Landscape rock can't be changed. How can I cope?

robin44444March 16, 2013

Our yard has several evergreen and deciduous trees, plus many shrubs and perennials. They are all planted in landscape rock, which I intensely dislike because I feel it's so unwelcoming to look at and to walk on. It is, however, appropriate in our semi-arid area. We can't change the rock because some trees and plants are on berms which we couldn't get a lawnmower on if we planted grass. Mulch or bark is out of the question because this is a high-wind area. Can any of you give me ideas for softening the look of (or softening my feelings about) all this rock? We have it front, back, and sides. Thanks very much.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Creeping shrubs like juniper, 'Grow Low' sumac etc might be an option. Heat-tolerant perennials. Grasses. Expect to baby these plants until they establish, as the heat is much more intense 2" above the rock than most plants care for.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Maybe you could add a few other plants around on the berm to break up the look of all the rock and add some other color. Some sedums or other type of rock garden type of ground cover might be nice as well - but, of course, nothing that will be too invasive.

You could also add some larger stones, bird bath, garden statuary, solar up-lighting, etc. to add some decoration.

Marj

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robin44444

WxDan and mstywoods, thank you so much. Actually a misty woods is the look we were hoping for after a trip to the midwest. But foxes dug up our irrigation lines over and over again and we had to cover it all with rock to keep the irrigation protected.

I like the "Grow Low" sumac, although I wasn't thinking of anything that would get two feet tall. In certain areas of the rock I think that would work. I also looked up sedums and junipers (Wiltoni), thanks to your suggestions, and think that might well be the answer also. There is some ground ivy growing nearby and I thought I might even import some of that, since it wouldn't cost anything, but it's pretty darn invasive. I like the look of it though. mstywoods, we have large boulders and a winding path (made of Breeze) going through the front yard, so that breaks it up a little, but still the impression is of rock, rock, rock! A dozen trees, a bird bath, and probably 50 plants in beds still don't do it for me. I'm going to talk to DH this morning about all of this. One problem I see is that I need a ground cover I can walk on or I won't be able to get to the perennials to prune, etc. We'll also have to add to the irrigation system.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mrsgalihad(5 CO)

You might look at creeping phlox and Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum). I see both of those grown on rock mulch in my neighborhood. Maybe Basket of Gold Alyssum would work for you too. The phlox and alyssum bloom at roughly the same time in spring followed by the Cerastium.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robin44444

Thank you so much, mrsgalihad. I love snow in summer. All of you have given me such good ideas. Maybe I can get this yard to a place where I love looking at it. Thanks again, everyone.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Post some pictures once your "done" (LOL - gardening is like a lot of things. Don't think anyone can ever say there a done!!).

Marj

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
The opening bell has rung
bell peppers? No, not this year, but several hot's! We've...
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
E-mail tree?
So, I was thinking, after the difficulty I had getting...
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
Ready for Harvest :o)
Here's what some of the plants look like in my greenhouse...
digit
What did You Prepare and Eat from the Garden, Today?
A mix of Soldier and Jacob's Cattle beans with onions,...
digit
When should I begin pruning last year's perennials?
Hello, all. I'm wondering when is the best time to...
robin44444
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™