My friend Peter who reads this blog, and others, responded to the review of Covering Ground by Barbara Ellis with the following post and request.
“I need some gardeners’ advice. The two photos show the side area of our house. It was cleared and a lawn (of sorts) planted before we bought the place. We do not use the area, and our dogs don’t go down there either. Its value is in providing a respite with open space (neighbors here are just crazy about trees – someday we’ll have a hurricane and they’ll change their tune) and abundant sunlight. My questions: 1. What can be planted to secure the slope (on the left, below the low stone wall)? We’d thought a sea of azaleas would work.
2.) For the larger sloping lawn area to the right, we’d like to replace the grass with a sweep or mass of something colorful and fragrant. We thought lavender would be lovely. Ideas? 3.) There is a rock outcropping that steps down from the corner of the house. So far the soil has been supporting weeds which require hand cutting or the use of a weed whacker. Surely there’s something that likes to grow in among rocks and has more charm and grace than the current weed population. Again, ideas?
This is the dullest elevation of the house, and we do have plans to visually break up its massiveness. But the photographs are taken from the right-of-way we’ve granted for neighbors to walk to the beach. We see no harm in planting something they might enjoy as they walk by, and color, texture and fragrance might divert them from spending too much time looking at the house’s bulkiness.
I am a reluctant slave to the lawn mower. We use a battery mulching mower and it takes three chargings to mow everything. You have written that ground covers that lessen the lawn area also reduce one’s carbon footprint. At the moment we have rather big feet, clown feet apparently, and look to your readers for ideas that will lower our shoe shoe size.”
I will add from my own knowledge of this house, that the distance between the right of way and the house is 96 feet, and the house is not as monumental as it appears in the photo. It is a modest and charming one story house built in the 1950s in the modern style. On this side of the house is an entry into the finished basement – a very comfortable guest room and bath.