. When the slope is very steep there is a tendency for soil erosion to take place once the original vegetation is removed. To prevent this, plant species that "hold" the soil and so stop it running away after rain.
There are a number of plants that can be used for this. They grow strongly and have extensive roots. Shrubs and small trees can also be planted. Rhus, Liquidamber, Azaleas, Dwarf Maples and Photinias are suitable for tall cover, whereas Agapanthus, Strelitzias, Red-hot Pokers (Kniphofia), Ajuga, Variegated Abutilon, and many species of ferns, provide a good surface cover.
The position of contours has a deciding influence on the arrangement of sloping gardens, but this does not prevent very attractive gardens from being made. All walls should be placed so that they fit the contours and, as far as possible, should be kept low. It is more pleasing to erect two or three dwarf walls rather than one high one. Weathered stone or broken rock - socalled "random rubble"- if carefully selected and arranged, can assist in making these walls fit the contours more easily than dressed stone or brick.
Irregular-shaped walls allow for the inclusion of pockets of soil to grow rock-plants or trailing species such as Arenaria, Alpine Asters, Cerastiums, Dianthus, Gazanias, Catmint, Saxifrages, Sedum, and Violas, to mention a few of the more colourful species, and there are many others.
Such rock-gardens are more cheaply constructed if rough
stone Is used and they can be informal yet beautiful, in marked contrast to the costly dressed-stone work which, though attractive, looks so very formal.
It is not possible to outline a plan for making a garden on sloping land; so much will depend on the actual area and the problems it presents.
Rock work of any kind should not be placed too near the foundations of buildings. Avoid placing rockeries under trees; the dripping of rainwater from the foliage of the trees can erode the soil in the rockery.