the garden has no direct sunshine
i love gravel gardens as there are many ways to make them attractive. you can choose the 'neat' and tidy look or the more unconventianal way. depending on how much money and space you have you can introduce alpines such as sempervirens,(many different colours) aubrieta for colour, lewisias, echeverias which is a wonderful succulent, as a centre piece for focal point, agave Americana which can be varigeted, dot a few oxalis and low growing sedums (ask at the garden centre) and finish off with cotula which is blue/green with pompons like flowers. make sure the sempervirens and lewisias don't get planted too deep as they could rot. plenty of gravel around the plants.Dont over water after planting, don't feed as long as you have well prepared the ground at the time of planting. For the soil use half John Ennis 2 and half horticulture sand. Job done !
10 Apr, 2009
Hold on, Isi - Janlou says there's no direct sun there - don't a lot of those wonderful plants you've listed need sun?
Janlou - is this area in shade all day - dappled or full shade? I have a gravel garden in shade about half the day and Geranium sanguineum (three colours) thrive there. Honesty, that is Lunaria annua, seeds itself in it as well, as does Nigella.
If the garden is in shade for more than a few hours each day then very little of what Isi has suggested with grow, certainly not aubretia, lewisias, oxalis (the flowers only open when in direct sunlight). In fact very little will grow if you get absolutely no sun in the garden... so Janlou do you get any direct sunliht at all?
11 Apr, 2009
Hardy cyclamen would thrive and self seed in these sort of conditions. So will aquilegias (try and get some small seedlings from someone and they will adapt better than bigger plants). Other geraniums for shade are G.sylvestris (blue or white) and G.nodosum (purple or white). Fragaria (ornamental strawberries, grown for their flowers only) such as 'Pink Panda' will run around and if you can find any of the DWARF suckering mahonias (not M.aquifolium which would be too tall), these will put up with quite dry conditions as well. You could also try bergenias, alchemilla mollis (Ladies mantle), vinca minor and blechnum spicant (a small fern). I also find primroses self sow in unexpected places.
All these would appreciate being watered until they get established but will then fend for themselves quite happily
The garden is in full shade most of the day. I have planted a few grasses and a couple of Acers. However, I have a large area to plant, so I need some inspiration. I would like the theme to be structured and not unruly, so i really don't want to use plants that re seed themselves.
I would plant lots ornamental grasses. They pretty much look after themselves. I have some growing in gravel in my front garden. There is a large hedge in front of them that takes all the sun too.
12 Apr, 2009
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