Rock garden: ideas and tips to develop it

How to create a successful rock garden

Wherever a slope of ground prevents the creation of classic massifs, a rock garden will be perfectly adapted. Rockery consists of associating rocks and plants to stabilize a slope. On the other hand, the rock garden is not just a pile of pebbles and flowers. For its development to be successful, it is necessary to pay attention to the appropriate arrangement of stones or rocks. Looking at one must forget that this garden is created by man; it must give the impression of being natural .

If you have pebbles in the garden, do not throw them away! In addition, if you have a descent in the basement of your home, take advantage of it to create a nook with leafy plants, bulbous plants, dwarf shrubs and conifers, dwarf perennials, annuals and biannuals.

In the gardens, the wall is often the essential detail of the decor

waterfall rock garden

The location

The rock garden or "alpine garden" requires a sloping space. On the other hand, it can also be done in a flat garden, provided to create artificial reliefs. Normally, this type of garden occupies more than 60 m².

The plants living in rock do not need full sun.

So when you decide where to put your stony corner, choose a location with moderate sunshine. Apart from this, the essential element to take into account is exposure; the ideal orientation is west or northwest. Avoid the proximity of tall trees, because of the shade.

A successful rock combines plant and mineral with a natural effect

dry landscaping ideas

Ground preparation

The soil must be prepared at least 15 days before planting. First, lay out some large stones of different sizes. In case of steep slope, practice a stair-shaped installation to reduce the erosion of the earth. You can accentuate the rock by digging a hole or a small channel in the hollow of which a small pond or stream would complete the landscape. Think about investing in a small pump.

Once the stones are laid, fill all the voids with a layer of fine gravel, compost or coarse sand. It is very important to ensure good drainage, especially if the soil is not porous enough. For this purpose you can use a mulch of small pebbles. In addition to its aesthetic effect, it keeps the maximum humidity in summer and protects plants from excess water in winter. However, avoid mulching with tarpaulin, but prefer that with pine bark or other natural materials.

Rock garden with large stones and plants in bright colors

alpine rock garden

How to dispose the stones

Above all, it is important to choose stones from your region and never mix different materials. On the other hand, you can put rocks of different volume. Indeed, the success of the development depends entirely on their position. To anchor them securely, dig small niches as needed and bury the stones one-third of their height, the broadest side down. Then, lay out the smaller stones of various shapes.

Warning: do not forget to include some flat stones on which you can walk when working in your garden.

The stones allow different design developments in the garden

garden rockery stairs

The choice of plants

Rockery is a mineral garden with poor soil. It is therefore an ideal terrain for resistant alpine wildflowers, ground covers and dwarf shrubs.

To arrange the plants, proceed in the same way as for the stones, by placing in the first place the larger ones which will serve as skeleton to the whole. For example, Japanese maple, daphne, juniper and dwarf pines. Then place perennials such as lavender, stipa or acanthus. Do not just limit yourself to perennials . Among the dwarf perennials there are quite a few suitable species such as ferns, houselobes, campanulas and creeping phlox.

The other rock plants are nestled in the hollow of a rock. The alpine aster, campanula, phlox, sedum, houseleek, serpollet, gentian or edelweiss are often chosen.

A pot rockery

mini rock garden

The interview

The rock garden does not require any special maintenance. Just water the plants regularly throughout the first year to stimulate root development. Starting in the second year, plants are almost completely out of water, except during hot weather. Moreover, it is good to set up an automatic watering system buried during the creation of the garden. If not, plan at least one water supply near your rock garden where you will connect the hose with an adjustable gun to water your plants difficult to access.

Regarding the weeding that is to do the spring, it must be done by hand, using a claw or a small rake to remove weeds hidden in every nook and cranny.

If you dream of acclimatizing alpine and perennial plants but your space is small, create a small sized rock garden

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