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Gardening with a Rockery

One of the new challenges for me as a gardener has been learning to work with a rockery. Our house is set up off the street and this rock wall - added in 1950 when the home was built - has definitely created some interesting opportunities to get creative, from learning what plants will thrive in the crevices, to where the water drains, to working with

The biggest issue has been the massive amount of St John's Wort which is quite invasive. The neighbor said she planted it in her parents' garden as a teen, and it definitely spread...and spread. It spreads via underground runners and so, every fall, I've sat down on my bum on the slope and pulled as much out as possible, then we've planted other vegetation in its place. From manzanita to rosemary to trailing ceanothus to the hummingbird trumpet, as well as bulbs like tulips and daffodils to bloom under the Japanese maples in early spring before the maples get their leaves, we've packed in tons more. And the biggest lesson? It will find somewhere else to grow if you put other things there. So it's a journey, but one we are winning!

The evolution of a rock wall...first row: a photo of our home from the city archives, taken not long after it was built; then looking up at our home a couple months after moving in with a mega-snow storm, where all you can see are the Japanese maples and St John's Wort...second row: last fall just after I'd pulled out a TON of SJW from the rockery and the transplanted rhody by the stairs was still tall; then today, where the SJW has grown back in...everywhere except the area at the end that I'd filled in with the hummingbird trumpet shrub, etc...


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