what is THE Rock garden?
The Rock Garden is a landscape with many peaks and troughs, water and rock, characterized by shrubs and perennials adapted to a mineral environment. The choice of plants is essential, as they are, more often than not, mountain or sea plants that have managed to develop strategies to grow in a hostile habitat for many plants.
Whether it is a collector’s garden, a stone garden, or an alpine garden, the interest of a rock garden can be purely aesthetic; it can also be practical. Experienced gardeners are eager to grow rare plants there and draw inspiration from nature’s examples in the mountains or on the coast. However, it is not necessary to be an expert in gardening to create a rock garden at home.
Where to set up a rock garden?
Contrary to popular belief, the rock garden is versatile. If the rock garden was initially synonymous with the alpine garden, bringing together the necessary conditions specific to the alpine flora in almost all climates is possible. Depending on your area, it is worth taking advantage of local opportunities. For example, clay soil will lend itself very well to creating a pond or a wetland. Conversely, the dry ground will offer many possibilities for a beautiful rockery.
In hollow paths and stairs, a rock garden is ideal. This is how it is possible to accentuate a minimum slope by digging a slightly winding path. On either side of the excavation, an embankment covered with suitable plants will enhance the whole. Depending on the orientation of the land, the rockery plants will have to be carefully chosen. Similarly, it is possible to create a rock garden on a sloping path of a limited length and turn it, for example, into a staircase. The landscaping can be completed with rock, pebbles, and gravel around which attractive ground cover plants will prevent the proliferation of weeds.
Downspouts are also ideal places to create a rock garden. Install beautiful hanging plants to hide the masonry on the low walls that run along the slope.
The rock garden is not exclusively reserved for gardens that extend over a large area. It can reasonably be a source of inspiration for a small garden, in which the miniaturization effect gives depth to the whole. With rock garden plants, it is a question of playing on the perspectives by putting stones and tall plants (dwarf, evergreen shrubs, etc.) in the foreground. Further, minor plant and mineral elements add depth.
The realization of a rock garden is carried out in several stages:
1 – Choose and install the rocks to create a rock garden
This first step is decisive as the aesthetics of a rock garden are closely linked to the size of the rocks used. In addition, some stones offer excellent resistance, such as basalt or granite. Others, meanwhile, provide magnificent colors such as slate, sandstone, or limestone.
2 – Position the rocks in the outdoor space
Taking care to choose stones of all sizes, from large to small, the rocks must be positioned to hold in place. Generally, the most significant area is at the bottom of the slope and the smallest at the top.
3 – Define the surroundings of the rockery to arrange the plants there
The rock garden must be delimited, especially if surrounded by grass. This is to prevent the grass from trying to colonize the stones. It should not be forgotten that the mower must pass quickly over the lawn, and rockery plantations must be avoided.
4 – Choose rockery plants
The choice of plants for a rock garden should be based on your taste, of course, as well as the style of your outdoor landscape. Also, we must not forget that some plants can be challenging to acclimatize due to their rarity and needs. If you want a rock garden without too much maintenance, bet on easy-to-grow species such as stonecrops, houseleeks, catchflies, thyme, or even geraniums.
There is a wide variety of perennials of all sizes, with flowers of different colors and thin foliage, suitable for a mineral environment. For example, hawkweed is enhanced when grown on minerals. Do not neglect the grasses, many species that can enhance the rock garden, such as fescues, Pennisetum, or sedges.
How to maintain your rock garden?
The secret to beautiful rock gardens is constant weeding. It is essential to remove weeds with taproots by hand or small tools. Generally speaking, cleaning the rockery is not complicated with a tool like an asparagus gouge and a claw. It ensures its durability if carried out once every 15 days in season. Debris, pruning waste, and other dead leaves must be removed regularly. If necessary, bring some additional gravel in the crevices of the rocks free of vegetation from time to time.
In a rock garden, grasses deserve to maintain an aesthetic silhouette. As such, it is necessary to prune them. The same is true for shrubs, shrubs, and some slightly woody perennials.
In summer, watering in a rock garden must be generous the first year of planting. After that, it is necessary to show observation: as soon as the foliage shows signs of fatigue and wilts, it is essential to water.
In shady places in the rock garden, beware of slugs in terms of disease and pests. If necessary, a few slug pellets will keep them away. Field mice and voles can also become invasive. Here again, natural means will make it possible to avoid their presence.
Combining practical and aesthetic aspects, the rock garden can be created from scratch to give the exterior a particular style, inspired by mountainous regions and the coast. Before making your rock garden, it is up to you to define the kind you want to give it. Depending on your goals, you will choose rocks and plants that are sure to look great!
What perennials to choose for a rock garden?
The rock garden is an external composition of stones, stones and rocks, aimed at recreating a natural environment inspired by alpine and mountain landscapes. It can be made recalling the characteristics of the place or take on singular and choreographic forms. To enrich it with a touch of color, choose the most suitable flowering plants, that is, those that love a cool, dry climate and are not afraid of drought. Here we list 9 perfect perennials for your rock garden.
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