The steps completed
I finished a set of steps earlier this week. This is the first phase of a long project to landscape the hillside behind the house. I plan to add terracing on each side with some type of fieldstone. As you can see, I have already planted some things here (yes, it is not unusual for me to do things backwards).
This is a fairly steep slope in a very sunny area with good drainage. It gets quite dry in the summer. I am planning on using drought-tolerant plants here and lots of low-growing groundcovers that will spill over the sides of the steps. Last year, a variety of bulbs, annuals and small shrubs performed decently here. I have planted Cistus and Potentilla here, plants that I have never grown before.
As with any project I do, aspects change along the way. I had initially intended for these steps to proceed straight up but ended up curving them. I would have added one more set of steps at the top but there is a drainage hose coming from the gutter on the house in this area. The hose ends in the area to the right of the upper step in the above photo. I would like to take advantage of this and figure out a way to incorporate a dry creek bed for the excess water to flow into it.
I was anxious to get my remaining plants from Joy Creek Nursery in the ground. All that remained were some Hebes and a few spreading plants that I had saved specially for this location. I had never grown hebes before and have no idea how they will perform on this hillside. That is Dianthus 'Rose de Mai' on the left side.
I hope to get rock for the terracing soon to begin the next phase of the project.