The top layer of soil is the productive and fertile layer. It is in danger of erosion through wind and water. High winds will pick up dry, loose soil and blow it away. Water runs down slopes washing away exposed topsoil. This creates a loss of soil and nutrients, which affects the growth of your garden plants. It also creates non-fertile areas in landscaped areas.
Prostrate acacia (Acacia redolens) is a fast growing evergreen that reaches about 1 foot in height. This low growing plant is used to control erosion on slopes as well as on level areas. Yellow, puff-ball-like flowers appear over dull, gray-green leaves. Prostrate acacia is a low-maintenance, sprawling shrub used to stabilize roadsides. It is not a plant that grows well in small areas, because of its rapid growth.
Australian saltbush (Atriplex semibaccata) is a dense, low-growing shrub that reaches 1 to 2 feet tall. Its grey-green leaves are fire resistant and the Australian saltbush reseeds itself in order to spread. This bush thrives in salty soil and does well along roadsides.
Woolly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa) produces low-growing mats of hairy, gray foliage. During the summer, small cluster of yellow flowers grow on the stems of this evergreen plant. This pungent herb grows rapidly to the height of 6 to 12 inches in soils of low fertility. Woolly yarrow is drought tolerant.
Pussytoes (Antennaria dioica) creates perennial gray-green dense mats 1 to 2 inches tall. This low creeping plant blooms from late spring until early summer with white to pink blossoms. Pussytoes tolerate poor soils and thrives on rocky slopes.
Moss pink (Phlox subulata) grows 6 inches tall with moss-like foliage. This evergreen produces trumpet-shaped red, white or lavender blooms in the spring. Moss pink is considered a moderate growing plant and reaches 2 feet in width. Moss pink is a dense, creeping carpet with moderate drought tolerance.
Creeping potentilla (Potentilla neumanniana) is an aggressively spreading low mat. This evergreen grows strawberry-like leaves that are 2 to 4 inches tall. Yellow small, single flowers are rose-like in shape. These flowers appear in late spring and early summer. Creeping potentilla will tolerate a light amount of foot traffic.