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Plant Rings

Design with Pavers / Cobblestones and Natural Stone To achieve an integrated greening project, the design and construction of a plant ring or at least of a small planting area is as important as choosing the right plants and Growth Supports / Trellis Systems. Occasionally, and especially within the public space, some stem or tree guard may also be required. This section gives you some ideas for planning and constructing your integrated planting areas.

Flowerbed with stone border for grapevine


Integrated planting areas are delineated planting areas within a hard landscape surface, which are adapted to the Soil Requirements of a climbing plant. Basically the plant is allocated a small area of soil within a rather hostile environment, in which the plant is to thrive. The challenge is to  get a bit of loose soil within the hard and often impermeable surface. If at all possible, the planting area should have a continuous connection with the surrounding natural or imported soil, and not simply be a pot stuck in the ground.  The soil in such a planter can be left bare, or it can be mulched, graveled or planted up depending on the requirements of the individual climbing plant.

In Ground Plant Rings

The interface between the planting area and the surrounding hard landscape surface can be constructed with cobblestones or precast concrete blocks. Not only do they  provide a border around the planting area, but they also protect the surrounding pavement from becoming loose and disintegrating.

Integrated planting area for a Wintercreeper
Integrated planting area for a Wintercreeper
Espalier tree (pear), in a lens shaped planting area within a traditional limestone pavement.
Espalier tree Dornburger Schlösser / Thuringia
Continuous planting strip for grapevines
Wall with grapevine
Thicket Creeper, plant ring in the shape of a quadrant, and further strengthened by a galvanised steel strip along the perimeter.
Thicket Creeper
This planting area for a grapevine has been cut out of contemporary interlocking pavers and is held in place by a cast iron tree grate.
Old town paving
Grapevines next to an old cellar window, new pavement of coloured concrete slabs, white pebbles decorate the planting area.
Plant ring with concrete paving
Historic plant ring and stem protection for a grapevine, surrounded by (handmade) concrete blocks.
Historical plant ring
Ancient grapevine with a massive trunk, in historic cobblestone pavement
Ancient house wine in Eisenberg / Thuringia
Plant rings constructed with limestone cobble-stones, integrated into a permeable surface of decomposed granite or gravel, possibly hardened with a cementitious mortar (hard-surfaced path).
Limestone plant ring
Wisteria in a plant ring, with groundcovers and ornamental natural stones. The actual cobblestone border around the plant ring is hardly discernible from the cobblestone pavement.
plant ring of natural stone
Integrated planter for a climbing rose, delineated by randomly placed natural stones. Many climbing plants such as Clematis and Honeysuckles prefer cool feet, which can be achieved by placing natural stones in this manner to provide shade.
Climbing roses
This planting area for a Boston Ivy has been separated from the cobblestone pavement by a special variety of old bricks.
Plant pit in small cobblestone pavement
Plant ring for a grapevine in pavement of small cobblestones and bordered by a raised ring of natural stones.
Natural stone ring
This planting area for a Boston Ivy has been delineated by a semi-circular ring of small cobblestones and was constructed before the pedestrian area was asphalted.
Plant pit
Plant ring for Ivy, pavement and border constructed of historic cobbles collected in the field. Fully circular plant rings are particularly harmonious, as subconsciously they echo the round shapes of the plant shoots and stems emerging from the plant ring. It is best to arrange wedge-shaped stones with the narrow part pointing to the centre. This will keep the ring steady and prevent the stones from moving towards the centre.
Cobblestone plant ring
Recess in pavement of small cobblestones for a standard rose, the inner ring has been set on a concrete haunch (in subsurface) to prevent it from collapsing towards the centre.
Standard rose
Planting area for ivy in historic cobblestone pavement, delineated with a custom cut concrete edge.
Small cobble made of "Porphyr"
Graveled plant ring for an old solitary Ivy
Plant pit with gravel
Grapevine in a recess within a diagonally patterned cobblestone pavement, with groundcovers.
Natural stone pavement
Raised and fixed cobblestone ring within granite cobblestone pavement, for a grapevine.
Pavement ring
Large integrated planter for an apple espalier. Plants with high horticultural requirements need large planting areas, and if necessary, the ground has to be left free of groundcovers and mulch.
Plant ring
Cobblestone ring for a grapevine. "Stone in Stone" analogous to the surrounding paving
Cobble stone ring
Granite cobblestone rings within natural field stone pavement, for standard roses.
Historical cobblestones
Tiny semi-circular plant rings for grapevines with a raised but loose inner cobblestone ring. The tree guard is of a historical, regionally typical construction, nowadays rather used as a decoration, however in bygone times a necessity during cattle drives which led through the streets.
Natural stone paving
A sturdy Ivy-veteran in a hardened path environment, without a separated planting area.
Planting without a plant ring
How can we teach animal owners that planting areas are not dog toilets?
Dog toilets
Attractive plant ring for a grapevine, constructed with contemporary precast concrete pavers.
Interlocking paving
This concrete plant ring was burst by a Wisteria, because it was too small.
Burst open concrete plant ring
Old espaliered pear tree, planting area separated from the contemporary interlocking concrete pavers with mitre cut concrete border.
Concrete interlocking pavement
Grapevine in graveled planting area, here the stone pavement is not permeable, but instead grouted in order to divert the water.
House wine in graveled plant ring