Hi I visited Beth Chatto's garden in Essex yesterday and was very impressed. I came away thinking about creating a small gravel garden. I have some thoughts but wondered has anyone else got one and can share any tips.
im a noob, have no experience in it, hope to see other's opinion
yes I have a gravel garden, but it's very small but I read one of Mrs Chatto's books once and got some ideas from that. She modelled her garden to appear like a dried up river bed with the gravel paths running through it, if I recall and I like that look very much.
My gravel bed was first of all cultivated and enriched with top soil then covered with a thick weed suppressant membrane [one which allows water to drain through] and then a thick layer [a good 2 inches] of large-ish gravel stones laid on top. My small borders [ quite narrow] are edged out around it and I like to plant within the gravel area where I remove some of the gravel and cut away some membrane to plant something then replace the gravel. That way I have a more informal look. It's a work in progress and is fairly new. It's very small and manageable for an older person.
My designated area is quite small so I will not be running into mock riverbeds, just not sure at this stage whether to use a membrane or not. I am on very heavy clay so am going to wait until late summer then dig sand and gravel into the clay, then cover with a really good covering of gravel. I want to try and reduce the fertility of the soil a bit I think, but still open to ideas from others. I have had a good luck around and Beth Chatto seems to be the gravel bed queen.
Hi burhinus. I live in the South of France so my garden is naturally dry and I am always amazed at the range of plants that will grow with minimal water. Like salino, most of the garden is gravelled and I just plant through it. We have weed membrane in some areas and it helps to stop larger stones from coming to the surface.
Thanks for your input.