Tim Vojt from Columbus, Ohio has placed many unique succulent suprises amongst the stones, in his unique gravel garden.
"I've finally slowed down enough to download some photos of my gravel garden. This spring, despite the ups and downs of bizarre weather, has ushered in a lot of color and texture in my gravel garden, which I started in 2008. My latest endeavors have been removing some aggressive beasts, like wooly thyme, exposing more gravel and of course making room for new plants. A favorite new addition this spring is Dudleya cymosa 'Orange Form'. Allegedly hardy to at least zone 6, I'll be crushed if it doesn't make it through the winter. I have two Hesperaloes with bloom spikes. The straight species plant has been in the ground for four years and is making its first flower. 'Brakelights' (Perpa) was in bloom when I bought it last year, but sort of funky. This year the bloom spike are living up to their name even before they bloom, causing me to slam on the brakes everything I go out to the gravel garden."
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Well, Tim, another post from your backyard that gives my checkbook problems. I must have that Dudleya! I will create an area for it this year and order next spring. It all looks great as always and shows me plants I never knew existed!
That Dudleya was the cause for my first order from Annie's Annuals. Shipping is a little pricey from CA to OH, so I had been reluctant to place an order, but this one tipped me over the edge. Arrowhead Alpines also carries some hardy Dudleyas. I was shocked at its size; I expected something the size of a Sempervivum, but this is the size of a small Agave!
Hello there Tim - Nice to see different aspects of your interesting and stimulating gardens. I'm with Jeff, the Dudleya captured my attention. I'm glad that you are making time to get out into your garden and enjoy the fruits of your intellectual and physical endeavours. Cheers from Oz, mate
Thanks, Frank. The big spring chores are mostly done and I do have time to just patrol and enjoy what's growing. That Dudleya is a gem and now I want to try more, but perhaps I should wait to make sure it will survive.
It is always a treat to see your garden photos featured, Tim. We know we are going to see some interesting, cool plants. No exception today! Fabulous! I'm not even going to try to pick a fave.... Oh, OK , maybe the "Brakelights"... it's all great. And love the incorporation of rocks into your gardens as well. Best Wishes!
Thanks, Diane! Some of the rocks were being swallowed by plants, so I've been removing some aggressive growers so they can share the spotlight!
Tim, this is a kind of gardening that I do not do, so I can appreciate your gravel garden all the more. It's fascinating. Great job!
Thanks, Jay. I really love the alpine and desert plants that can adapt to my climate this way.
Good morning Tim, You've mastered yet another style of gardening. I like the way this garden is laid out with the open areas at the perimeter. To me it looks like an oasis in a desert. Like all of your gardens there are unusual plants perfectly arranged. In your yard. "No two gardens are the same.No two days are the same in one garden" Hugh Johnson
Thank you for posting & good luck,
Thanks, Joe. It's all trial and error, with *lots* of error! I love that quote. This time of year, the garden is even different from morning to evening.
Another good garden quote, Joe, and so true.
Good afternoon Linda,It seems to fit Tim's style.
Good luck , Joe
Good morning, Tim. As soon as I woke up and saw the photo of the verbascum, I knew it had to be your garden. I am so happy to see your awesome handiwork. What a great way to end the week. As always, you force me to google in the morning. I have several pages open so I can go back and forth and read about these cool plants while jumping back to your post. I love what you have done.
I forgot, did you replace all the soil with gravel, and how deep is It? Do I recall that this area was previously paved, or am I thinking of someone else. Anyway, I am so envious of your incredible skill and plant selection.
I just obtained Manfeda undulata 'Cherry Chocolate Chip' from Plant Delights last week. I am looking for a great container to put it in. I bought it after seeing your Manfreda last year. Now I will have to place another order. That Dudleya looks amazing, but so do many others you have shown us.
Have a great weekend.
Thanks, Kevin. I'll be excited to see how 'Cherry Chocolate Chip' performs for you. As it grows and multiplies in your container, you should definitely divide it and try it in a sunny, gravely part of your garden mounds.
You remember correctly about the gravel garden history. It was historically a gravel parking area that had grown over with weedy grass when we bought the property. I stripped off the 'sod' and just loosened the top layer of dirty gravel. It's probably five or six inches deep of loose, dirty gravel, on top of about 4 inches of hard packed large gravel, on top of clay. Top dressed with pea gravel.
Wow! Just no words! Amazing!
Thanks! I feel that way, too, some days.
Thank you for listing the names of plants. You have a nice variety to showcase.
Thanks. I always am on the lookout for new plants, so I really appreciate it when others identify their plants.
I feel like I have to make sure my passport is up to date to visit the interesting and exotic world of your gravel garden, Tim. Include me as a big fan of 'Brakelights'...looks to be in the perfect spot next to the symbolic column. And I'm quite captivated by the slender wavy tentacles of the Asphodeline lutea ...I think I would nickname it the octopus plant. And then there's the adorable mound of the Dianthus simulans...makes me go "Ahh...so sweet."
Thanks, Michaele. I love the Asphodeline for the foliage. The flower spike? Meh. It's the yellow spike of flowers you can see to the right in the overall view. Not pathetic, but I wouldn't grow it if it didn't have that tangle of octopus tentacles!
Thanks you, beautiful and i love having the names, helps me identify mine.... and also giives me more ideas , never thought of grave, now will have to checck..... Looks awesome..... Hope I have some pictures to show in about 6 months after 2 years gardening :) Best wishes and many thanks from OZ :)
Tim, Great to see your garden and the variety of plants. I appreciate the names of the plants. I'll be on the lookout for several of them.
Very nice garden, Dale
That's beautiful, Dale. I love the shape and the undulating grass path. Looks like you have some nice, hardy cactus. It's hard to see, but is that a Cholla in front the Opuntia in about the middle of the bed?
Stunning array of greens...
Good morning, Tim. What an awesome injection of plants in one of the most unexpected gardens in Ohio. I dig the hopeful risk taking attitude you have....and it's certainly paying dividends. So cool that you have this distinct area among all the other incredible plants you have throughout the garden. I've had my eye on Asphodeline lutea for some time now, but always talk myself out of it, but seeing it in your garden has me thinking I may just have to do it, just like the Gladiolus 'Boone' you "persuaded" me to acquire. I wish these unique plants had been doing their thing when I was up there. But I'm definitely looking forward to next time.
Things definitley look different than they did in April! I lost my A. lutea 'Italian Gold' from Plant Delights because I planted it in normal to heavy soil in the back garden (I think). This one was sold as A. taurica, but was mislabelled. Back to the search.
Certainly enjoyed the short visit!
Ha, sweet. Another gardening dynamic duo of sorts. This is a good reminder of the change that can happen in such a short while. Gotta come see the thick of the growing season...soon.
What a treat to see you both looking so happy to have an in person visit.
Oh, I'm expecting a big spread of southern hospitality comfort food! Oh wait, you're a transplant. Tea in the garden will do!
You are certainly making the gardening rounds, David. I like the picture Tim posted of both of you.
Thanks , Kevin. Nothing like seeing a garden in person, and even better to meet the person(s) who created it. Trying my best to make social media truly social. Hope to hit up Jay's garden next. Then maybe on to Tennessee...Michaele? Jeff? Then who knows where...PNW? So many great gardens on here.
Come on out, David. At last count I have 29 J. Maples to show you:)
Fantastic! Putting it on the itinerary.
If you are ever making the rounds of the PNW David, and the Islands, come to visit Bainbridge, I would love to give you a tour of my small garden and you must have Bloedel's, Heronswood, and Windcliff on your list if you trip out this way.
Sounds wonderful. Well this is shaping up to be quite the potential excursion. I hope to make this happen.
Oh wow, the below picture puts a huge smile on my face! Two happy gardeners who can look at a seemingly empty spot and see visions of plant wonderfulness (ha, I wasn't sure if spellcheck was going to let me get away with that variation on "wonderful"). I'm sure it's true for Jeff and I am happy to say that the welcome mat is also out here in little old Friendsville TN for a, hopefully, enjoyable garden walk about...just don't ask me to cook.
Heck yeah! Alright, then. You can expect Christine and I at some point.
Well, Take a detour to Vancouver, Canada while you are in PNW.
You always have the greatest plants, Tim. Sadly things will not slow down for me until July so just this short comment. I'll look closer at all your treasures this evening. Unless I'm out working in the garden!
Thanks, Chris. It's a busy garden and work time of year!
Hey Tim, have always loved your gravel garden. Great to include a pic of the garden as a whole as your garden is more than the sum of its parts. The design is so strong. Would love to see some pics of all those cool plants you have ordered from over seas.
Thanks, Nancy. I've had a lot of flops from this past winter's batch of international orders.There are descendents of your penstemon doing fine in the gravel garden. There are a few new plants in the gravel garden ordered from Japan and Lithuania, but they aren't doing much, yet. Here's one that I ordered from Japan that finished blooming last month: diminuitive Pulsatilla turczaninovii.
Ooh, that's beautiful. Is there a magnolia near it or are those petals from something more exotic?
It's a charming little plant, about two years old. I'm anxious to see how it bulks up. It set seed that I scattered nearby, but I don't know if it is self fertile. Yep: my neighbor's standard Magnolia that reaches over the fence and scatters lovely petals when the wind blows!
Mail order is so frustrating. All the money I've wasted. Before my policy was to buy 3 and plant in 3 different locations. That has worked and often only 1/3 lived. Last year I created a nursery bed so I hope that will help the small starts get some girth before getting out and competing for nutrients with the established plants. I also planted Rooguchia clematis in the center since it got powdery mildew so bad in the other 3 locations. Still how else can we get the cool plants besides mail order?
Oh I meant to tell you I had the best luck ever. I walked into a nursery and there were 10, one gallon pots of Spotty Dotty mayapple. So I got to plant a huge one in the garden, so should be good to go for over wintering.
Mail order can really be frustrating! Once I find a good nursery that does great mail order, I don't like to let it go, but still humans are humans, and the mail service is the mail service. Great score on Spotty Dotty. I've never seen anything but P. peltatum anywhere locally.
Well Mr. Vojt, this was an unexpected pleasure to be able to see your gravel garden on a very busy Friday morning! It is such a peaceful little garden filled with unique treasures, I do love it. Your new baby, the Dudleya, is perfect and the subtle color is sublime... but I have to say that the Buckiniczia cabulica will always have my heart. I love that plant and your Physaria newberryi makes the ideal neighbor! Finally, I must admit to a more than a little plant envy, your Dianthus simulans is thriving while I could never keep mine alive. You've got the magic touch, my friend!
Thanks, Sheila. I have three Dianthus Simulans. This one had been jakey for a while and this year has filled in (minus the dead margins from being flopped on by the partridge feather). The other two were stunning pools of cushiony goodness two years ago and now are full of holes where the stems have fallen apart. Picky and unpredictable! Don't get too busy; slow and steady wins the race!
Wonderful! I love, love, love this garden. So much to see. I hope you have a nice "cocktail" chair nearby to study this garden. That's where I would be. And, uh, thank you for contributing to my plant addiction. I just ordered Dianthus Simulans. If it makes you feel any better it was already on my wish list (along with possibly the entire plant kingdom that is hardy to Z4 LOL).
I spend a lot of time walking around this part of the garden and do a lot of crouching. It's also visible from one of our kitchen windows, at least until that window is totally blocked by banana leaves!
I'm sure you will love and have wild success with the Dianthus. It seems to resent our hot, humid weather. You should have a mound of goodness in no time!
Your gravel garden is truly a treasure trove of delights! I'm sure you've triggered some plantlust in many GPODers, myself being one of them. Boy, that wish list of mine has lengthened once again. Thanks Tim!
It's my job to be a plant PR person, Cherry! :)
Hi Diane. The Verbascum is grown from seeds I bought from a guy in Greece and was mislabeled; it's in its second year and doesn't show any sign of blooming, so I don't know if it will set seed. The other one I grow, V. bobyciferum, doesn't seem to set seed for me, although I know it does for others.
This Dianthus rarely blooms, which is good because I grow it for the foliage, which is somewhat firm and prickly. Attached is a photo of it's tiny blossoms.
Stunning garden with gravel and succulents,almost perfect.Is the absence of a water feature deliberate ? Would have loved to see some water ,goes well with the stones!
Oooh. A water feature. That would be lovely. I've tried water features in other parts of the garden, but it is a major attraction for raccoons, who destroy everything around the water feature in order to bathe and wash their food!
Wow Tim! How cool! I have never seen anything like this. Thank you for sharing your talents with us all.
Thanks, Lily! It's less talent and more dumb luck.... :)
Beautiful! I'm curious though, what kind of protection do you provide for your harsh winters?
Hi Sharon. I provide little to no protection for anything in the garden. We've had unbelievable mild winters the past two years and dreadful winters the two years before. There's one plant in the gravel garden, Manfreda undulata 'Chocolate Chip' that gets covered with a little burlap-and-straw pillow to mitigate the coldest weather for a few days in winter, but other than that, I can't be bothered... :)
Oh TIm, drool, drool, drool. Loved perusing these pictures and seeing all the amazing plants you have. 'Breaklights' is so beautiful and I love the color of the Physaria newberryi and it's seedpods. Is that a cherry tomato in the picture? The Buckiniczia cabulica is so intriguing. You are to be applauded for all your hard work, it sure has paid off in stunning dividends. Vikki in VA
Thanks so much, Vikki. Hope your garden is thriving. You guys have had storms quite frequently this spring, haven't you? The little red orb near the Physaria is a marble. I dig them up in the yard regularly, so I scatter them about. Sometimes I purposely move the blue and white one that is in the thyme photo to include in pictures for a sense of scale.
Yes indeed we have had mega rain this spring. Yesterday several downpours with about 1" of rain. Today sunny...need to mow the grass. I also have orbs in my garden, mostly inexpensive paperweights I get at the thrift store.
Enjoy your beautiful day! Nice idea on the paperweights.
No doubt, Vikki, right? I so need to mow as well, but its gonna have to wait another day or two. Pretty squishy out on the lawn areas at present. But the plants sure are happy. Enjoy the weekend.
Love the gravel loving plants. You've designed an area that is unique yet so cohesive, it is calming. Beautifully done. (Those seed pods on the physaria are fascinating)
Thanks. I love that Physaria. Small but mighty. The leaves are amazing; the yellow flowers are ok, but those seedpods: brilliant!
In a word, "Wow!" I was especially struck by your Dudleya and 'Brakelights' Hesperaloe. Your gravel garden is very artfully laid out. Thank you, Tim!
Thanks, Cynthia. It's always a fun work-in-progress!
Hi Tim, thanks for sharing your gravel garden. It is a world I know nothing about! I love how you search for unusual specimens and will try things from seed. I have to admit, I miss your heucheras!?
Hi Rhonda. The Heuchera are still around and thriving this year, although I will admit they are not on the top of my collecting list anymore. But what I've got left are doozies. This is for you:
Love the heucheras, too. I have followed your instructions and have been dividing and replanting mine.
I hope that means you're getting better performance and multiplying plants?! :)
I must need those instructions. Have never had much luck multiplying heuchera. Your photos are spectacular. Such an interesting planting!
I'm pretty brutal with them. I must just be in a Heuchera sweet spot, although I do have some up-and-die syndrome. I just yank the woody Heuchera out of the ground, break them apart, strip off extra leaves and pop them back in ground either spring or fall. No real secrets. Good luck!
Oh WOW Tim! Really beautiful, I think I just don't have enough sun as many of mine develop a fungus that eventually kills them. Yours look to be in a shady area? really a lovely collection and very healthy looking.
Thanks! I do have some that mysteriously up and die and seem to brown inside of the stems, so I suspect fungus, too. I don't have any in full sun, but those in front of the stone sphere get some intense mid-day sun because there is nothing above them; those as you move away from the sphere get pretty dense shade from the Bloodgood maple. I really love having them weave together like this.
So beautiful Tim.
The very definition of a plant tapestry.
You know I love that word!
Ahhhh, thank you! I got my Tim fix!
My pleasure. :) Happy spring gardening.
Tim, don't know if you'll see this but I was wondering if you cut off the flowers on your heucheras. My husband/ gardening partner claims that it will strengthen the plant but I personally think that he just doesn't like them while I find them wispy and charming. I've agreed to cut them after I enjoy them for at least a week:)
If the I like the flowers, they stay until I dead-head them. If the flowers are non-description, I remove them. I've never thought about the energy they spend blooming, but I don't notice a difference in the plants I do let bloom. Occasionally I get behind on dead heading and get seedlings: some interesting and some blah.
Good morning, Tim. I had a feeling that your garden would be showing up soon but didn't expect to see this type of garden. You've had me jumping back and forth between here and Google since these plants are mostly unfamiliar but fascinating, especially after spending time in AZ. We were just talking about adding some thyme to the stone floor in our greenhouse and another gravel area, so thanks for all of the good ideas. That photo of the verbascum really drew me in and I love the physaria newberryi. Thanks so much for closing the week out with a bang.
Happy long weekend GPODers.
Happy Friday, Linda. There are so many fascinating plants out there and it is quite amazing how more and more unusual plants are becoming available. Combine that with a concurrent rising awareness about invasive plants and I think it's win-win.
Have a great, long weekend!
Beautiful and a pond too! Love it and the carved stone...
Thanks! No pond, though. :)
Tim, your rock garden is just stunning and the Thyme is gorgeous. I have a hard time relating to plants that need so much dry heat AND sun. Too much 'sog' here! but I so enjoy seeing all of your succulents.
Thanks, Linda. The gravel garden gets plenty of sun, but no dry heat. I've lost plenty, even with the drainage and gravely soil, just because of humidity. I've created a situation in which I can never be happy with the weather. Ample rain: what will happen to my dry-garden plants? Hot and sunny; oh please, God, don't make me water! :)
What an exotic and desert looking gorgeous garden with a center stone with Chinese calligraphy: Peace; Calm; Ease" on it. Thanks for sharing your garden Tim! It is so clean, so well designed and so well maintained! Is a gravel garden easy to maintain? I have an impression that gravel garden is hard to maintain because all the leaves and needles fall on it and have to be picked by hands?
Thanks for your kind comments, Lillian, and many thanks again for translating the stone-carved calligraphy. I believe you translated it once before, but I lost it. On my computer now!
Yes, actually, the gravel garden is hard to maintain. I need to regularly remove leaf litter, magnolia petals, maple seeds and other things that blow in. It is also a wonderful place for seeds to sprout; particularly weed seeds. The saving grace is that the gravel garden is small and the clean-up waxes and wanes during the seasons.
WOW! Both very HOT and very COOL! So different....I love it!
I keep saying I am not a succulent fan and here you come, along with other GPODers, and are slowly but inexorably changing my mind. Don't know if I would ever do a 'gravel' garden but I'm sure I can find a spot for two or three or four or....
It's fun how exposure influences taste, isn't it, Sonya? :) And then we wind up incorporating something we hadn't cared for before, but in our own way and style. Share your succulent-conversion images!
So glad I joined this blog. You guys are such a hoot (Frank, that it southern for ripper.).
Wow...Great job, Tim! VERY HOT... and VERY COOL! So different...I love it!
Thanks so much, Jane. It's really been different this year.
Tim, visiting your garden must be like a trip to a botanical garden - so many different kinds of gardens. But how do manage to maintain so much negative space in the gravel garden? Most of your garden space that have been featured are so different. And the photo of the verbascum is stunning!
It's a small garden, so definitely not like a botanical garden! ? Keeping the negative space is hard for me, but I really love it in the gravel garden and have been removing a lot of spreaders lately to clean it up.
Hello to both Tim and Dale! You've taken me on an adventure in gardening! The colors, the shapes, the designs! Simply wonderful! The fact that they are so personal makes them all the more beautiful. I particularly love the Hesperaloe p...... "Brakelight". Almost like a red snake rising to reach the stone. Wish I was up to the challenge. I'd need a gardener.
Best to you both and thank you for taking the time to share your treasures.
Thanks, Judy. Isn't this a great forum for learning and sharing?! :)
Sensational, Tim! Unusual plants, incredible variety, great beauty. I especially love Penstemon, so that eatonii caught my attention. But it is all beautiful. Add my place to your PNW itinerary. You will have to spend a month here to get everything in!
Thanks, Shirley! I really love the Penstemon and enjoy trying different species. I really love PNW and hope to get back soon. So many people and gardens to see!
This "walk-through" was absolutely divine. You gave me lots of wonderful ideas. Very peaceful and inspiring overall. BTW, what does the monolith say in English?
When we purchased our property back in 1999, two-thirds of the "yard" was in landscaping stones: 3 varying layers, each 6" thick with black plastic dividing each layer. Here in this part of Colorado, we get mucky mud ---- or concrete dry dirt (depending on the water table) and bindweed loves to creep in and take over. Anyway, we have removed most of the rocks, but ran out of energy in our back yard and let it be a dog run. The dog died and I started teaching Internationals a few years ago and "saw" that area would be a perfect Asian Garden (aka: the lazy way out). I'm trying to keep plastic out of this area (all stone/ceramic pots) and only planting what originates from Asian countries. Between building up berms, doing some plantings, and sorting out what the birds bring in (including a Catawba tree and hollyhocks - both originate from the Orient) it has been morphing over the years. It turns out to be a garden I love to just sit in and -----breathe!
So I will be researching more succulents which hail (hate to use that term since hail is one of our mortal enemies) from Asia and can take our winters. Thank you SO much for sharing, Tim.
Thanks, Linda. Lillian Ho translated the stone for me in her comment: Peace; Calm; Ease. I just ignorantly loved it. Have you shared pictures of your Asian garden? sounds great. I lived in Denver for five years (decades ago) and I remember the scourge of bindweed and Hail. My first real garden bible for my Ohio garden was Lauren Springer's The Undaunted Garden. I had no idea of the rich variety of plants one can grow in that beautiful area of the country with the most erratic weather I've ever experienced!!
Oh so you understand why I am so excited about furthering my Asian garden built in the rocks! Actually, my first garden experiences were in western Washington where all you had to do was look at a plant and it grew (as well as the weeds). Then to the open prairie of Montana for a decade where it gets down to 35 below and there can be snow on the ground for up to 6 months - wonderful insulator! What grows there grows well. Then been down here since 1988 and am amazed at what does survive. I will have to check out that book! I'll see if I have a pic of the Asian garden.
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