Tag Archives: sloping garden

Rock and Gravel Garden Feature

Sloping seaside gardens provide the opportunity to include a rock and gravel garden feature.   This cottage garden by the sea in Ventry, Kerry, Ireland, includes species plants which are close cousins to those that occur naturally.   The rocks are mainly local sandstone with a few with white quartz.

Slope for Rock and Gravel Garden

The previous garden had an irregular sloping lawn. The garden was re-landscaped to have a gently sloping lawn and a steeper but even slope for the rock and gravel garden feature.   We took care to arrange the rocks in a natural way and use them to retain pea shingle.   Moisture retention is crucial with drying salt winds and sandy soil . The pea shingle is therefore laid over geotextile to provide a mulch and weed barrier for low maintenance.

Rock and Gravel Garden

Local rocks arranged with pea shingle and marine plants

Plants for Seaside Rock and Gravel Garden

We chose Eryngium planum (tall blue sea-holly), silene schafta ( pink sea campion), armeria maritima ( sea thrift), different thymes, lavender and stipa tenuissima as the main plants.   It gives a lively and natural feel to the rock and gravel feature. They are all salt tolerant and low maintenance.

Lavender, grasses and sea holly

Lavender sets off the rock garden below.

Cedar Screens

Ceadr screens are attractive in their own right

Cedar screens at different levels in sloping garden

Cedar screens provide a very effective way to cover unsightly boundaries.  They are very attractive in their own right and provide a backdrop for a wide range of planting. Cedar is a long lasting and low maintenance softwood. Here in Highgate, the cedar screens have been used to obscure garages and a large shed. 



Highgate Garden

Garage Cedar Screens

The garden is sloping so we designed the cedar screens to step down across the back of the garden. The lateral slats give a feeling of width and are closely spaced to almost completely obscure the garages behind.   The gaps between the screens create a softer line and provide spaces for tall evergreen shrubs.

Attractive glossy evergreen magnolia with Hebe 'Lisa' and Penstemmon 'Garnet'

Glossy magnolia with flowers buds, Hebe ‘Lisa’ and Penstemmon ‘Garnet’

The planting includes a beautiful Magnolia grandiflora ‘Gallissoniere Praecox’ which has huge goblet-shaped white scented flowers. A few are in bud now.  In front of the screens, apricot pebbles set-off Penstemon ‘Garnet’ and Hebe ‘Lisa’.




Bright sun provides great shadows on the cedar screens

Shadows add to the interest of cedar screens

The shadows cast on the screens are interesting too.  This picture also shows tall Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’ with its flat bright yellow caps.






Shed Cedar Screens

Cedar screens partly obscure the shed.

Cedar screen with fruit trees partly obscure the shed

The new shed is in natural pressure-treated softwood. The cedar screens around this have a wider spacing.  In time, they will be covered in jasmines, buddleja and roses.  The quadrant border is edged with Lavandula x intermedia Dutch Group. This has long lavender flowers and a strong fragrance.  A pear and a plum tree are planted in the border.




Yucca, buddleja and yellow jasmine on shed screen

Yucca, buddleja and yellow jasmine on shed screen

The long border with apricot pebbles includes Yucca gloriosa ‘Variegata’, Buddleja ‘Royal Red’ , hebes and jasmines.