In my new garden there is a bank of outfill soil that runs around one corner of the house. The mound is about six feet tall and seven feet wide, and covered with weeds and grasses. Should I simply dig the soil out and level the surface off to lawn, or should I use it as the base of a decorative feature, such as an ornamental flight of steps?
Gardening on a slope can always present challenges. It can be exposed, dry and prone to wind and soil erosion. There is also the matter of accessibility for planting and maintenance. Bear in mind the expense and work to level your slope versus the practical issues of maintaining it as a bank. If you decide to keep it, then opt for tough, low-maintenance, ground-cover plants that spread quickly, will stabilise the ground and help to prevent weeds. Select plants that are suited to your soil and aspect and of a similar vigour, and plant in swathes. Evergreens will give year-round coverage. Try Vinca minor ‘Gertrude Jekyll' (pictured), £8.99 for a 1.5-litre pot from Crocus; Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Mount Olympus White'; Hypericum calycinum; or Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. Another option could be to turn the mound into a rockery.