This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

December 11, 2014

Using river rocks in the garden

This past year I started experimenting with river rocks in the garden, and I am pleased by the effect. River rocks (or roundy-roundy rocks if you prefer) make a great fill-in for areas that are not quite grown in, or in areas where the plants come and go, such as bulbs, or annuals. From a design standpoint, they create what I call *visual interest* (better than just looking at dirt!), and they perform two practical functions, they help trap water for the roots of the plants, and they give me a place to step if I need to get one of my big feet into the garden.

I just put some more in, and you can see how they seem kind'a *new-looking*, but they will settle in very quickly.

I have river rocks all over the garden, and periodically I check to see if a plant is trying to grow between them. If it is, I move the rocks out of the way, giving more room for the plant. For bulbs that die back after blooming, I move the rocks back into place - you know, so I'm not just looking at dirt.

I was surprised at how good river rocks can look, if you place them correctly, as if they are a little stream. Of course, if you do it wrong, it just ends up looking like someone is buried there, or something. As you can see, my *stream* isn't quite finished in this area yet, as I will continue it up to the cannas.
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