If you want to future-proof your garden, and water it less (with plenty of time to put your feet up too), then plant drought-resilient blooms. Whatever you choose, here are some little secrets that will help ensure success.
• Select younger plants with a smaller rootball – so go for a plant in a 9cm or 1L pot rather than a 2L. Although you’ll have to wait a year or two for the plant to be at its absolute best, it will settle into its new home better and adapt to the conditions in your garden.
• Before planting, gently remove the top 2cm of soil from the rootball. This gets rid of any pesky weed seeds that may germinate later.
• Small plants can be swamped by gravel. When planting, make sure the plant sits slightly above soil level so when you add gravel, the plant will sit at the same height as the top surface of the gravel.
• Try not to spill soil onto the gravel as weeds will make the most of it.
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We recommend the best flowers for your gravel garden
Get your gravel garden off to a great start with these fail-safe flowers.
The elegant pale purple coneflower is one of the most beautiful species of echinacea with distinctive drooping rose-coloured petals and prominent central cones. Give it plenty of space and it will thrive, returning year after year. Height 1.2m Spread 50cm. £7.50/1L pot bethchatto.co.uk
Slender blue stems with steel-blue flowers add beautiful texture and unique colour. Returning each year, blue eryngo grows a long tap root that delves deep for water so it’ll thrive in a hot sunny spot. Height 90cm Spread 40cm. £7.50/1L pot bethchatto.co.uk
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