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Gravel garden

B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

First of all, I don't want to fight nature - if it won't work -it won't work.

My nextdoor neighbour had an untended gravel front garden.  The only place that I would see seeds that I'd sown/ scattered was in her garden. They obviously preferred what she offeredimage

I am clearing a patch in my garden of the usual suspects for clay - ivy, snowberry,  suckers from deceased roses and that evil honeysuckle with oak- type leaves , bluebells and brambles.

The patch is surrounded by dappled shade and gets  full sun in the summer.

I don't want to use a membrane - I don't mind weeding it. 

Is it possible to have a gravel garden in this situation and,what could I plant? 

It will get quite dry as it's a long way to drag the hose.

In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,575

    I have a gravel 'beach' area in a similar aspect. I have a membrane but the weeds still come! I have some grasses, Alchemilla Mollis, Aquilegia, hardy geraniums, forget-me-nots and some 'wild flowers'. I never water it. I weed some stuff out (so much alchemilla!) but leave some of it as nature wishes. 

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

    Aunty R, most of those plants are knocking about my garden anyway, so that gives me hope.

    Do you think I could plant Mediterranean type  plants in the middle for a bit of height and alpines round the edge   and put a few tasteful rocks about the place - would that work?

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,083

    You need to go to the library and get a book by Beth Chatto called The Dry Garden.  It describes how she transformed a former car park for garden visitors into a dry, gravel garden.   Lots of serious weeding and soil prep beforehand then plants that suit the conditions, one watering and then thrive or die.

    The results are fabulous.  OH and I visited last May, after Chelsea, because we are hoping tohave a dry gravel garden feature here.   Some pics -

    http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/160527%20Beth%20Chatto%20-%20Essex?sort=2&page=1  

    Last edited: 26 May 2017 22:31:00

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    Beth Chattos garden is magnificent! Go for it! And then show us the pics. I'm going to do one this year as well but I am aiming more for the zen/Japanese theme. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

    I saw  that on television Obelixx. That's probably what inspired me without realising .

    I don't remember anything specific apart from a bench with lavender. . I'll definitely have a look. It might give me inspiration as I haul out ivy and other runners. I'm at the "let the dog see the rabbit" stage at the moment and haven't got down to digging out much of the shrubbery stuff yet.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

    Hogweed , you can be my gravel garden buddy.  image are we at the same stage or have you already cleared the ground?

    Will post pics of my 'progress' tomorrow.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

    I had a look at the pics obelixx. Mine will be a more bijou version I think! I will tackle the ivy th renewed vigour - or  guilt the undergardener into doing itimage

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    I have the ground more or less cleared but I have still to build my centre piece which is a slate sculpture!!  Will do that sometime in the next month but I do have a list of plants I am going to use. Mine will be very minimalist as a direct opposite to the rest of my cottage garden. Thinking at the moment only a droopy acer in lime green to contrast nicely with the slate and some of that black grass Oph? to tone in. Thats as far as a  planting plan I have so far. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,397

    I'm thinking along the same lines but not so minimalist. I've just looked at the plants for sale on the Beth Chatto site - who needs water anyway !! 

    I also want something different from the cottagy bit of my garden, but I'm not ruthless enough to do minimalist.

    Are you making the sculpture yourself?  What'll it be?

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,083

    I think what struck me most about Beth Chatto's garden, in the dry garden, canal garden and woodland, was the amazing use of green in all its shades, forms and textures with colour and added texture and form from flowers as highlights.    

    I think that could be done in a smaller space and with a limited palette to keep it cohesive.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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