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Do You Have Design Ideas for This Rock Garden?

3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

I have a small area of a garden with clay loam soil that was getting too wet. So we built up some mounds of the gritty mix and tried to do some rock garden designs with succulents. Two of the areas are shown in the photos below. How would any of you change this, and what are some ideas for design elements to add to what is already there? I am using Echeveria and Sempervivum succulents here. I would be open to some cactus ideas. Keep in mind that the Echeveria hen and chick plants will fill out a large area eventually, so I left space for that.




Comments (12)

  • PRO
    3 years ago

    What are the tubes in there? A watering system? Maybe a pic from further back to show what you are doing.

    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Since you have a pot there and a brick border of some sort, you'll need low growers, right? I'm not good at names, but maybe a sedum?

    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked socks
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    We are designing the rock garden into a tiny sliver of available space, between a walking path and a stone circle with a statue in the middle. Hopefully, the constraints on space are clear from the photo below. This area has clay loam soil, and it was not draining well, so succulents never thrive there. We decided to build a raised mound, and for mostly aesthetic reasons we used desert soil (i.e., the gritty mix) for those mounds.

    The tubes running throughout this area are an irrigation drip system. To be honest, they installed too many tubes, and they made those 1/4 inch tubes drip lines instead of distribution tubes. So the design is wasteful. It would have made far more sense to install one or two 1/4 inch distribution tubes, and then branch off those to specific plants. Eventually, those tubes will be partially buried by the soil and less visible on the surface.


  • 3 years ago

    I'm up in Santa Rosa, and planted my helstrip with succulents about 3 years ago. Though my yard has a watering system (this is changing to CA natives and succulents, slowly), the helstrip has no watering system.

    Even with our 90*+ weather recently, I get by with just a good soak about every 2 weeks or so.

    Desert plants are used to flash floods from time to time, then they dry out.

    I was having troubles with the sprinkler giving my new succulent garden too much water, but our gardener guy has adjusted the sprinklers so they get none. I water by hand every once in awhile.

    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • 3 years ago

    @nancyjane_gardener I would love to see some photos of your helstrip.

  • 3 years ago

    I don't have this app on my phone, so I can't do pictures right now. I think I might get it so I can share pics.

    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked nancyjane_gardener
  • 3 years ago

    I'd suggest slipping some colorful/glazed ceramic containers planted with feature succulents into the beds. I would use tallish urn shaped, maybe three of them randomly spaced and sized. This would breakup the flatness/uniform edges of the brick and lives of the exposed irrigation. Also adds color when plants are not in a colorful stage. I have even used containers as part of the retaining wall to nice effect. Sedum palmeri is a gret background plant for behing your ground huggers, it's tough and spreads quickly but tops out about 14". I'm in el cerrito/berkeley, where are you? Have fun!


    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked lisasfbay9b
  • 3 years ago

    @lisasfbay9b Could you insert a few photos of urns you think are appropriate to that area?

    I am near San Jose.

  • 3 years ago

    @lisasfbay9b Are you a garden designer by any chance? If yes could you contact me by messaging through my profile here?

  • 3 years ago

    Hi, No I'm not, just a succulent fanatic. But you can see many of my beds on instagram @melonmoonsucculents. I know a few desginers, where are you in the SFBay?

    westes Zone 9b California SF Bay thanked lisasfbay9b
  • 3 years ago

    @lisasfbay9b I am near San Jose. It might be better to contact me with details through this site's messaging system.

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