Rich red Helenium, two-tone bear?s breeches and spicy yarrowBut these carefully thought-out ideas are only part of what makes the Gravel Garden such a departure from the experience of the rest of the garden. ?I wanted the plantings, along with the use of gravel, to have a desert-like, thistly, arid or at least Mediterranean feel to it,? Deacon explains. Contributing to the effect are sword-like clumps of yucca, hardy cacti and purple-headed globe thistles. Many Mediterranean plants have a silver cast to their leaves and here, sparkling sea hollies, silver sage with its huge felted leaves, artemisia, lavender, giant silver mullein and fuzzy lamb?s ears provide both shimmer and delicious textures. All are drought-tolerant and relatively low-maintenance.

Rich red Helenium, two-tone bear?s breeches and spicy yarrow.