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Old 02-26-2012, 06:23 PM
Calico Farm's Avatar
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Plants for rocky area


Hello all, I have an area next to my driveway that has small rock chips(I think it's actually called chirp). No grass grows there. Is there any kind of flowers or ground cover I could plant there? Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:38 PM
cicindy9's Avatar
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Hi Calico, Here is what I found. I just copied and pasted. Don't know actual results. Good Luck whatever you try!

Lavender
Lavender is a strong and beautiful addition to gardens that have clumpy, rocky soil.
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is a hardy English perennial that thrives in the rocky soil of the British Isles. It needs little maintenance or fertilizer. Lavender prefers partial to full sun and is often planted in ditch areas, rock gardens and hillsides. Its flowers are a vivid purple, blooming on a tall stock that rises above most of the foliage around it. Lavender flowers are used for toilet waters, soaps and scents. The lavender plant is a strong and beautiful addition to gardens that have clumpy, rocky soil.

Spiderwort
Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) is a perennial often used for cover in waste and rocky areas and ditches. Frequent flowering and quick growth make the spiderwort a good choice for difficult yards or gardens. It thrives in well-drained earth. The flowers form pink-and-white clusters. Spiderwort needs very little maintenance and, being a succulent, requires infrequent watering. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot. Deadheading (removing the dying blooms) forces quicker growth and flowering.

Marigold
Marigolds recover quickly from damage and under- or overwatering.
Marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are hardy, frequently blooming plants well-suited to rocky or hard soils. Their vivid orange or yellow flowers bloom all through the warmer months, flowering prolifically when older or dead blooms are removed. Marigolds need little attention and have natural disease- and insect-resistance, making them a good choice for paths and edging around gardens and yards. These plants recover quickly from damage and under- or overwatering. The foliage is lacy and dark green.

Yarrow
Yarrow thrives in the rockiest of soils.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) thrives in the rockiest of soils and is often found growing along roads and ditches in full sun. Yarrow's disk-shaped yellow, pink or white flowers top a tall, slender stem that is dotted with feathery leaves. This plant can stand up to heavy winds, rainy weather and stormy conditions because of its deep roots and hardy stems. It is a perennial that attracts many insects, providing excellent pollination results. Yarrow is a popular choice for dried flower arrangements and craft projects.

From a more personal experience, I have had cosmos, cleome, and the nicest batchelor buttons I've ever seen grow up directly in my 18 inch deep gravel driveway. All self sowed and had no more covering than what nature provided.

I would think maybe if you just add some soil over top of the rock maybe a few inches deep and then maybe annuals that don't root very deeply would do nicely for a quick fix. If you wanted to get better results, you could just use landscaping timbers, large rocks, or whatever and make a permenate bed and you could add as much as 12 or 18 inches of soil and have a well draining area for more variety. Of course I have no idea how big an area you are talking about, and whether it is flat, sloped, or steep.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:18 PM
Richard Charles's Avatar
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Not sure exactly what zone you are but, Eschscholzia 'californica' work well here when naturalized in sharp gravel. Some of the Lupinus species. If there is soil beneath the gravel you could use a lot of the rock plants. They like gravel on surface, but need some soil beneath. Many to choose from.
Hope this helps,
RC
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Last edited by Richard Charles; 02-26-2012 at 08:20 PM..
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