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RE: Progress on the garden wall/pea gravel


Ok! Today I started breaking up the sloping sidewalk at the edge of my
frontyard.  I took out the flagstones that were mortared into place (will
reuse them), and broke up the next layer (about 2 inches thick) of cement.
However, there is a 3rd layer, with wire mesh running through it.  Well it
was starting to rain, and my back was killing me, so that will wait until
this weekend.  I've got to get a small dumpster to throw away all the
cement.  I have to toss layer number 2, so that I can get down to the bottom
layer and break it up witht he jack hammer and finish cutting the wire grid
where needed.  Thank god for my neighbor across the street, who is carting
the jackhammer back and forth from work for me.  It was actually way easier
to use than I expected- and much smaller (he brought me the smallest one).

Maybe I'll reserve a section toward the top and try a little gravel garden,
since I now know whay might grow there!

Theresa

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 2:49 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Progress on the garden wall/pea gravel


> From: Theresa <tchessie@comcast.net>
> I personally hate pea gravel- or for that matter pretty much any
gravel. I
> recall having to weed the gravel driveway whe I was a kid.  Was
entirely
> senseless, because new weeds/grass sprouted up the next day.
----------

Aw, Theresa, that just goes to show that plants like gravel:-)  I get
really tired of weeding our gravel drive; it is a continuous chore,
but I have found some treasures seeded into it that will not seed
into the beds where the parent plants are growing.

Gravel, like boggy spots, can turn into a major plus instead of being
a major pain if you put the right plants in there.

One of my favorite garden authors, Pamela Harper, covered a lawn area
with gravel and grows all sorts of very neat plants in it - it's her
gravel garden; of course in full sun, which I do not possess.

My garden guru, Beth Chatto, has part of her garden on naturally
occurring gravel many feet deep and has created an incredible garden
of drought resistant plants:

http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/gravel.html

Her book "The Dry Garden" tells all about it and the plants she grows
there...she's an excellent author as well as being a fantastic
plantswoman.

Your layers of landscape fabric would be a bit of a problem - or
could be - because many good drainage lovers are tap rooted so they
can take advantage of any moisture going.

Gravel does get hot on the top, but it is cool underneath, which is
what plants like.

If you decide to dig up the gravel where it is, don't get rid of it;
use it to amend clay soil to improve drainage and pick a little sunny
spot to try a bit of gravel gardening...bet you'll get hooked:-)

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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