or Rock Garden Design
you want to build a rock or an alpine garden but you
don't know what type of rock to get? Practically any
kind of rock will do for the construction. If you can
find it, weathered limestone is considered one of the
best, while the round field boulders or river gravel
is the least desirable. The Beginner's commonest faults
in constructing a rock garden is the tendency to place
stones on the end in a way that it will never seem natural
or they align them formally at regular intervals which
is equally unnatural. Spend a little time understanding
the how natural outcropping looks before construction.
Go visit a mountain a get a breath of fresh air and
see how a natural outcropping might look. If your lazy,
read a rock garden book and
observe the pictures.
a site is selected and its boundaries are marked off,
the area should be dug out to a depth of at least a
foot or more especially in low ground. One condition
that alpine plants almost invariably require is good
drainage. The exvation should be filled a little more
than half full with broken stone, shattered bricks or
terra-cotta or a coarse gravel; this material may be
piled a little higher in the spots where the final constructions
will be high. Next add a layer of sand, gravel or finer
gravel which has been washed with water. Remembers drainage
is a requirement.
that the drainage has been provided, throw a layer of
soil over the gravel and wash it with water. The soil
will filter its way through to the bottom. This is important
thought out the construction as it prevents any possibility
of air pockets which roots might stray and in addition
it reduces to a minimum future settling which will change
the outlook of the garden. Next lay an irregular rim
of rock around the edge of the area, some stones being
almost flush with the ground and others rising well
above it. Fill this enclosure with the soil mixture
and wash it again.
lets form another layer in the same way sinking all
large rocks firmly so that they do not move when stepped
on. Remember that irregularity in the width and height
of the levels is essentials and that the grain of the
rock should tend to run inwards. The leveling process
may be continued until the desired height and shape
the constructions has been completed, the soil should
be plentifully scattered over with limestone or other
stone chips. Gravel will serve the same purpose which
is to slow down the evaporation of moisture and keeping
the foliage off the ground.
you have built your first rock garden, you need to select
the correct plants to thrive in this type of environment. The
nursery and plant
links are good places to start. Now that you have finished
a rock garden, it is time to build a "Scree or Moraine
you ready to become a big time rock gardener? Have you
joined any Rock Garden Societies?
Now its time to learn how to make a Scree garden.
Scree in nature is a mass of rocks, stones, gravel and
a small about of silt which is deposited at a base of
a rocky hillside or reminisce of a glacier which is
a Moraine. The proportion of soil in this debris is
negligible but certain plants do survive here. A moraine
is usually on a sunny slope that is watered from underneath
as well as the manner of its deposit is what distinguishes
the moraine from the scree, which is the mass of broken
rock at the base of a cliff, formed by the accumulation
of fragments torn loose from above by frosts and rock
slides. In other words, the scree is a dry moraine as
far as the rock garden is concerned .
gardeners prefer to have a sloping concrete basin a
foot or so below the surface as a foundation for the
moraine, but this is not really necessary unless the
ground below is very sandy and likely to drain off the
supply of moisture too rapidly. Other wise the foundation
of drainage is the same as addrssed for the rock garden.
Instead of building up with the regular soil mixture,
use one part of that to four or more parts of gravel,
sand and broken stone. The moraine feature should be
a gentle slope in a valley of the rock garden with cliffs
on each side and higher construction at the top.
underground watering is supplied in various ways. If
the concrete foundation is used, a trickle of water
in at the top is sufficient. Otherwise, one of the best
methods is to run a perforated pipe up the middle of
the valley a few inches below the surface. This pipe
should be fitted with a valve so that only a very little
water will flow, other wise the moraine will turn into
a swamp. The water may be turned off entirely in wet
weather and of course in the winter.