What did you use?

patty_cakesApril 4, 2011

I'm wanting to plant trees about 10' out from the fence, and would like to use some type of stone underneath, as well as for pathway(s)in the yard. Have you used either pea gravel, crushed limestone, or something else, and why? Positives/negatives? TIA ;o)

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Why do you want to put 'stone' under a tree?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:45AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It is a ground cover material that is a classic look in Mediterranean or French gardens, Ink. There are variables to consider, such as cost, maintenance for weed control and raking up leaves, etc etc. I would use whichever material fits my constraints most closely, and would also want to use weed fabric underneath it, but I am sure you'll hear from others that weed fabric is the devil's child and should never be installed in a garden. Decomposed granite is probably the most commonly used material here in California, for both good looks, ease of installation, and ease of maintenance. You can even add a stabilizer to the mix and compact it, which makes it more impervious to weeds and winter moss/algae growing on it, but a light raking and rerolling to compact it isn't all that hard to do each spring.

For a more contemporary look, you might even consider using river rock, a la Roberto Burle Marx, or Black Mexican Pebble, but this will of course be more expensive, and neither one works well as a path unless they are set on edge and mortared in place, as one would see in Spain, Portugal or Mexico for sidewalk paving.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I love the black mexican stone. Smooth black round stones that come in 1 inch or 2 inch. We used it for a drip edge around a bluestone patio and it was one of my favorite parts of the project.

heres a picture :

Here is a link that might be useful: mexican beach stone

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:19PM
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Sheesh I must be losing it, I thought she meant under the tree as in at the bottom of the planting hole!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Thanks everyone, and sorry about the confusion, but I meant it more as a groundcover. Mulch seems to be used the most here in Austin, but it's not what I want in 'my' garden.

Bahia, bingo!! You're right on the money! I want the look of French gardens~~pathways of various materials, bushes, flowers, trees, with shady spots here and there for a bench or table.

Does anyone have this type of garden? ;o)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 12:23AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

The look of a French garden in an Austin climate; I'd suggest using limestone chips for gravel, and maybe more limestone cut pieces for edging and low walls, lots of different lavenders, myrtle, boxwood or maybe Myrsine africana in lieu of boxwood hedges, rosemary, Society Garlic, Iceberg white roses, Campanula porschkaryana, Verbena bonariensis, Nepeta fassenii, Hydrangea paniculata, Helleborus argutifolius, Trachelospermum jasminioides, Bearded Iris, White flowering Crape Myrtles as trees, keeping the flower colors to predominant cooling whites, blues, lavenders and purples. This presumes that by French you mean more Provencal than Paris, because you don't have the climate to do the more moisture loving stuff of Versaille. Some of your Texas native plants could also be pressed into service.

I'd suggest going to the library or local bookstores and researching south of France gardens/books, there is a lot out there. I don't personally work much in this style, as I don't get many clients in this part of California that have French style houses or large properties that tend to fit that look, but it is very common to see this in places such as Tiburon, Atherton, Hillsborough, Beverley Hills.

Here is a link to my neighbor's garden I designed that kind of fits into that sort of style, there are more pictures in that set of different viewing angles in the garden as well. Probably the major difference is that this front garden was only 12 feet deep from the street, so very small.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:11AM
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Bahia, are you a professional landscaper~~I feel I should be paying you for advice. LOL I recognize the tree~DD had one in San Diego, but a good frost killed it, or left very little root. I've also seen others in SD that are as tall as a ranch house~~didn't know they got so big!! I've seen them in yellow and a reddish-orange~~what about white?

Most of the plants you've mentioned I either grew in CA or IL so am familiar with, and love them all! Yes, i'm wanting to do more of the Provance 'look', in the purples/white(cream)/blues, but am also considering hanging baskets of red Geraniums on the fence, or someplace else in the garden.

I don't know the size of my back yard(where the garden will be),but it's at least 4 times the size of what I had in SD, so i'm planning to have several paths, various gardens within a garden, statuary, and a few 'hills and vales', not just a flat 'plateau' space. Maybe a small wall or two also.

Now I need to go back and look at the picture again! ;o)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 9:48PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Yeah, Patty, I do design and install gardens professionally. Your are welcome to send me a check!!

I'm guessing you are referring to another photo of another garden with a Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'. Yes, that obviously comes in white, but I wouldn't think that either Brugmansia or the Agonis flexuosa 'After Dark' would be good choices for permanent plantings in Austin, you are too hot in summer, and too cold in winter. If you are willing to give a Brugmansia tons of water in summer, and let it be a "die back to the ground" plant each winter, it could work. On the other hand, Brugmansia don't do well with high summer heat, hot winds, low water, in sum, not really a good plant for Texas gardens unless you are a lot closer to the coast, and willing to wait for blooms when it cools down in the fall.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 3:48PM
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