Do-it-yourself rockery: design rules and an example of an independent device

Rockery is a small rocky garden that is increasingly gaining popularity as an element of landscape design among the owners of small country cottages, as well as owners of solid mansions and residences. The name “rockery” has an English origin, the root of this word “rock” is translated as “rock”. The most interesting shape of the flower garden is able to naturally combine the beauty of stone and plants. Do-it-yourself rockery is a great opportunity to embody the wildest fantasies on the site of creating a marvelous garden of stones, which will become a highlight of the landscape, emphasizing the individuality of its owner.

Rockery in the garden resembles a rock garden in appearance: the compositions of both elements are formed from stones and plants. A distinctive feature between them is the relief arrangement and the choice of plants for the composition. Rock gardens are located on the natural slopes of the site, and for creating compositions, the choice is limited exclusively to alpine plants.

As a site for the creation of rockeries, absolutely any landscape of the area is suitable, including absolutely flat ground

The choice of plants for rockeries is extensive: in creating a composition, you can use both evergreen conifers and flowering annuals.

You can learn how to choose beautiful annual flowers from the material:

Regardless of the style in which the flower garden on the stones will be made, the rockery planting pattern will be approximately similar

Landscape designers distinguish between three main styles of rockeries: English, Japanese, and European. The difference between them is mainly based on the ratio of the number of stones and planted plants.

The English style assumes the use of durable conifers in the composition. Evergreen perennials are loved by the British because they allow you to create landscape decorations that are ready to last for more than one decade.

The European style provides for the creation of stone compositions, which, in terms of filling and composition, are as close as possible to the natural conditions of the middle zone.

In the Japanese style, the emphasis is on stones: the slides are replete with granite blocks, occasionally decorated with bright strokes of a variety of plants

Not every pile of stones, decorated with chaotically planted plants, can be safely called rockery. Thinking about the question: how to make a rockery with your own hands, you should first correctly choose a place for a future composition.

It is very good if the terrain is not uniform and there are small hills and drops. The uneven surface serves as an ideal basis for creating decorative types of composition and for the implementation of interesting ideas. Even a small mound can be transformed into dry scree, a mountain valley ledge or a scenic cascade.

On a flat surface, it is possible to create artificial relief drops or form “flat” stone compositions.

The hilly terrain is convenient for creating a variety of variations of the “mountain” rockery

Points to consider when choosing a place for rockeries in the country:

  • Preference should be given to sunny areas, which will expand the selection of light-loving plants to create a chic flower garden.
  • Rockery should organically fit into the relief, combining into a single picture with other elements: a decorative “mountain” stream, elevation changes, retaining walls, an artificial pond.
  • You can decorate buildings or a fence, which often spoil the background of the composition, with climbing plants or shrubs.
  • It is undesirable to place the flower garden close to the house, since the spring melting of snow can lead to the destruction of the composition.

To facilitate the embodiment of the idea of ​​creating a rockery with your own hands, an approximate plan for a future composition will help. After that, with the help of a cord, you should mark on the selected area the dimensions of the site for the flower garden. A layer of sod is removed from the entire surface of the site to a depth of 15-25 cm, weed roots are taken out of the soil. The bottom of the excavated pit is covered with geotextiles, which prevents the growth of weeds.

The rockery device cannot do without such an important stage as the arrangement of drainage, which can be used as gravel or red brick

The drainage system will save the flower garden on the stones from the accumulation of water. For this, the bottom of the dug pit is covered with a layer of the selected drainage material, then it is covered with a 5 cm layer of coarse sand and only after that it is covered with a layer of soil.

Some gardeners use construction waste as drainage, but this “neighborhood” can adversely affect the planted plants.

At the base of the composition, stones with an attractive surface of the largest sizes are laid. When deciding how to make a rockery so that it looks spectacular from any corner of the site, you should choose the most original side of the stones and unfold it outward from the flower garden.

The stones should be placed in small holes appropriate to their size. A layer of soil and crushed stone is poured under the base of the boulders, which are then carefully compacted so that no air pockets remain. You can check how well the stone “sits” if you stand on it and try to shake it a little.

When laying stones, one should adhere to the principle of naturalness: some small stones can be grouped in an original way, and large boulders can be set apart, filling the voids with plants. At the same time, each stone should be assigned a carefully thought out place.

To create a composition in a uniform style, it is advisable to choose stones of different sizes, but from the same material. Small stones can be held together with special glue or mortar.

You can learn more about how to choose suitable stones from the material:

Correctly selected plants, along with stones, represent the face of rockeries. The main advantage of rockeries is the ability to use any plants to decorate a flower garden that will organically fit into the created landscape.

Decorating the composition with spectacular flowering and complementing each other, the plants will make the flower garden on the stones elegant throughout the year

With the first rays of the spring sun, after the snow melts, snowdrops and crocuses will wake up, painting the flower garden with bright strokes of all kinds of shades. They will be replaced by undersized tulips, muscari and primroses, delighting the eye with colorful flowering. With the onset of warmth, the summer season begins to rule the ball of beauty in the flower garden, which looks spectacular against the background of the lush green of the ground cover pillows: chickweed, sunflower, cat’s paw, tenacious, subulate phlox …

Also useful will be the material on the creation of rockeries with the “Alps”:

Ground covers, saxifrage, rejuvenated, sedums feel very comfortable surrounded by stones.

Rockery of conifers in front of the house will not only be a spectacular decoration of the landscape of the site. The essential oils secreted by the needles have a beneficial effect on the well-being of the owners and guests of the site.

The decoration of small compositions will be super-dwarf plants: evergreen junipers, miniature thujas, pyramidal cypresses, beauties of spruce

It is advisable to combine plants with each other in color, shape and size so as not to violate the integrity of the flower garden. The soil around the plants can be decorated with gravel crumbs, river pebbles or ordinary rubble.

Anna Evans


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