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Impress From a Distance

Well-designed drifts of no-fuss perennials are the key to making an impact

Fine Gardening - Issue 147
The prospect of landscaping a 2-acre hillside with a 20-foot drop was daunting, at first. Although I’d gardened slopes before, none were of this magnitude. There were erosion and maintenance issues to consider, of course, but slopes this steep and wide also pose some tough design challenges. The face of my hillside is mainly viewed from a distance and allows views from multiple angles. So I needed a design that would read as well up close as it would from afar. Planting in drifts was the perfect solution.
Think of drifts as accent plantings. Drifts look best when weaving around focal points, like foxtail lily (Eremurus robustus, Zones 5–8, above), and hardscaping. Without that contrast in height and texture, the drifts would have less impact.

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