Our New SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden

Here’s how we took a bare patch of gravel parking lot and turned it into a 3,000 square foot rock garden for show-casing our series of SunSparkler® Sedums.

SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden - The Beginning - a gravel parking lot

The Beginning – a gravel parking lot

Completed SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden

Completed SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden

The site for our future rock garden measures 20 feet wide and 150 feet long for a total of 3,000 square feet. Since this has been used as a gravel parking lot for the past 15 years, we needed to bring in a large tractor to dig down 18 inches and break up that “hard-pan” of packed soil.Rock Garden15 Rock Garden16

Next, we needed to dramitcally raise the height of soil and we accomplished this by adding a total of nine large dump-truck loads of sandy-loam soil. This was then roughly smoothed out using a tractor.

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Tori & Logan with shiny new sovel & ready for work!

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Rough grading with tractor


Now for the fun part of beginning the creation of our 15″ tall rock wall. We ordered 15 pallets of sandstone for this project and we used every last piece. It took Logan and I a total of 5 days of HARD work to hand-place every stone while leaving hundreds of nooks and crannies to be planted later with colorful Chick Charms™ (Sempervivums) and Sedums.

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Finally, after much hard work, the wall was complete and then comes the fun of designing, staging, and planting thousands of various Sedums, hard succulents, and other companion perennials. Many of these we’ve been carefully growing for the past 15 months in preparation for PLANTING Day!

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As we began placing the plants, we also strategically placed large stones and boulders to help accent and act as focal points in combination with the plants.Rock Garden 8 SunSparkler® Sedum 'Firecracker'2

The final step after the majority of all plants were in the ground, was to top-dress with a one-inch depth of pea-gravel. We used 1/4 inch pea-gravel and it contrasts nicely with the stones and foliage colors/textures.

This gravel top-dressing makes a world of difference in the appearance of your rock garden. As you can see from the top photo, this is a freshly planted space. The second image shows the dramatic difference you get after adding the gravel top-dressing.Rock Garden 5Rock Garden 4

Our next step is to plant every small nook and crazzy in the wall. We plan on using a variety of Sedums and colorful Chick Charms™ for this project!

SunSparkler® Sedum 'Firecracker'

SunSparkler® Sedum ‘Firecracker’ with Sedum acre ‘Aureum’

Chick Charms™ Appletini, colorful NEW Hen & Chicks Sempervivum

Chick Charms™ Appletini, colorful NEW Hen & Chicks brand coming in 2016

SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden

Competed SunSparkler® Sedum Rock Garden – Summer of 2015

We hope you’ve found this brief “how-to” rock gardening article helpful! Maybe it’s encouraged you to try this extremely fun style of gardening in your own backyard!