Somerville Garden Club

July 12, 2023 Hybrid Meeting – Gravel Gardens

Gravel Gardens – Gardens that Rock!

If you want a garden that truly rocks, look no further than a gravel garden. Earth-friendly gravel gardens require less of just about everything – water, mulch, energy, chemicals and most importantly labor – but give back so much more. Jeff Epping of Epping Design & Consulting and former Director of Horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens has created numerous gravel gardens, including one in his own home garden that you can easily incorporate into your home landscape as well. Don’t confuse these gardens with traditional rock or alpine gardens that can look more rocky than green and require a great deal of time to maintain. These sustainable gravel gardens are as colorful as any perennial planting around, provide food and habit for pollinators and other insects and require up to 80% less maintenance than a traditional perennial planting. Jeff will show you how to replace conventional lawns, expensive annual plantings, and labor-intensive perennial beds with these easy-to-maintain gravel gardens, just as he’s done at Olbrich and elsewhere.

Jeff Epping started Epping Design & Consulting in 2009 and just recently retired after 28 years serving as Director of Horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, where he has always practiced and preached environmentally conscious gardening. His designs put plants at the forefront to create gardens that are not only beautiful, but also ecologically sound, providing habitat for insects, birds, and all the wild creatures they help support. His garden designs celebrate the region, support nature, enhance the senses and satisfy ones innate desire to connect with the natural world. A native of southern Wisconsin and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Epping holds a bachelors and masters degree in Ornamental Horticulture and regularly lectures and teaches throughout the country on great garden plants and designs for northern gardens. His home garden was recently featured in American Roots, written by Nick and Allison McCullough and Teressa Woodard.

All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. 7-9pm.

Meetings are held the at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available for a small fee, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.

If you are interested in attending virtually, but have not received the meeting link via email, or are not a SGC member, you can email for the link.

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