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Gravel it all over - then what?

Hi, I have a triangular border either side of my front door.  South-west facing and hard to grow anything as it's so hot and gets great cracks in it.  Thinking of taking what's there out and then doing a gravel garden.  Basically, membrane then gravel - but what to plant? I will leave the rose and pyracantha. Moving peonies only after flowering. There's a fig tree stump under the bucket which I'm digging out. 
'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' 
Audrey Hepburn
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  • traceymtraceym Posts: 13
    Happy for any other ideas too, still at the thinking stage...
    'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' 
    Audrey Hepburn
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    I would gravel it over as you said then get some nice big coloured glazed pots that you can just put a bucket of water over each night through the summer,  my daughter’s done the same and put bright red pelargoniums in dark blue glazed pots, looks nice in her seaside garden.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,876
    Looks lovely @Topbird

    I know Monty has a dry garden - I found a pic here-
    maybe some inspiration in there for you
    https://twitter.com/themontydon/status/1265933704888803328
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,592
    Thanks Pete🙂
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • traceymtraceym Posts: 13
    Looks great! @Topbird Thanks @Lyn and @Pete.8
    'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' 
    Audrey Hepburn
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,933
    edited April 2021
    What a great microclimate for something unusual.  All that is coming to mind are trees.. like an olive or an avocado.. but surely there is something else smaller that might suit?  I have a bed in the exact same situation that I am reworking this summer as well, identical in size and everything.  The attached garage sticks out farther than the front of the house and the sidewalk between the front door and the edge of the garage/driveway forms a south west facing triangle.  I'm in Utah, so far hotter and far drier than you.  Spring bulbs love the space, and bloom weeks before the same variety (from the same bag) planted elsewhere in the yard.  Roses love it too, and Russian Sage.  If you want low effort, Russian Sage is great.  No pests, no watering, no feeding, etc.  You need to prune it down every spring to a few inches tall, and it will take care of itself.  It does spread though.   Dig everything up, plan where you want to plant them and improve the soil in that area.. maybe three plants in your space in a triangle.  Cover everything in the thickest weed membrane cloth you can find (not that plastic sheet stuff, but a fabric).  Cut your holes and plant in the Russian sage, cover the rest in slate chips or your rock of choice, and water it when dry for the first year.  Lovely plants and the bees are crazy for them.. mine are full of honeybees from morning to night.. and they bloom for ages.  
    Utah, USA.
  • Don't dismiss dwarf conifers or Hebes. Add a thick layer of compost or manure for moisture retention before the membrane and gravel or maybe a bark mulch instead of gravel? All fairly maintenance free.
  • traceymtraceym Posts: 13
    edited April 2021
    I will look up Russian Sage - thanks @Blue Onion 
    Thank you @Chris-P-Bacon - I already have a builder's bag size of pea gravel to use up but I can easily get mulch.  I finally got the fig dug out today! It's underneath the bucket in the main pic https://myextraordinarygarden.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/project-3-day-4-figgy-digging/
    'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' 
    Audrey Hepburn
  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 2,596
    edited April 2021
    Wouldn't the fig tree thrive in that environment?  Very Mediterranean.  Would create some shade, too.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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