Planting on a hill

I have a large hill area that currently only has mulch on it. The hill is in full sun most of the day. I would like to add some plants that would do well on a hill and require little maintenance. My problem is actually planning it out. I have picked out Japanese blood grass, a red and green variety of ivy, creeping red sedum, red Japanese poppy, and maybe golden sedum. But how do I actually plan it out so that it looks nice?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Sounds like you have a good assortment of plants that should work well for that site. The Japanese bloodgrass is very attractive but it can get out of hand easily in the right conditions. It generally likes more moisture than a full-sun hilltop would provide, so invasiveness might not be a problem in your situation.

Regarding your question, I would place the plants so that they are readily apparent from your primary viewpoint (whether it's your kitchen window or patio or whatever). Plan the garden so it is most appealing from that vantage point. Then look up the mature heights and take that into consideration when you're placing plants. Taller plants generally go in back so they don't block shorter plants from view. It's called stair-stepping. Some people like to mix it up a little, though, and put a few tall, wispy plants in front. That would work nicely with the poppies, for instance. Finally, I would suggest planting in pockets, rather than one of this here and one of that there. Pockets of the same type of plant will have more visual interest than a scatter-shot approach. Good luck!

Luke Miller, editor

Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living magazine

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