This month’s Gardening Gone Wild Garden Design Workshop is coping with slopes. As you can see in the picture we have a pretty good sized slope. There’s a whole lot of area up there that we just really have no great way to use, at least not yet. I have ideas for what I would like to do but for now I have kept control of the area.
Over time I’ve mowed pathways through the slope to allow us to have access to different areas. The pathways cut through sassafras and locust trees as well as blackberries, Queen Anne’s Lace, goldenrod, wild roses, and honeysuckle. I’m not a fan of the latter two as both of those plants are very invasive. Right now my slope is completely uncultivated except for the grass pathways, but I have plans. Each pathway will eventually form a new garden bed along it’s side with the center piece of each bed a type of fruit tree, most likely apple. This slope is positioned well for growing fruit since it is somewhat shielded from the sun and fruit trees should remain dormant longer which is better for fruiting (The blossoms can avoid a potential late freeze). Inside each of the garden beds will be deer resistant plants to help defend the apple trees from grazing. I hope to get fresh apples from late summer through fall without having to buy them at the grocery store!
Right now coping is an accurate word since I’m simply managing what I have. I would love to eventually tier the slope to help with planting it but for now I have other projects like my greenhouse shed to finish, garden fence to build, and many other things that need done. A gardener’s work is never finished, he just stops to enjoy the scenery every now and then!