Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Have you been looking that the margin of your property, or along the side of your gravel driveway and thinking, “what could grow there…there must be something!?
You’re right, there is something! In fact, there are many native plants, that can grow in alvar, scree, pebble beach, gravel spillway and even on rooftop gardens! These tough plants grow well in dry and sunny environments and are also great for reducing erosion.
We at Origin Native Plants have put some of them together for you in the Rocky Roads Combo.
Most of these plants are low-growing, only getting up to 10-40 cm tall and bloom throughout the growing season, providing color for several months of the year. if your gravelly area is a bit small, you likely have other spots on your property that will work for all the native plants in the combo as they are quite versatile, and can grow in a variety of conditions.
And, if you’ve been disappointed that we are sold out of the pollinator combo, most of the plants in this combo are very popular to a variety of pollinators as well so you can feel good knowing that your gardening is supporting bees, butterflies, other insects and hummingbirds.
The beautiful plants included in this combo are:
Silverweed (Argentea anserina) grows small yellow wildflowers and leaves with up to twenty leaflets, giving it a very distinct look. It is very versatile, with the ability to also grow along wet shores or in ditches. What’s really exciting is that all parts of the plant are edible and rich in flavonoids!
Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) also produces yellow flower heads up to 1.5 inches across and if you continue to clip off dead flowers, the plant will continue to produce more, well into the summer! Coreopsis will sow seeds readily and are popular for pollinators. Interestingly, these can also grow in clay.
Canada Wildrye (Elymus canadensis) is a grass that grows oat-like, wiskery seeds heads that become heavy and start to bend and droop at the ends of their stems, giving a dramatic character to the garden. They establish easily and require little to no maintenance.
Robin's Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus), also known as the blue spring daisy or hairy fleabane, produce up to nine flower heads per stem that attract small bees, butterflies and skippers. This is also a versatile plant that can grow at the banks of water. (Photo right)
Lakeside Daisy (Hymenoxys acaulis) will bloom in late spring and later in the summer if there is enough rain. They can be encouraged to re-seed themselves by leaving some seed heads on the plants and mulching with small diameter gravel mulch. The beautiful flowers are attractive to butterflies.
Prairie Smoke (Geum tripyllum) develops long feathery tails that form from the spring blooms, called achenes. This is a low growing perennial that is very appealing around rock gardens and ponds and, interestingly, it is semi-evergreen, turning red, orange or purple in late fall and lasting throughout winter. (Photo left)
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is a small plant in the sunflower family, though the resemblance is slight! Surprisingly, it is also native to Asia! Many white flowers bloom from each plant and the leaves are edible for people and for several caterpillars. (Photo below)
Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) has tightly packed overlapping, distinctive white flowers, combining with many branches to create a bushy appearance. They are tough plants that provide color to gardens and meadows late in the season.
If a couple of those native plant species are not quite what you had in mind, there are others that may be substituted.
Check out the webpage in our store for more info or to order the Rocky Roads Combo.