The rock garden is back, and it’s drought-tolerant and requires little maintenance.
Rock gardens were an essential element in large and small British gardens.
As with other trends, they were neglected or made with little thought or understanding. Rockeries, or rock gardens, were almost extinct up until recent times.
Garden centers began reporting increased alpine and rock sales a few decades ago. The Guardian newspaper predicted that rockeries would be revived. The Guardian newspaper reported that a “rockery revival” was in progress. Gravel gardens began to appear at park shows like Amanda Grimes’ “Punk Rockery” garden at RHS Hampton Court last summer.
Amicia, of Doddington Place Gardens, was nominated for Historic Houses Garden of the Year in 2013. The stunning rock garden dates back to Edwardian times and was renovated 12 years ago. It performed well in the UK during recent heat and dry records.
It is a large garden, measuring about half an acre. The park is located in a 10-acre garden area. There are also many ways to make smaller rock gardens. Doddington Place Gardens are open from April until September. The gardens are available twice a week to the public.
How to plan a rock garden
Amicia suggests that you start by visiting other rock gardens. These rock gardens will likely be in larger parks like Doddington Place Gardens. You can still take inspiration from them.
Amicia suggests looking at a small section of an extensive rock garden. You’ll find a small area with alpine plants near the Doddington Place Garden stairs. It would be an ideal place to start your small garden.
Use the hashtag #rockgarden/#rockery to search Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. This will not help you find the perfect rockery but will give you ideas on what to include and exclude.
Where is the best place for your rock garden?
The rock garden is a beautiful way to manage slopes. It can be difficult to water and plant a small bank. This is usually more cost-effective than building a retaining or terracing wall. How to Plant on Slopes.
You can use a measuring tape to determine the number of rocks needed. You can pack the stones closely or separate them using pebble mulch.
Posy Gentles, a garden designer, created a rock garden for her long and narrow town garden to raise the height of the space. Posy was given the rocks by someone who didn’t want them thrown out. You can use stones you’ve received for free through an online exchange site to create a rock garden.
How do you choose suitable rocks?
Your local stone will look much better in your garden. Even though you might still need to know what your local stone looks like, an online search will reveal the differences between rocks. At least one local building will be made of local stone.
There are several ways to obtain rocks for free or at a discount. Posy Gentles suggests that you search local markets like Freecycle or Freegle for people who want to eliminate stones in their gardens. She says that you can find them for free if they’re collected.
Local rocks are not necessarily rocks that you purchase or acquire locally. You can find the best options if you do some research.
Don’t remove the moss or lichen. They are vital for the ecology of your garden and give it a natural look.
How to arrange rocks in a rock garden?
The RHS recommends that stones be buried a third of their original depth and then tilted backward to mimic how they would naturally emerge from the landscape.
You can use a pile of rubble, bricks, or stones as the foundation for a slope. RHS recommends that you cover the soil with compost and turf. This will prevent dirt and compost from falling into cracks between the rock.
Posy worked in a garden with bricks left by its owners. They never got around to it. The brick pile was colonized with plants and is now a rock garden.
Posy’s Rock Garden raises the level of soil by six inches. You don’t need to create a cliff.
How To Plant Rock Gardens
- For vertical interest, place evergreen structures first.
- Add smaller evergreen shrubs for winter interest
- Find a local alpine supplier.
- Small, drought-tolerant plants are sedums and Sempervivums.
- Trailing plants like creeping rosemary, creeping thyme, and aubretia
- Spiky plants such as the iris perovskite and yucca can create contrasting shapes in your garden.
- You can plant smaller bulbs with snowdrops or crocuses.
Start with the evergreen structure.
Rock gardens are designed to look like alpine mountainsides. Plants are usually small to survive the harsh conditions of mountainous terrain and strong winds. You will need some vertical presence, but not too much.
The RHS warns that although miniature conifers are beautiful, they may not be dwarf conifers. Slow-growing dwarf conifers may eventually become too big for your space. Check the size of the shrubs to ensure they will grow manageable for your area. Here’s more information about producing conifers.
Some rock gardens were created to display alpine plants. You should find a local supplier and ask for their opinion on the best plants for your soil. Many garden centers offer an alpine section.
You can also choose smaller plants that are drought-tolerant. Sempervivums and stonecrops are also succulents. Check to see if they can survive winters.
Water Features and Sculpture
Posy and Amicia agree that the rock garden has sufficient structure, interest, and shape. You don’t need sculpture. Nature has many natural forms that can be used as sculptures. Doddington Place Gardens has a variety of interesting rocks and fallen tree trunks that can be used to create unique sculptures.