Q. What shall I plant for erosion control and to create a naturalized garden that eases gently into the wood? Native plants only.
It would help to know if your slope is in sun or shade. Assuming it is in front of the woods, perhaps sun in which case the following natives should work:
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly), Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry), Cornus sericea (red stemmed dogwood), Itea virginica,(Virginia sweetspire), Aesculus parviflora (bottlebrush buckeye), these are all shrubs, some of them stoloniferous which means they spread by underground stolons which help prevent erosion. There are trees and perennials as well but too many to mention. I suggest that you get a copy of Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants which is a Brooklyn Botanic Garden all-Region Guide by C.Colston Burell . We have a print copy here in PHS’s McLean Library. PHS members are welcome to borrow from our library. There is a brief synopsis of this work online. (link below). Additionally, Fairmount Park has online lists of native plants. (2 links below, one for woody natives and one for herbaceous plants).