When it comes to making a bold statement, few elements can beat the look of rock and stones in the landscape. Consider contrasting native limestone boulders with the smooth round shapes of Tennessee river rock like this dry creek bed (above) created for Villa Ravine Apartments in Gainesville. Large, uniquely-shaped rocks make a visual centerpiece. In this case, they were used to edge a defunct water garden and create a new sitting area.
Small river rocks were used to symbolize a stream of water, and can even be used as a replacement for mulch in landscape beds. Chipped granite was chosen for a durable surface in the sitting area. Select contrasting textural plantings for a dynamic pop. Mixtures of large foliage like ginger and the fine, grassy foliage of lomandra soften the rock groupings and add visual relief. Use landscape fabric underneath rocks to inhibit weed growth and keep the rocks from sinking into sandy soil.
Solve a Drainage Issue
We can almost always count on daily rain during the summer in North Central Florida. To solve a drainage issue in your lawn or garden, consider implementing a dry creek bed. Whether dealing with a washed out area or a low area that floods, a dry river bed can be part of the solution to redirect surface water. As depicted below, start by excavating a trench with plenty of slope.
The idea is to give the excess water a place to go, and if given time, providing excess moisture time to seep through the soil below. Next, line the bed with landscape fabric and anchor it with large rocks. Lastly, fill the dry creek bed with a small to medium rock of your choice, and fill in the edges with pockets of shrubs and ferns.
Cottage Gardens Inc.: Not your Typical Landscape
Jon George is the owner of Cottage Gardens, Inc., a Gainesville-based landscape design and installation firm. Jon has been gardening in North Central Florida for more than 30 years. You may contact his staff at www.TheCottageGardener.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography provided by Cottage Gardens, Inc.