Ideas required

We bought our first house a little over a year ago. We inherited a garden that obviously had been looked after for many years, however the previous owner let it grow wild. We spent the majority of last summer deweeding and removing unwanted ever greens.
 
The garden is starting to look good but we seemed to have hit a brick wall with what to do with this rockery area. It’s a fairly decent size so deweeding and buying new plants seems like a time/money pit.

Any of you green fingered friends got ideas on what to do with this space to make it low maintenance yet aesthetically pleasing? 

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  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,329
    If it were mine, I would first re-arrange those stones to make a path or paths through the bed, so that you can get to the plants to tend them without trampling the soil.

    As for what you could grow in there, that will depend on a number of factors, such as:

    How deep is the soil?  What compass direction does it face?  That will determine how much sun it gets.  Is it shaded by the house, fence, large trees?  What type of soil is it: clay, which holds water; sandy, which doesn't, or a happy medium?  Acid or alkaline?
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 203
    some keen eyed gardeners will have plenty of flower ideas for you I'm sure, if that is what you are after then I can't help. It is right in the sun though so will need plenty of watering in summer if you go for flowers which is not low maintenance imo.

    I generally don't do flowers so I would recommend some fruit which is far less maintenance. The only maintenance needed is yearly pruning.

    A colt grafted cherry tree like lupins or sunburst which would grow about 3 meters tall would be great in that spot but it would take up a lot of sun and maybe not what you want.

    So if you want something that doesn't block all your sun I would recommend either Currant bushes, gooseberries or blueberries.

    Each has their advantage and disadvantages. Currants need a bit of pruning whereas gooseberries and blueberries don't as much.

    Gooseberries don't yield as much as blueberries but blueberries need acidic soil before you plant them which makes them hard to start with and then very easy for years to come.

    I have mentioned types of fruit that will thrive in that location without any maintenance except a bit of yearly pruning. If you want advice on which varieties would be good, let me know. You can get tall, small, spreading, vigourous, really tasty, more suited for cooking and so on.

    I think you could get 9 bushes into that location but what is that big concrete lump in the middle?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 4,756
    It also depends if you want to keep it as a rockery, or convert it into a straightforward flower bed. If it's sunny and well drained you could consider lavenders. 
  • Plot75Plot75 SurreyPosts: 54
    I would create a herb and medicine garden.
    Mix 2tbsp of white,granulated sugar with 1tbsp of water and place on a spoon for a Bee to reach. Sometimes they're too exhausted to reach back to the hives when it's hot and dry. 
  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,864
    I would go for ornamental grasses, with some quite big ones like Miscanthus.
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 203
    oh i misread the original post, this being a gardening forum I thought you wanted to plant something.
    I think anything you do will involve work, I know I'd rather plant a few bushes than concrete the area and set up a garden bench or something. Up to you
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 7,306
    I think I'd opt for a Herb garden if the aspect is right - full sun ( tho not always necessary depending upon the herb ) and well drained.
    A small wildlife pond if the depth is there ?  Never quite sure exactly what people mean when they say low maintenance - can be a bit subjective - only the OP could decide that particular issue.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,431
    I'd remove as many of the rocks as possible and take out all the plants. Then plant one small tree ( or perhaps a big statement grass like Stipa Gigantica) that you really like in the middle, tread the soil down and cover it with slate chippings.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,937
    Or turn it into a rose garden - bit old fashioned but def low maintenance. Thick bark mulch over the top to keep down weeds. Sorted. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Phil366Phil366 Posts: 3
    I should probably explain that I live in Norway and the rocks are natural and cant be removed. The area is south facing so it see's a lot of sun (when we have it). What ever I plant has to withstand pretty harsh winters. I like the idea of some bushes/medicine garden. A little colour would be nice. 
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