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By Racheal

London, United Kingdom Gb

Gravel, slate or bark which is best? To use as cover around the base of newly planted rose bushes. They are planted in a small yard at the side of the house in full sun. I want to help prevent soil drying out too quickly.



This is just from my own personal experience but I had gravel and pebbles in my borders for 2 years, it drove me mad in the end so this year I took them all out, it looks lovely in the summer but in the Autumn and Winter when the leaves fall it was a nightmare for me to get them out, it took so much time, I tried blowers, raking etc etc, in the end I was taking them off and hosing and cleaning them, then putting them back. This year I decided enough was enough as even in the summer, I would be in the garden with my hoover trying to suck up the fallen petal leaves etc, I changed it all the bark, so much easier to maintain for me as when I have to have a clear up I will just scoop the bark up with the fallen leaves etc. Others may have a good way of maintaining them but they are definitely not for me.... Good luck

10 Jun, 2012


I would use either home made compost , or very well rotted manure as a mulch, it will improve the soil structure, and fertility, as well as keeping the weeds down, gravel, slate or bark do neither of these, although the bark may do, if left long enough, Derek.

10 Jun, 2012


Or you could use low growing perennials that are evergreen. I use hardy geraniums a lot for undergrowing shrubs and roses. The macrorrhizum group are evergreen , low growing and have a choice of flower colour.

10 Jun, 2012


Thanks for the advice. I am going to dump the gravel idea. I will use my homemade compost as suggested and I will certainly consider low growing evergreens. I have to say that one never came into my head. cheers everyone

10 Jun, 2012


Having problems saying thanks. Hope this works this time. thank you for the advice. will take it all into account. I will certainly reconsider the gravel part. Low evergreens sound great. Certainly homemade compost is ready to go on. cheers everyone

10 Jun, 2012


If you don't have debris falling on your garden you are ok. If you are near trees it's a problem if you use, stone gravel or slate, it will get messy at different times of the year if near trees that drop more than leaves. You could use a membrane. A membrane with bark chips on top might be an idea, if your planting is finished in that border. Or just keep the hoe going. I have a problem with a circle at the bottom of the garden, under a Hazel tree, that that has been taken over by Allium Cowanii. I have cleared the surface but tiny bulbs lurk. I will cover with a membrane for now, while I mull over the problem you have aired, Rachel and Marion.

11 Jun, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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