How to Make a Gravel Garden

If you live in a hot dry climate or in a coastal area where ordinary gardening is difficult, you might be interested in finding out how to make a gravel garden, which you can establish anywhere. Gravel gardens need less moisture than ordinary gardens and gravel will help control weeds. Each plant stands out in a gravel garden, making it a showcase feature in your yard.

Steps

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    Select the plants you want to include in your gravel garden as you'll plant these before you completely form the garden itself.
    • Try succulent plants like those which grow naturally on rocky hillsides because they prefer to grow where there is optimum drainage. These plants tend to rot in ordinary rich soil. Sedum is an easy plant you can use to start a gravel garden.
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    • Plant grasses. Grasses grow naturally in semi-arid places and are wind-tolerant. There are many showy specimens from which to choose when you create a gravel garden.
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    • Consider cacti for hot arid climates. Plants native to alpine areas are a natural for your cool climate gravel garden.
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    • Experiment with plants grown in Mediterranean climates. Daisies and herbs often grow successfully in a gravel garden.
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    • If trying to make a gravel garden atop regular soil, lay out the shape of the garden with a garden hose and then clear the area of weeds.
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    Lay out your plants leaving a good amount of space between each plant. After planting, water well. Before adding gravel, add a layer of weed cloth or newspaper to further suppress weeds. Pieces of flattened cardboard box can be used as well. You might try a combination of materials.
    • Cut an "X" in the cloth or paper to allow each plant to come through.
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    • Cover cloth or newspapers with pea gravel, scree, or river rock. Slate scree is very fine and adds color. River rock comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Avoid use of white rock or gravel as it can become dirty.
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    Inspect for weeds periodically. Realize that your gravel garden will require maintenance from time to time. Control unwanted plants by using a gentle weed killer or remove them by hand.
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    Add features such as boulders, tree branches, fountains, bird feeders, or statuary to enhance your gravel garden. Fit the features to compliment your garden's theme. For example, use driftwood in a seaside gravel garden or add Mexican pottery to a garden with a Southwestern look.
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    Eliminate the time-consuming task of mowing and cut back on weeding by establishing gravel beds in much of your yard. Be sure to break up the gravel gardens by incorporating pathways of other materials including bark, moss, grass, or other types of rock.
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    Coordinate the color of your gravel beds with the color scheme of your house for a polished look.
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    Choose a sunny area for your gravel garden and make sure you establish good drainage.

Tips

  • Take time to establish your gravel garden correctly so you will spend less time weeding and more time enjoying your garden.

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens