I'm a new semp grower but have gardened inside and out for many years. I have been reading through the forum, lots of info and like minded, well informed people. Like you, i think those little buggers are endearing.
I have been collecting different varieties of semps to propagate them. My hope is to use this shale outcropping (compliments of the Pennsylvania canal system) as a natural rock garden. I'm hoping with your collective experiance you will help me avoid some pitfalls.
This is the area, east facing, now very overgrown.
I know it will take a bit of weed removal, including a very healthy crop of poison ivy and fox grape. A few saplings keep me from a better photo. Im lucky, the heavy prep work won't be a problem, I have access to chainsaws, skid steer, rototiller, and tractors all with a husband who makes an art out of raising one eyebrow and helping me with whatever crazy idea I have.
My concerns are, enough light, enough soil, too exposed, etc. My gut tells me clear everything off, solarize or roundup the area, add a little soil in the rock cracks and wait a year to plant. We hope to add a raised bed using some of the shale rock we have at the base. Critters are a major concern, there Is a major deer path near here.
Any help would be appreciated. Our farm is still in the resurrection stage (renovation is too mild a word) and it's the first thing people see when the turn into our driveway.
Thanks for your help