Six on Saturday | Gravel Garden Part 3

Another odd sort of week with sunshine and fog and varying temperatures! I have been working on the new section of the gravel garden, planting some new plants and emptying all my spring bulb containers. That was a horrid job and nearly every container had a mass of slugs hiding at the bottom. Most very small, but one or two yucky big ones. I found that the plastic containers were the worst and the wettest despite crocks at the bottom to assist drainage. The tulip bulbs in those pots were mostly rotten too, so I have concluded that to keep tulips in containers to re-flower you need to use terracotta or glazed pots. Anything in plastic should be composted or planted into the ground pretty much when finished flowering.

So on to the project which began in 2017.

Just so that you get the idea of the changes this is how the garden looked in May 2016 with the rather large flat rock in the lawn area. The lawn area is about 10m x 5m so not big.

Lawn – early May 2016 shortly after moving in

There has been a lot of turf removal over the past five years – you can see some of the progress of the gravel garden here

Lawn and Gravel Garden – August 2018 from the Patio

(1) Getting Started

Removing more of the lawn by the flat rock (1)
Half finished – turf removed and pebbles scattered (2)
New plants planted (3)

So what newbies have arrived in the gravel garden?

(2) Geums – three new ones from East Lambrook Manor (Somerset), but only two planted here in full sun. Geum ‘Karlskaer’ has vibrant orange flowers from May – August and Geum ‘Redwings’ has rich red semi-double flowers in early summer and again later on in the year. Geum ‘Emory Quinn’ is a compact variety with golden-yellow flowers from May – September and enjoys partial shade. That has been planted in the dappled shade bed.

Red Wings

(3) Several plants from Beth Chatto nursery including two grasses – Calamagrostis brachytricha and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ and a Gaura lindheimeri  to create an open, airy feel. No photos yet as they are new plants.

(4) Two new Aeoniums from the Surreal Succulents Nursery down the road from me plus a few other odds and sods which will remain in their pots so they can hide indoors over winter – not so much from the cold as from the wet.

Aeonium Arboreum and Aeonium Sunburst with friends

(5) Erodium x variabile ‘Bishop’s Form’– this one is from the Bodmin Herb Nursery and has been flowering his socks off since May. Fingers crossed he survives the winter. Currently next to a rather pretty Pittosporum  tenuifolium ‘Golden Ball’ which may have to be moved.

(6) You may have noticed that there are already lots of things planted around this flat rock. A couple of Carex grasses, Rosemary, Olearia Haastii which is just about to come into flower, a blue Geranium ‘Orion’ and Sedum or Stonecrop ‘Ruby Glow’ which I hope will creep even further into the gravel now. And by the more upright rocks are Penstemons and a large Fuchsia. All of these started off quite small (many as cuttings) but now they are beginning to fill out.

The pathway around the rocks (4)

Next job is to return to the nursery for more pebbles and cobbles so I can finish off this area. And then I can rest. For a while anyway.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. I like the Erodium a lot. Looks a very useful and attractive plant for a dry garden. Flowers remind me of hardy Geranium, a favorite of mine.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are from the family Geraniaceae which include geraniums and pelargoniums. I hope it survives the wet winter, but I could pop a cloche over it.

  2. Jim Stephens says:

    I was a whisker away from buying the same Erodium from the same nursery yesterday. I got distracted by something else and forgot to go back for it. I even had a particular spot ready to plant it. It’s probably as well that Surreal Succulents is just down the road from you and not us, it’ll be saving Sue a fortune.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They do have some extremely interesting plants.

  3. What a transformation and the latest additions are lovely. My dad used to grow Erodiums and I love them. They don’t do well for me as they get overshadowed by my too closely planted borders.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I will need to keep a close eye on the erodium, it is a sweet little plant.

  4. Tina Schell says:

    You continue to amaze me Jude. As a black thumb I cannot being to imagine envisioning something like this much less making it happen. really beautiful

    1. Heyjude says:

      I really don’t have any other hobby except for blogging!

  5. BeckyB says:

    wow you have done so much – looking fabulous even without the finishing touches, in fact I wouldn’t have known they were missing!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hopefully the sun will shine again this week so I can finish off the other side!

      1. BeckyB says:

        My fingers are crossed for you – although you might have to wait until the second week of Wimbledon before the sun reappears!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Supposed to be sunny here tomorrow and Thursday!

        2. BeckyB says:

          Don’t say it too loud, it might not put its hat on for you!!

  6. Cathy says:

    It was really interesting to read this Jude and see how your garden has progressed in the last 5 years – it gives me a better idea of the scale of your plot too. Your experience with pots was a useful exercise, and one we can all learn from

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cathy. I now need to start taking things out of the garden as in places it has become overgrown! And possibly I am learning NOT to cram too many things in a small space.

      1. Cathy says:

        Ha, yes, cramming in too many things – that is something I am guilty of! Difficult to remove some if they are all things you would rather keep…

  7. Wind Kisses says:

    wonderful job. lots of changes. I like how you also made curvy line instead of just “flowers against the fence” garden. Looks lush and healthy. I have learned to love succulents. Very nice. and the post was well organized. Donna

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Donna, glad you enjoyed looking around.

Comments are closed.