First of all, an important note about the soil. It is often not known that most, i.e. about 1300 of our native plant species prefer a very low-nutrient soil, i.e. a substrate that is hardly ever found in our home gardens. In contrast, there are just 70 species that are nutrient-loving. These lean bed and gravel garden plants are extremely undemanding and tolerate drought, a decisive advantage in times of global warming.
But beware - these sites have absolutely nothing to do with the fleece-backed, lifeless gravel deserts that have been so enormously in vogue in recent years and unfortunately, for lack of information, probably still are.


You can say they are part of the solution to the problem, while the gravel deserts are the problem in itself. Indeed, the low-nutrient sites are home to all these plant species that are in sharp decline, some of which are on the Red List, and thus to all the animal species that depend on these plant species.

Also, getting back to the climate issue, it is certainly the more naturalistic answer to choose plants that are relatively drought resistant than to come up with elaborate irrigation systems for drought prone species. So it makes sense, if only for that reason, for you to pay more attention to these species when creating a gravel bed. They will certainly play a crucial role in the future.


When you are choosing plants for your sunny low-nutrient bed, it makes sense to select species that are found on near-natural similar sites in the region. If you are not so sure about this, ask at your local perennial nursery, they are often well informed. With the help of the table below, you can already make a pre-selection, on which you can then still get advice at the nursery.