landscape rock and gardens don't mix...
I have a spot on the south side of my house with landscape rock (and some plastic underneath it)and very poor quality soil. Unfortunately, that is also the spot where the gardening bug hit a few years ago and I planted quite a few perennials. I knew at the time I should really remove the rock first, but I didn't see the harm of putting in a few plants. Well, now that area is fully planted and for the most part looks quite nice. As I planted I've pulled out as much of the plastic as possibe so there may not be much left. Here's the problem: the rocks are a major PITA when it comes time to add new plants or move existing ones around. Being the south side of the house I can imagine the rocks make it really hot. Also, the soil is poor quality and with the rocks it's nearly impossible to do anything about it.
I think I've finally accepted that the rocks need to go. The layer of rock isn't very deep (thank god!), maybe an inch or so. Just enough to cover the dirt. But what is the best way to do it?
*Should I try to maybe rake away as many as possible early spring before the perennials start to grow? Would that damage the crowns on my plants? I'm guessing it would..
*Should I dig up the perennials one by one, remove the rock, ammend the soil and replant?
Anyone have any other ideas?
Here's a picture showing half of the area