Waterwise Gardening...True Grit: Tips for Using Gravel in NW Gardens

  • 5441 SE Belmont St Portland, OR, 97215 United States

As we continue to experience drier, above-normal summer temperatures and increasing costs of water, gardeners are looking for effective ways to be water-wise gardeners. But, is there a way to significantly reduce our water usage while still enjoying a pleasing, successful garden and to even expand our garden's palette of plants?

Maurice Horn of Joy Creek Nursery says "Yes!"  Joy Creek Nursery has been a leader in the Pacific Northwest in implementing ways to reduce water usage in the garden. The nursery's approach has been two-fold - first using gravel as a soil-amendment and mulch, and second, choosing a wise selection of plants.

Maurice will trace the accidental and sometimes humorous development of his ideas for using gravel which have extended its use beyond his original intentions. Recent projects for Reed College and Portland General Electric have challenged him to improvise new ways to beautify difficult sites. Maurice will present some underused, yet surprisingly resilient, plants that thrive in tough situations. These include evergreen and herbaceous perennials, shrub and grasses, as well as a complement of bulbs to enhance year-round impact. Come hear this good news for the ecologically minded gardener.

Maurice Horn is co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery, a specialty nursery in Scappoose, OR, featuring a wide variety of ornamental plants including clematis and hydrangeas. He has served on the International Clematis Society council, co-founded and served as Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Clematis Society (now Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection), and has been a long-time participant in the Great Plant Picks program at the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, WA. He has lectured widely throughout the United States on a variety of garden related topics, and contributes to many gardening publications.