Thursday, September 3, 2009

Can a Rock Garden Grow Sunflowers?

Today I started to meet the challenge of a yard with a field of rocks. I've been digging in special areas of all those rocks to find the soil underneath. Yesterday it was a lot of hardpan clay. Today I found a few spots where the soil looks much more promising, so I've started to think of a design for my new garden that includes rocks, lots of them.

The sole sunflower plant I nurtured yesterday is still alive and well. So are the chrysanthemums and purple salvia. No, I didn't plant them directly in clay. However, I estimate that a lot of soil enrichment will have to be in my budget if I'm going to achieve any fall or spring planting.

I haven't chosen the spot for my sunflowers yet, but I will once I figure out the soil enrichment. I definitely will have lots and lots of nasturtiums because they do so well in poor soil. They'll make a colorful contrast with the dark gray rocks.

The best harbinger to encourage me this morning with this challenge was a dove that visited my new plantings. Several house finches surveyed my yard from the top of the fence. And the Blue Jays found the suet feeder in a small tree.

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