What to plant on a de-mulched bank side?

When we moved into our home the seller had covered the big rock outcropping behind us with truckloads of wood chips, much of it piles of sticks. Over time they'd become infected with artillery fungus and stinkhorns, so we just had a landscaper come in and remove it all.
Now we have a very large bank area interrupted by large rocks and covered with a very thin layer of red soil, mostly one or two inches deep. The whole bank area fades into established woods, mostly oaks. Left alone, I figure it will develop some weeds and grass and saplings and eventually turn into brush, which would be fine.
But since it is all bare now, so there is an opportunity I was wondering if there is anything I can sow or plant that will give me some ground cover and look good with the woods above it. It is much too steep to mow and much too big to weedwhack. So it needs to have a very natural look.
The light conditions are maybe 3-4 hours of light during most of the summer, better in the spring. Zone 5a with a western exposure on a hill.
--Jenny
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My son has had great luck growing a small crop of this.
http://www.calguard.ca.gov/cdtf/CD%20Photos%20New/Wolf/Marijuana-1.jpg
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I like this: http://www.google.com/search?q=rock+cress http://images.google.com/images?q=rock+cress
Not sure if the sunlight will be enough... I have mine in morning-early afternoon sun. It's in full bloom now and very pretty. Looks like it comes in several colors, I have purple. http://www.humeseeds.com/efaubrt.htm
I'm also a fairly big sedum fan. I have several varieties around the house.
--
May no harm befall you,
flip (Pittsburgh PA - zone 5/6)
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Philip Lewis wrote:

That is an attractive plant and looks like it might work. There's a lot of light in the spring, not so much once the trees leaf out. I just ordered a couple packs of seeds.
I already have three nice big soapworts growing on my rocks which look similar and which don't seem to need much of anything to survive. I might get a couple more of them, too.
The landscaper suggested day lilies and I coincidentally saw a bag of 10 cheap ones at Walmart. I have quite a few expensive ones in my garden and the front of the house (I especially love the peach colored ones) as I'm lucky enough to live down the road from a place that has a zillion varieties you can dig in their field.
These cheap ones will probably be the ugly oranges ones but they are behind my garage where you can't really see them so it isn't all that important.

I think my bank might be too wet for them. This ledge is at the edge of a wood that slopes up from us and in normal years it's quite damp all spring.
--
--Jenny

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Too bad. They are both harmless and eventually you would have had a better soil there.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis M. wrote:

Artillery fungus isn't "harmless". It was spattering our home which is a light color as far as the second story and it got so we couldn't park on the driveway because our cars were getting spattered. Once the fungus sets (two or three days) nothing, and I mean NOTHING will remove it. I tried just about everything you can think of and ended up having to go out every other day to scrape it off the siding. I couldn't use any cut flowers from my garden either as they were covered with spores.
It can take as long as a decade for the artillery fungus to go away. As the mulch was more than a foot deep in some areas and after three years was still full of large sticks, this wasn't going to be breaking down into nice soil anytime soon.
We don't plan to live in this house more than another couple years and foresaw serious problems selling it if we didn't get the mulch removed.
--Jenny
http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes Diabetes Info
http://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/newlydiagnosed.htm Get Your Blood Sugar Under Control
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When you said the big rock out cropping behind you I assumed (my bad) it was some distance from your house.
--


Travis in Shoreline Washington


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Travis M. wrote:

Alas, no. Our home was built by a guy who runs a blasting business and buys marginal land, blasts out a foundation site, and then puts in a modular home. Since he gets the blasting for cost, he can afford to develop lots no one else could touch. The house is 15-20 feet from the rock which kind of wraps around it in the back and on one side.
Fortunately, we are up on a hill with a beautiful view from our other windows and the site is private and rural but a very easy drive to shopping which is a really nice change from our old home which was in the country with no view and a good 20 minutes away from the closest grocery store.
--Jenny
http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes Diabetes Info
http://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/newlydiagnosed.htm Get Your Blood Sugar Under Control
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Flox
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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Maybe Crown Vetch.

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James wrote:

It's listed as an invasive plant, which might not make it such a good choice. I've seen it in abandoned fields in our region but not on slopes.
--Jenny
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