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Self-Seeders for Gravel Area

I am looking for ideas for self-seeding low-growing plants that like growing in gravel. We have just build some raised beds for growing vegetables which has meant upsetting already very weedy and now extremely soily gravel around the beds. Rather than spending all my time fighting the weeds (I won’t use chemicals) I’m thinking to let something pretty take over the area a bit. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can plant?
thank you


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,317
    A property just around the corner has a gravel driveway that is covered in blue Anemone Blanda for a few weeks in spring. It's stunning to see so many flowers
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,118
    Have a look at Beth Chatto's dry garden (lots of pics online, especially on Instagram).  Anemone pavonina springs to mind.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • brackenbracken Posts: 91
    Nepeta, Californian Poppies and Sage all love growing in gravel.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Weed and mulch your raised beds and you shouldn't have much of a problem with weeds. Try marjoram, camomile, erigeron in gravel.

    Not so low growing: poppies, feverfew, bushy salvia, verbena bon. Lollipop, ox eye daisies, sedum, forgetmenots
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,238
    Dianthus carthusianorum. Unfortunately you will still have to weed the area, because the weeds will try and take over; in fact having plants you want to keep will make life slightly more complicated. Worth it though.
  • Made a video showing most of the self seeded driveway flowers growing where I live that is posted here. Since then I have also brought in some fleabane(Erigeron) that has self seeded in the gravel as well and could be a nice option. There has even been some antirrhinum that have grown in the gravel after self seeding from containers but the most successful would be the red valerian (Centranthus ruber). For low growing maybe saxifraga might be better.
  • WibbleWibble Posts: 89
    Viola self seeds in my gravel drive
  • Thank you all for the ideas and advice. I'm keen to try Erigeron and go from there
  • Thank you all for the ideas and advice. I'm keen to try Erigeron and go from there
    One of the best ways I found to aim establishment was to buy a pot of it and then let it set seed in the area I wanted the plants. I wanted to create the same effect as the Lutyens circular steps at Great Dixter, but without the steps. My plants have seeded straigh into a gravel driveway with scalpings underneath and no soil. they favour the area where the paving meet the gravel as, I presume, there is better moisture retention in that area.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,030
    Californian poppies if it's in full sun.
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