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The Best Plants For Gravel Gardens

This article showcases our top picks for the Best Plants For Gravel Gardens. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Oregano Plant

This product was recommended by Jamie Irwin from Windproof Gazebos

One of those wonderful perennials that will grow in most climates, and the best part is it spreads like wildfire! Its excellent ground cover creates a lush layer, with plenty of aroma from its foliage when you brush against it. What’s even better is that oregano brings a real Mediterranean feel to your outdoor space, all while keeping your soil safe and stable. Pair with some colorful blooms in varying heights to bring color and texture, or use it as a fragrant ground-hugging bed – either way, your garden created with oregano will be eye-catching and unique!

Cactus Plants

This product was recommended by Jamie Irwin from Windproof Gazebos

Cactus another popular option for gravel gardens as they’re incredibly easy to care for and require little water to flourish. They also come in stunningly diverse shapes and sizes, adding visual interest to your outdoor space.

Perennial Thyme Herb

This product was recommended by Jamie Irwin from Windproof Gazebos

Many varieties of thyme make a great ground cover for gravel gardens. Elfin thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is especially popular for its creeping habit, fragrant aroma, and bright green foliage. It’s perfect for filling gaps between stones or growing over the edges of raised beds.

Creeping Rosemary

This product was recommended by Jamie Irwin from Windproof Gazebos

Creeping rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’) is another great option for gravel gardens because it has fragrant foliage that smells amazing when crushed between your fingers. Plus, it has beautiful blue flowers in springtime, making it a valuable addition to any outdoor space.

Salvia Nemorosa Plant

This product was recommended by Mark Joseph from Parental Queries

Salvia nemorosa, also known as garden sage, is one of the most popular plants for gravel gardens. It is an upright herbaceous perennial with attractive aromatic green foliage and long-lasting blue-violet blooms in early summer. This plant adapts easily to various climates, making it suitable for gardens across the country. Its clumping habit makes it easy to shape and maintain. Salvia nemorosa was the 1997 Perennial Plant of The Year, so you know it’s a reliable selection for your garden. For best results, plant in well-drained soil with total sun exposure. With proper care, this beautiful perennial can provide years of enjoyment. In addition to its attractive appearance, Salvia nemorosa is also known for its healing properties. Many people use it as an herbal remedy to reduce stress, anxiety and depression levels. It has also been used as a natural insect repellent due to its strong smell. Salvia nemorosa is an excellent choice for any gravel garden – not only does it look beautiful, but it also provides a host of health benefits.

Anthemis Tinctoria

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

Anthemis Tinctoria is a perennial plant that forms a medium-sized clump and provides green foliage all year long in addition to yellow flowers that resemble daisies in the summer. Clay is not a soil type like this plant, although it does well in full sun in either shaded or exposed locations. After they have finished flowering, these evergreen plants would appreciate some pruning to foster more basal growth that will survive the winter.

Calamagrostis Brachytricha

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

Calamagrostis, also known as Brachytricha, is a grass that thrives in full or partial light, in either an open or sheltered location, and will give your gravel garden some background foliage. They are green in the spring, but by summer and autumn they are covered in lilac blossoms, and by autumn, their foliage has a hint of yellow. This ornamental grass has a wide range of cultivation options, including growing in containers, on banks, and slopes.

Gentiana Asclepiadea

This product was recommended by David Reid from VEM Tooling

This clump-forming perennial, Gentiana Asclepiadea, prefers a sheltered location in either partial sun or shade and bears flowers from the middle of summer through the end of the season. The trumpet- shaped, deep blue-purple flowers are compatible with various garden types, including cottage gardens. In addition, they favor acidic soil over neutral one; therefore, ensure that the soil in your garden contains the appropriate nutrients for them to flourish.

Chionodoxa Forbesii Bulbs

This product was recommended by Irene Graham from Spylix

Plant the bulbs in groups in the fall, and then in the early spring, you will be delighted with displays of blue flowers on slender stems. Chionodoxa Forbesii may be found in most garden centers. This perennial, which only reaches a height of around 15 centimeters at its most, is an excellent way to kick off the spring season. They will unquestionably lend an air of refined sophistication to the area, whether cultivated in a rock garden or let to grow wild among the shrubs and trees.

Walker’s Low Nepeta

This product was recommended by Nathan Walters from Best Reviews UK

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ is a popular low-maintenance perennial that is perfect for gravel gardens. It is a drought-tolerant plant that produces fragrant blue flowers from late spring to summer. It is also deer and rabbit resistant, making it ideal for wildlife-friendly gardens. It makes an excellent groundcover for a gravel garden, as it has a creeping habit and tolerates a wide range of soils and conditions. The grey- green foliage and lavender-blue flowers of most varieties will add colour and texture to gravel beds.


This product was recommended by Nathan Walters from Best Reviews UK

Cistus is a great plant for a gravel garden as it is a low-maintenance and drought-tolerant evergreen shrub. It is also a very attractive plant, with its yellow, white, or pink blooms contrasting beautifully against its grey-green foliage. Cistus is well suited to gravel gardens because it is very tolerant of dry, poor soils and can grow in full sun or partial shade. In addition, its dense foliage provides a natural ground cover, helping to protect the soil from the harsh elements. Cistus is also low-maintenance, requiring minimal care and pruning.


This product was recommended by Aimee Sanford from Yardzen

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, where hot dry summers and mild winters are the norm. They are adapted to gravelly soil with poor nutrient content. Catmint (Nepeta spp.) can be a good substitute if your climate is too cold for Lavender.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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