Connect two levels with a curving stairway that minimizes the severity of the slope. Drought-resistant ground covers and succulents prevent erosion on steep grades and make the journey more interesting

Near Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, during the recent D.C.-area Garden Bloggers Fling, we toured the garden of Peg Bier, who’s been designing and experimenting with plants here for 40 years. Peg’s charming yellow house comes into view at the end of a well-screened driveway. Plenty of sun gives her the right conditions for a flowery cottage garden on a small slope leading down to the lawn. I love her “chemical-free lawn” spangled with clover blossoms. At the back corner of the house, this surprisin…

Also know as Australian Tea Tree (leptospermum laevigatum), most of the 86 different Leptospermum species make desirable garden plants and are available with white, pink or red flower shades. Cultivars range in size from 3-26 feet, so read labels carefully to avoid extra pruning. Leaves are evergreen and small. Hardiest are L. scoparium, L. lanigerum, L. liversidgei, L. polygalifolium, and L. rupestre, all of which can tolerate temperatures to -18°F; others are sensitive to frost. They tolerate

~Drought Tolerant Slope Garden~ PLANT LIST A. 3 White stonecrop (Sedum album ‘Chubby Fingers’): Zones 4–8 B. 5 Golden carpet sedum (Sedum acre): Zones 3–8 C. 1 Barrenwort (Epimedium rubrum): Zones 4–9 D. 6 Sea thrift (Armeria maritima): Zones 3–9 E. 4 Creeping thyme (Thymus coccineus): Zones 4–9 F. 1 New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax): Zones 8–10 G. 4 Hybrid sedum (Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’): Zones 3–7 H. 1 Sea lavender (Limonium latlatifolium): Zones 5–9