Gravel garden: stones, grasses and colorful flowers


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The classic gravel garden is exposed to direct sunlight and consists of a permeable, interspersed by scree ground. The loose and warm, water-permeable surface is the best friend of the prairie bushes, but also many rock garden perennials, grasses and flowering shrubs like to grow in the gravel.

design Notes

For a characteristic planting of the gravel garden, a lot has to be considered. A classic steppe landscape is characterized by a loose, seemingly random planting. Gaps are allowed and relax the plant image. Play with different heights and structures - everything is allowed as long as it looks natural.

Feather grass gravel garden

The feather grass (Stipa tenuifolia) relaxes through its growth form each gravel garden

Varied beds with prairie bushes and grasses look particularly harmonious. Combinations of gold spurge (Euphorbia polychroma), yarrow (Achillea millefoloium 'salmon beauty'), torch lily (Kniphofia x praecox) and tufted grass (Stipa tenuissima) make the gravel garden bloom even on hot summer days and submerge it in the autumn in a warm light. Onion plants such as imperial crown (Fritillaria imperialis), ornamental leeks (Allium) and tulips provide colorful accents in spring. Assigning the dry-resistant, sun-loving flowering shrubs and ornamental grasses in small groups, so-called tuffs, they give the bed a very special charm. A grassland plantation gives a natural, harmonious atmosphere. The new square in the garden is now crying out for a bench on which you can enjoy your flower oasis in the evening in peace.

The right substrate for the gravel garden

You can either turn your entire property or just a portion of it into a gravel garden. On the surface provided for this purpose, remove the topsoil down to a depth of 25 to 30 centimeters and mix it approximately equally with coarse gravel in the 16/32 grain size (pebbles 16 to 32 millimeters in diameter). Refill this mixture 20 to 25 centimeters high and then lay on the surface of a plastic fleece (Geo fleece). Distribute the plants on the surface and cut the fleece crosswise at the places where the plants are to be used. After planting a five-centimeter thick layer of gravel or grit is placed as a cover on the fleece. The fleece fulfills several functions: First, it prevents the gravel or grit from sinking into the ground, and second, it inhibits weed growth. If possible, do not use white gravel as a cover because it reflects the sunlight very strongly in summer. A dark coating warms up faster in the spring and thus promotes plant growth.

Blauraute gravel garden

The blue noise carries a purple flower veil in July and spreads on hot summer days an aromatic scent

Paths in the gravel garden

There are no specially created paths in a classically designed gravel garden. Paths can be recognized simply by the fact that no plants grow there, but they are otherwise built exactly like the beds and are also underlaid with a fleece, so that the coating does not sink into the ground. A substructure made of gravel is not necessarily required for road surfaces - it is usually sufficient if you remove a bit of topsoil, compact the substrate slightly and then lay out the fleece. If possible, do not choose gravel as gravel, but gravel or grit, the broken stones will jam together and do not give as much under the soles as round pebbles.

Care of a gravel garden

Yarrow Sunbeam gravel garden

Yarrow, sunbeam and grasses create a warm atmosphere in the gravel garden, especially in the evening

Water the beds in the gravel garden regularly the first year so that the plants can gain a foothold. After that, only a little to no casting effort is needed anymore. The care of a pebble bed is much lower than in a conventional flowerbed. If unwanted wild herbs are to spread, it is much easier to weed in the pebble bed, as the roots of the weeds can not anchor as firmly in the gravel as in normal garden soil.
Most plants can do without additional fertilization. Fertilizer can even lead to ingress of the plant in sudden heat waves without enough moisture. It should not be forgotten that prairie bushes are by nature true survivors and adapted to the low supply of water and nutrients in their natural habitats.

The pseudo-gravel garden

In addition to the real gravel garden with coarse-grained underground, there is also the so-called pseudo-gravel garden with perennials and grasses that feel comfortable in the normal garden soil.For this gravel garden variant, you do not need a permeable gravel surface: Simply lay out the fleece on the unplanted soil and cut it in the places where the plants are to be set. The gravel or gravel is used in this case only for laminating the fleece cover and comes with the plant roots not in touch. Therefore, it has little impact on plant growth and soil conditions.

Planting suggestion: Small gravel garden with stream

Gravel garden with stream

Gravel garden with stream

In this approximately 100 square meter garden was dispensed with a lawn. Instead, a stream winds through a varied plantation of perennials, grasses and small shrubs. The seat was created as a wooden terrace build itself, over which awning spans. A red concrete wall provides privacy. On the other side, an evergreen bamboo hedge keeps the eyes out. From the terrace, a path runs through the garden. It crosses the brook and leads past a group of plants of red-leaved bladderwhips (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo'), dark red yarrow (Achillea millefolium 'Petra') and yellow-red torch lily (Kniphofia). A particular highlight is the water basin with red concrete edging. Water bubbles out of the three natural stelae. In addition to the small red sitting area, white summer lilacs (Buddleija davidii) and yellow fireflies (Phlomis russeliana) bloom.

Video Board: Rock Garden Designs.

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