Plants for Scottish Slopes

If you have a scree slope in your garden, selecting suitable plants is the key to success. Planting a steep, rocky slope with natives found in the Scottish Highlands helps prevent erosion of the top-soil. 

Katrina Flad runs her sustainable garden design and landscaping business frock n wellies from her home in Aberdeenshire. She recommends her top 10 plants for sloping, rocky soil in Scotland. 

Bog Myrtle Myrica Gale

This is a small unassuming shrub with scented foliage. Yellow flowers and brown catkins are followed by berries. I love it close to a seating area where you can enjoy the scent.

Heather Erica Subspecies

A well known plant both in the Scottish Highlands and in our gardens. It is perfect for covering steep slopes and, if selected well, heathers can give a succession of flowers almost all year round. Great for nectar in the early and late season.

Wooly Willow Salix Lanata

The furry silver-blue leaves of this small shrub are striking and, when combined with more dark greens, really stand out.

Harebell Campanula Rotundifolia

Everyone recognises these blue bell flowers, but most of do not know that the flowers and leaves are a great addition to a salad bowl. Best planted in large numbers, they will self-seed freely when in the right spot.

Broom Cytisus

Cultivated varieties of broom flower in a large variety of colours. Being a medium sized, partly evergreen shrub, it is an all rounder for a sloping garden.

Scots Oregano Origanum Vulgare

Most of the year, this herb is great in the kitchen. When it flowers, it attracts lots of insects to the garden too.

Globeflower Trollius Europeaus

Related to buttercups but a lot more beautiful, this globe shaped yellow flower brings lots of colour to a sloping garden.

Foxgloves Digitalis

These prolific self seeders bring bursts of colour and height to a border in summer. Leave the hollow seedheads as shelter for a range of small insects.

Purple Saxifrage Saxifraga Oppositifolia

Low to the ground, this plant is often used in alpine type planting or as groundcover on sunny sites, giving weeds little chance. When in flower, it looks like a colourful carpet stretching in between tall plants such as the foxgloves and harebell.

Alpine Strawberry Fragaria Vesca

What is not to love about these? A lot smaller than regular strawberries, these are much more flavoursome and their runners spread and end up in small nooks and crannies of your garden. A tasty way to soften hard landscaping elements such as boulders, dykes, and paving.

Katrina Flad runs her sustainable garden design and landscaping business frock n wellies from her home in Aberdeenshire. Passionate about the planet and all things that live on it, she wanted to make a real difference to her environment ever since she can remember. 

In this regular column, Katrina will bring you design solutions for your garden which are sustainable, practical, and beautiful. Follow Katrina at frock n wellies on Instagram and Facebook


  1. Hi the picture you have of “Fragaria vesca” I believe is actually “Potentilla indica”. Its actually part of the rose family and is a weed in the UK.

    I bought a batch of “wild strawberry” seeds a while ago and the fruits has little to no taste. I researched them and the yellow flowers were a giveaway. No Fragaria species have yellow flowers. Fragaria vesca has white flowers.

  2. Apologies, just noticed the white flowers in the photo haha 😄 i had a filter on my phone. Can I remove my previous comment?

    Interesting bit if trivia though for anyone.

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