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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lessons Learned- Ramping it up a Slope September 20,2014

Lessons Learned- Favorite Plants for Ramping it up a Slope.   

Today I am linking with-

Lessons Learned hosted by Beth of Plant Postings

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Magical Mystical Teacher

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

I have a ramp with part of it an earth berm, and have slowly learned what plants can do well there in a very xeric and sunny environment, that would also do well on a sunny dry slope.  This year in particular I have not watered it all summer, in our dry season, with record heat.

Some of my favorite plants there are Oregano and Marjoram.  Dwarf Greek Oregano is nicely flavored and makes a dense low planting, it also is very easy to spread as I can just break off a piece and stick it in the ground and it will usually grow.  

Oregano is a plant I am considering putting in a lot of borders to fill in and make a nice dense planting that keeps down the weeds and also blooms.  I have grown it from seed but want to try more to grow it from cuttings.

Some Oreganos and Marjorams are variegated or chartreuse and make nice bright additons.

Some can get rather tall

Rosemary is a very good herb too for a slope, it is very tough and useful for cooking year round, I especially like to use it in the pan when roasting lamb, salmon, or beef.   

Thyme is also good but with time has been supplanted considerably by various heathers.
Heathers do well on dry slopes, and spread slowly to make quite large patches.   There are many varieties, and various ones bloom at different times of the year, so with careful planning, you can have some heather in bloom for most of the year, including winter, at least in the PNW where it is supposedly zone 8 but ranges down to zone 6 or lower for me since I'm at a higher altitude than most of it.

Correction- I looked better and Winter Savory IS still alive and doing well on the ramp.  Thanks Sue for encouraging me about its survival.   I will have to try cooking with some.




Winter-blooming heather

Kinnickinnick, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts', also makes a good ground cover on a sunny slope.   The taller shrubby growth is Rosemary.

Celeste close up-

Knickinnick has glossy dark green leaves and also has flowers in spring followed by red fruits.  At the bottom is another good ground cover, Rubus calycinoides, ground cover raspberry.

At the bottom of the slope, I have some Saxifrage 'London's Pride', which is variegated and has airy sprays of tiny pink flowers in spring.  It is very drought tolerant and rosettes can be broken off and stuck in the ground to propagate it.

There has been a long list of various plants I have tried that didn't make it on a slope.  Some are Anacyclus depressus 'Silver Kisses', Armeria maritima 'Splendens', Roman Camomile, Gaura lindera, Globularia cordifolia, Lychnis alpina, Raoulia australis, [Satureja montana- Winter Savory- correction, still alive!], and Silene- Alpine Catchfly.  These were all cute and beguiling plants claimed to be drought tolerant and capable of living in a rock garden, but for whatever reason did not make it on my dry ramp.

For Today's Flowers, some roses continue to rebloom, such as the very delightful Clothilde Soupert, with many delicate petals and a heavenly vintage scent-



And also the delightfully fragrant Sweet Chariot mini rose-

It actually sprinkled a little this week, to the delight of the parched Pacific Tree frogs that live here, whose croaks could be heard and occasionally were sighted-

And I discovered this fat little guy hiding inside my duck tractor, he was apparently too scared to move while I took his picture-

An update on my cool season greens, planted August 23, they are growing very fast, a mix of 4 kinds of Broccoli raab, and winter radishes-

Broccoli Raab getting big, this is the first time I have grown this in many years, and didn't pick it soon enough before, so I am looking forward to trying some soon-

I hope cooler weather and perhaps some cool season vegetables will brighten your days and table.   Happy Fall!      -Hannah
                                              
                                                            or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.  I enjoy visiting your blogs and commenting, but cannot do that if google+ is the only option, so will comment here instead.


69 comments:

  1. I love the cute frog and kitty. And your plants and flowers are all looking beautiful.. I wonderful garden to enjoy. Thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen, you were really fast. I'm hearing frogs croaking outside right now, it's wonderful to hear them and see them.

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  3. Plants and flowers are beautiful..The frog is first time to see..thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, they don't need a pond so manage to live in my yard. I've even found them up on my deck living in a nice moist bag of potting soil.

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  4. good plantings! love the tree frogs and your cat!

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    1. Thanks, Tex, your squirrel was adorable!

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  5. Very interesting to see that you are using herbs on the slopes. We find the rosemary to be very drought tolerant here in Texas, and hubby planted a Russian sage near his cactus garden that did very well all summer with little rain. Thanks for sharing your beautiful flowers and garden.

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    1. Thanks, Linda, the Rosemary has been wonderful, I go out and grab some leaves when I am going to cook some. Russian Sage died over winter for me. Maybe too much rain for it, or too cold?

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  6. Love the tree frog and kitty ~ Great critter shots!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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    1. Thanks, Carol, I always enjoy your harbor shots and artmusedog.

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  7. Your roses are beautiful as are all the other plants in the garden. It's fun to share the garden with pets and other creatures.

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    1. Thanks, Shirley, perhaps you might even have "horned toads" in your garden. I used to see them in San Antonio.

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  8. I love your white roses! my favorites :)

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    1. Thanks, Anastasia, they are an Old Garden Rose, the scent is fabulous!

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  9. The roses are gorgeous. The frogs and your cat are very cute.

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  10. Thanks, Gunilla, I love to smell those roses, and the petals are so delicate.

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  11. I will now plant Oregano and Marjoram, the London Pride is a good cover, and your wee girl Celeste, lovely colouring too, I'm sure she likes plants to lie next to. Cheers,Jean.

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    1. Thanks, Jean, I'm going to try to plant more Oregano, it is wonderful. I come out and find Celeste sleeping in odd places, sometimes nestled up in my plants.

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  12. Such helpful information, Hannah! I love gardening with herbs, I really should plant more next year to fill in the open spots in my flower beds. What a beautiful kitty you have! Have a great week and enjoy the last of the season's blooms!

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    1. Thanks, June, Oregano is great. Celeste is beautiful but a weird cat. She has no meow, just a hoarse whisper, which is nice if you don't like a cat yowling all the time.

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  13. Thanks for joining in! What an interesting slope you have there--it creates unique challenges, and with the plants you've selected it also presents great opportunities to add specialized plants. Very nice! Do you have any suggestions for preparing Broccoli Raab? We received some with our vegetable share from our CSA, and I'm trying to find some good recipes. Thanks, again, for joining in, Hannah!

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    1. I'm afraid I'm a boring repetitive cook. My present cooking regime is to pressure-cook a vegetable, example green beans, squash, kale, or soon Broccoli Raab, with chopped ginger, chopped Turmeric if I can get it or powdered Turmeric if I can't, chopped Oyster or Shiitake mushrooms, and chopped garlic. I eat it with either rice or buckwheat, and some protein source like dried cooked beans, eggs, or some fish or meat. I'm on a sour cream kick of late, I used to also add goat cheese. I also like lemon pepper on it. I think the Broccoli Raab should work in any greens recipe, would taste great smothered in cheese, whatever tastes you like. Lately I have a lot of apples so dump some apple sauce on top. Off apple season I was microwaving banana and adding it. I also like eggplant broiled or baked with butter to a dark brown as a very tasty meat substitute. The strange thing is that I have been having trouble with pain in my thumbs particularly from all the weed cutting I do with knives or clippers, and lately they have been much improved, I learned from google that ginger is good for arthritis and joints, so I'm thinking that must be it.

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    2. Thanks, Hannah! Lots of great recipe ideas. Maybe I'll ty cooking the Broccoli Raab tonight. The "lessons learned" post is up. Thanks, again, for participating!

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  14. I did have to smile, your dry slope is nothing like mine or even my best garden bed. Here nothing grows unless watered, even oregano.
    Love that old rose of yours, so like my Sombreul that flowers from spring into winter, also with that delicious old world scent.

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    1. It rains here plenty in the winter, but it has been a long hot dry summer and I haven't watered the ramp, yet the oregano and other plants are still alive. I hope your water situation changes. Sombreuil is a climber, and much bigger flowers, these are little 1.5-2 in / 4-5cm flowers.

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  15. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful flowers, and it was lovely to see Celeste and the little frogs. Happy Sunday to you :)

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    1. Thanks, Denise, I was happy to see the little frogs, it has been a long dry summer for them.

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  16. Oh my, what a wonderful variety of photos! Lots of lovelies in your gardens, and Celeste has the most gorgeous blue eyes!

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    1. Celeste from celestial. As in blue eyes. She is a pretty cat. She has her good points and bad. She has trouble hitting the litter box. I could go on.

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  17. I love tree frogs. Celeste is very pretty!

    I used to get Greek oregano from the NYC green market. It would grow fast enough in the windowsill so that I could pick leaves to shred up for use in salads, etc. I like it better than regular oregano.
    ~

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    1. It's a great plant, it stays very short. I like your frog, it guess it is the same size or slightly bigger than the ones I have.

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  18. What a great photo series! Lovely kitty :)

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  19. Thanks,Birgitta, after another 92ºF day yesterday I'm grateful for plants that don't need much water.

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  20. What a super tour. Have you tried Rose Campion? I find it extremely tough, reseeds very well. Also very tough and reseeds too well in my Seattle garden is a tall spiky purple flower that begins with L that I can't remember the name of for the life of me. It looks a bit like purple loosetrife but is not, mostly in a bluish purple and sometimes a pretty pale pink. Foliage is lacy, blue green. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Sara, I do have Rose Campion, Lychnis coronaria, it grows in semishade along my driveway under red cedars so also gets no summer water, and does well, but it also gets tall so not really what I am looking for on the ramp, but it would work on a dry slope.

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  21. Those roses are gorgeous. I use all those herbs frequently in my cooking.

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    1. Thanks, Abrianna, it is nice to be able to grow my own culinary herbs, plus I have a LOT of plants that can be dried for tea, I am spending a lot of time collecting and drying them in my basement.

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  22. Such great suggestions, Hanna. Bet I cannot convince the apt manager to let me see the slopes, sadly. Your garden and creatures are always great to visit.

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  23. Thanks, Janice, perhaps you have some windows or something for some plants, and could still grow some herbs. It's the bloggers that get to take fantastic photos of birds and the like that I enjoy since I don't have the camera equipment or time/place to do that.

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  24. I wish my climate was a tad warmer so I could grow rosemary in my gardens!

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    1. I guess some herbs can be grown as annuals in cold climates, I don't know if it is worth buying a plant every year to have it or not. Greek oregano is hardy to zone 3.

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  25. Herbs are wonderful to grow :-) I also use them as ground covers between roses and paeonies. Oregano even grows wild here. Ineresting frogs, and pretty blue-eyed cat!

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  26. oregano means joy of the mountain, such a beautfiul name!
    Is your cat a fancy breed? She is lovely.

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  27. Hi Hannah,

    You sure have a green thumb. I envy you. I love the blue blooms; they are so rare. Isn’t it fun finding blue?

    Happy Blue Monday!

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    1. The blue was supposed to be my cat's celestial blue eyes.;-) Thanks for hosting!

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  28. Definitely beautiful flowers, beautiful soft colors in these photos!

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    1. Thanks, Leovi, I liked the purple and blue in your art this week.

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  29. Beautiful mix of shots. This post reminds me to see if my oregano is still growing amid the wildness I've let take over my yard. I use to have a slope covered in oregano but I need a bush ax at this point to get to it.

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    1. Plants do have a way of taking over everywhere, don't they. Here it's usually wild blackberries so they have thorns as well.

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  30. Fantastic and beautiful flowers! The frogs are a treat to see!

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    1. Thanks, I hope the flowers hold on for a nice long autumn. I can hear the frogs croaking now since it's raining but don't see them very often.

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  31. HI Hannah ou certainly have green fingers. Love the herbs and Roses, cat and frog. I have now safely arrived back from 6 weeks away so have LOTS of editing to do!! Thanks for looking in on my posts while I was away and commenting. I appreciate that very much.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, your hawk photos are great, I'm looking forward to more photos from your trip.

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  32. I've tended to grow herbs in a pot only, though I do have some creeping thyme around stepping stones, which I like. Your slope plantings have inspired me! Wish I could grow heather here in my zone 5 garden. I was in Portland for the July Fling and couldn't believe how hot it was! I think our summers were reversed this year as we were cooler and wetter than usual. Hope you have cooler weather now!

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    1. Things finally cooled off Monday after a couple of more 90ºF / 32ºC days, then we actually have rain today. The plants and animals are loving it. I have a lovely patch of creeping thyme that keeps getting bigger, I want to start a lot more. The weather broke records with the heat this year.

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  33. Great idea to use herbs on a slope. That's not only practical, but also useful and attractive. Thanks for your list of what will grow as well.

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  34. Thanks, Christa, I keep trying plants until I can find something that works. I liked your Monarch butterfly, egg, and caterpillar photos. I wish I had some in my garden.

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  35. Herbs on the slope sound like just the thing. I do love Rosemary, I have lots in my garden and love to cut off a handful and pop it in with my roasting veggies. Love the frog photos :-)

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  36. Thanks, Paula, I like the taste of Rosemary too, and I also put it in a salve I make with Comfrey and Rosa Mundi, sport of the Apothecary Rose.

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  37. Hi Hannah, I enjoyed seeing the plants that grow on your slope. I'm surprised winter savory did not make it. I have some in our curb area that has done well for quite a few years. I hope you've started harvesting your greens. They look to be a good size for harvesting.

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    2. Oops, I went and looked and I did find the Winter Savory still alive! Thanks for encouraging me about its survival, I will have to try cooking with some to see if I like it better this time. I'm picking some Broccoli Raab today to try for a report on this weekend's blog post.

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  38. Nice frogs! Hope they steer clear of the cat.

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    1. I try to make some dense growth in a lot of my yard to make hiding places for wildlife. Piles of branches help, and newspaper or cardboard mulches, thick tall groundcovers, etc. The groundcovers also keep down the weeds.

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  39. I also have some piles of branches along the alley, though I didn't exactly decide to put and keep them there. Good to know there's an environmental justification for my laziness!

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  40. Hannah so much going on in your garden...I love herbs as fillers too especially thyme and oregano grew in on its own once I planted one plug and it bloomed...

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