perennial garden mulched with rock

Asked May 25, 2016, 11:36 AM EDT

I live in a townhouse and have requested to replace the front garden's near dead shrubs with perennials. I was approved except that they require the existing rock remain. The existing rock is a mix of white and grey odd shaped stones with a range of sizes from 3/4" to 2+" at a depth of 3-4+" and VERY heavy. The area is about 8'x10'. Having gardened for 52 years, I have never seen or heard of doing this and was shocked. Aside from the FACT that the Homeowners Association Board knows nothing about landscaping, I am willing to put aside my disbelief and find out if this would be an OK thing to do. Looking for reassurance and/or reasons why this would be an abomination of all good gardening practices.

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

I sympathize 100% as I have the same situation. Unfortunately, most townhouse residents have moved to avoid yard work. The cover of rocks is more uniform than leaving landscaping up to the individual residents and prevents the permanent installation of what neighbors might judge to be a terrible eyesore. It eliminates weeds and the cost of weed management. Association rules and regulations sometimes allow modifications at the owner's expense if the owner escrows an amount with the association that would pay for the return of the garden to its original rock covered status. Check your association documents for options.