Instead of the small evergreen shrubs I’m thinking about Ninebark. Saplings has some really nice ones that look even prettier than the pictures at that link, with a nice medium red color in the summer.Ninebark has flowers spring to mid-summer and in the fall has fruit that birds and other wilidlife eat. It loses its leaves in the fall, but that’s probably OK, since we’re not using this for privacy. There’s a new variety called Coppertina that has a copper color in the spring, and I found some for sale at a local garden center.
Ninebark sounds easy to grow, too: “The plants are found on moist soils in thickets, along streams in sand or gravel bars, and on rocky slopes and bluffs. Dirr (1997) observes that “the species is adaptable to all conditions, probably even nuclear attacks, and once established, requires a bulldozer for removal.”" More info on planting. One caveat is that it likes lots of sun, and if it doesn’t get enough the leaves may turn green.
Any reason I shouldn’t use Ninebark? My only concern is that I need to make sure I get a compact variety that doesn’t need to be pruned too often.
Ground cover for a slope
We have two slopes – each about a thousand square feet, at about a 40 degree angle. If we can’t find an alternative we’re going to plant them in vinca major. Vinca tends to get a bit out of control, but we’re stumped to find anything better.
The challenge is that we’re deaing with red clay soil that’s badly eroded, and replacing the soil is impractical. Because of the height and angle of the slope we’re not going to be able to weed it once it’s planted, so we need something that will grow fast enough to shade out weeds.
Any ideas for another ground cover?