Primroses are among the many plants that self-sow in the gravel.

Each year it starts with the cyclamen, the winter aconites, and a week or two later, the snowdrops: The first heartening signs that despite heavy winds, long hours of darkness, and bone-aching cold, gentle spring will inevitably return.

Gravel is a good medium for delicate spring bulbs.

This year at Denmans has been no different in sequence, but it has been much more beautiful than previous years.  There just seems to be more of everything.

What people find surprising when they visit the garden is that our spring bulbs and plants grow as comfortably and beautifully in the gravel beds and paths as they do in the shrubberies, borders, and swathes of unmown grass.  Each medium has its own special beauty and

effect, but somehow, the gravel is especially lovely and unusual.

 

Bergenias bloom sporadically through winter but are showiest just now, and their broad leaves provide winter texture.

While the term ‘gravel garden’ for many conjures an image of succulents and spikey plants that thrive on windswept beaches or in desert conditions, our gravel gardens are po