Landscaping a Hillside

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One of the most asked questions I get is, “I have a hillside that I need to landscape, could you make some recommendations on plants?”


There are few ‘groundcover’ plants found in our native forests. The idea of a groundcover plant is a relatively new one. In fact, we do not need ground covers. We only need to do what Mother Nature does and mulch with leaves and sticks!

The fact is that most ‘ground cover’ plants are in fact invasive. I would avoid English ivy, vinca, and periwinkle.

English ivy kills trees

English ivy kills trees

Most people would simply plant the whole hillside in creeping shrubs such as cotoneaster or creeping evergreen juniper such as shore juniper or blue rug juniper. These plants work but they are kind of boring to be honest.

juniper groundcover

I would recommend using a mix of native woody ornamental plant types, some shrubs, small trees and vines. I would also use some native grasses, mulch and a few boulders to complete the natural look.
landscaped hillside
Here are some plant lists I made that you might find useful: