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RE: Progress on the garden wall/pea gravel

Oh man-  now you've gone and done it.  My husband will just freak if he
seems me actually planting stuff in the gravel!!  I'm still trying to
convince him to get rid of it though.  It has a double layer of landscape
cloth underneath it all, so that might be a damper on the plant's root
growth.  Also, the darned gravel gets sooo hot!  It burns your feet to walk
on it (barefoot) in the summer.  I'm sure it's cooler underneath, but the
top is really ouchy!


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 9:00 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Progress on the garden wall/pea gravel

Actually, Theresa, you could have quite a garden in that pea gravel.
 All kinds of plants that absolutely demand sharp drainage ought to
flourish there.   For some, the gravel is enough; for some you may
need to add sand or some organic material; depends on the plant and
its needs, but there are so many marvelous plants on this planet that
want gravel and really sharp drainage.  What would be suitable for
your climate exactly, I'm not really sure since mine is so different,
but they're out there.  Lordy!  the way things flourish in my gravel
drive, you'd think ALL plants prefer gravel.

This could be your start with "alpine" gardening:-)  Well, not really
"alpine", but rock type gardening.

There's a list longer than my arm of plants who would grow in your
gravel, especially if you can irrigate during their growing
season...lots of plants (particularly those from East Africa) want
dry dormancy but need water during growth.  Sharp drainage doesn't
mean bone dry, actually:-)

Euphorbia ought to love it
Salvia o. (purple leaf and other variegated forms) should do fine
Assorted allium and other bulbs who demand dry summers
Sedum (many)
Sempervivum (once saw a fantastic collection of these growing on top
of a stone wall at Barry Yinger's Asiatica Nursery)
Poppies ought to thrive
South African plants like Delosperma and Diascia

Following are some easy rock garden type plants which I don't grow
because I have not enough sun or they aren't hardy for me:

Lewisia cotyledon
Alyssum saxatile
Aubrieta deltoidea
Ballota pseudodictamnus
Penstemon cardellii
Helianthemum nummularium

Your climate is quite different from mine; don't know how much
different it is from Colorado, but Panayoti Kelaidis, curator of the
Denver Bot. Garden posted the following as growing well there with no
additional irrigation:

These on Montmorillinite clay soil, whatever that is:
bulbs of all description

On pure sand, the following thrive with no additional irrigation:
Ipomoea leptophylla
various Mentzelia spp.,
Mirabilis multiflora,
Amsonia jonesii

Check out the NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) web site;
lots of info. that might lead you to a fantastic garden on your pea


Hit the link to rock gardening, construction and plant suggestions in
the left nav bar.

Seriously, that gravel could turn out to be the best part of your

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Spring Peepers
Complete Index of Articles by Category and Date
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> From: Theresa <tchessie@comcast.net>
> OK- if anyone wants pea gravel, they can have all they want free
for the
> taking from my back 'patio'.  The former home owners thought it
would be a
> great idea to dump about 12 inches of the stuff in an area about
12x24 and
> put one of those inflable pools there.  So, now we have a
> ungardenable area, the pea gravel is forever getting ontop of the
> stones and then you kill you bare feet stepping on it. They also
had pea
> gravel ontop of the raised brick bed bordering the east and sound
walls of
> the house. I assume because nothing- not ever weeds would grow
there. I did
> dig all of that pea gravel out within the first 6 months in the
house, along
> with digging out the worst excuse for dirt (mostly hardpan) down
about 18
> inches, and refilled the beds with real soil.  It has been part of
> veggie garden and a perenial bed with a lemon tree in the middle
since then.
> Amazing what real soil will do for helping things grow!
> Someday i want Ground Force to come to my house, dig out all 8
> pounds of pea gravel from the back 'patio' and put in a garden
> (including a water feature of course!- I just love Charlie, she
cracks me
> up.)

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