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Author Topic: between a rock(ery) and a hard place  (Read 4370 times)

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« on: August 19, 2010, 04:35:32 pm »
Hi  :wave:

  the house I moved into a couple of months ago has a rock garden which is very parched and neglected. What is the best way to improve it? The soil is very sandy and dry and some of the mature dwarf conifers are dead. Can I condition the soil with organic matter or is this too much for alpines and rockery plants? everything is stressed out through lack of water and has had no flowers since May.

If I improve the soil and the irrigation I could add some cottage  garden plants for height, texture and colour but would this upset the rockery plants?

 :-\

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 10:02:28 pm »
hi im a gardener and although not an alpine expert from the description of what you give anything will help.

alpines like well drained soil doesn't mean they don't need food and water as well...

I'd add organic matter to the areas that aren't covered in anything you want to keep and leave the alpines alone if some food leaches through the soil it wont harm them and by improving the ground you can then grow stuff you like to compliment the alpines....

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 08:59:19 pm »
Hi  :wave:

  thanks for that, I will take your advice and condition the soil this Autumn and see how I get on.

smallholder in the city

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Lincolnshire
    • HootersHall
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 08:26:09 pm »
Try some native plants they tend to do well on quite poor soils, (preserving biodiversity and supporting native wildlife)Those suitable for a rockery include providing colour in June include:
Broom
Devil's bit scabious
rockrose
thrift
harebell
scarlet pimpernel
maiden pink
sea campion
welsh poppy
pasque flower and rusty back fern.

Or for a late season rockery:
autumn gentian
bird's foot trefoil
common milkwort
soapwort
biting stonecrop
cheddar pink
harebell
scarlet pimpernel

There are lots of native plant nurseries that supply plug plants or seed.  :)

 

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 09:33:54 pm »
Ooow!

   Thanks for all your suggestions. I will check them out in my plant books.


 :bouquet:

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 04:30:38 pm »
Hi  :wave:,

   well although its taken me some time to get round to it but I have finally found the time to tackle weeding the rockery borders in the front garden. I have managed 2 beds out of 3 and am feeling like Im getting some where. Whilst toiling I got to thinking that the garden would benefit from a focal point in the form of a garden arbour and seat.

Has anyone got any experience of these? I have seen some in wilkinsons for around 150. Does anyone know if they are any good?

Buffy


silver swan

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Scotland
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 06:54:10 pm »
How about a living willow arbour/seat. Scented roses growing over it? Not sure about costs but have seen somewhere a company that sells withy bundles to make your own. Can't remember where tho'. Try Google?  :bouquet:

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 10:19:34 pm »
How about some Meditteranean Herbs, they thrive and are stronger flavoured on poorer ground.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 03:56:48 pm »
Thanks Hermit and Silver,

                     I have some herbs that are tired of being in pots and was thinking of putting them in at the weekend but wasnt sure. I will do that as they are fedup where they are.

                     As for the willow arbour, its a but rustic for the setting that I had in mind but it's a brilliant idea for the orchard.


Buffy

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 05:04:50 pm »
Can I ask for help here too please?  Late last year I laid part of my front garden in heavy gravel, under-laying with terram, in order to section off a half acre paddock.  I have numerous plants in pots and a great many of them seem to have succumbed to the harsh winter weather.  Should I give them up as dead and pot up some new ones, or wait to see if they recover, and would they have fared better being planted straight into the ground through the gravel?  I can still do that but was advised pots would be better - too many different plants to list here, but there are a few each of mini conifers, hebes, ferns, loveage, and mint, thyme etc plus others I can't remember
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: between a rock(ery) and a hard place
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 06:13:41 pm »
Hi,

         it could just be the ravages of winter making them look a bit ropey or it could be that the extreme temps were too much for them. The dry weather may also have taken its toll. If they havent been getting enough water over winter. As you dont list them I would suggest seeing if they stir into life with a bit of TLC and the longer days and then plant them or pot them up to bigger pots to accomodate the new growth. No point putting them in the ground too soon only to find that they are dead or straggly.

         Buffy

 

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