Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A Rock Garden

This is a bit of an experiment!

I'd planned to create a rockery type arrangement in this bed - the crab apple tree is at the other end, you can just see part of the stake on the left of the photo. In my mind I was seeing it as the sort of rockery with lots of alpine planting but yesterday I was browsing in the garden centre (can't stay away!) and saw these rocks. One quick change of mind later, and I bought a couple together with some grasses to see if I'm happy with how it will look. It's now going to be a selection of grasses with some of these larger rocks arranged in the space. So far I like how it looks but will need to buy some more rocks to get a better idea of the finished result.

A question for all the experienced gardeners out there. Will it be okay to use a covering of bark for weed control or will I (in some way I haven't thought of) be creating problems for myself? Also, do you have any suggestions for grasses that are non-invasive and reasonably low growing (say about 2 feet max). I'd like to add a variety of textures to add interest but which doesn't detract from the tree.


  1. The secret to keeping grasses non-invasive is to keep them in their pots. Bury the pots in the ground and the roots will not be able to sneak across your flower beds when your back is turned. You can then lift the pot split the plant, when it is pot bound, and keep control. The bark idea is a good one and should look lovely arounf the rocks. I haven't heard of cats using it as a free loo like they do with pea gravel.

  2. Separate email with photos to follow, but as I'm clearing my new garden, we have a LOT, and I mean A LOT of largish stones which you are more than welcome to have if you like - instead of bark or gravel for ground cover.

  3. If you want to go for a rockery look I would suggest a fine gravel mulch rather than bark as it will look and act better. Also you can still plant into the gravel with things like low growing alpines which would be lovely with the rocks. Add some grit to the soil if growing alpines and don't plant deeply because they don't like to be soggy, neither do grasses, they will sulk in the wet!