Wow with your garden wall
By: Garden Gate staff
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Add vertical interest — plant up!
Make a rock wall more interesting — plant perennials!
Show off the stone The various shapes and sizes of stones, and even the craggy lines created where they meet, provide interest and character, so you don’t want to completely cover them up. Space plants generously apart and on different levels. Their draping, trailing or mounding habits will slow down your eye, break up straight lines and soften angles while still letting the stone’s color and texture show.
Which plant where? The direction your wall faces helps determine what will thrive. Perennials that tolerate hot, dry conditions are perfect for a wall with a south or west orientation. Shade-tolerant plants do best on north-facing walls; those that face east have enough gentle morning light that many plants do well there.
Perennials in a 3- to 4-in. pot or smaller are the best size to start with. To find out two easy ways to add plants to your own wall, just keep clicking.
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Make a planting space
Create a planting pocket with a crow bar by lifting a stone and propping it open with a stone shim, like you see in the photos at left.
Have your potting mix and plant ready to cram into the empty space. A pair of leather gloves like these is handy for working with rough stone in tight spaces. Simply remove the stone shim once plants are in place.
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Fill in the gaps
You can also fill gaps left between two odd-shaped pieces of stone.
Start with some potting mix, squeeze the roots in, and then apply a mixture of 25 percent sphagnum and 75 percent clay to secure the plants in place while they grow.