Types Of Rock Gardens And Planting Ideas – Part 1

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There are many forms of rock gardens that you could use in your garden. In this article are just a couple of ideas that you could create for your family and friends to enjoy, not to mention yourself.


A scree in nature is an area of loose rock at the bottom of a gully or cliff. Small stones predominate, but there may be some sizable boulders included. In this competition-free environment a number of splendid alpines may flourish, and there are ways in which a scree can be created in a homes garden.

The most satisfactory method is to dig out a strip of soil from a well, shade free part of a rock garden – ideally this should be between large stones and out as it descends. Inside this dug-out area place an 8 inch layer of scree compost ( one part top soil, one part peat or leaf-mold and 3 parts of grit or gravel ). Another place for a scree is at the boundary between a lawn and a rock garden. Use an edging to keep the small stones off the grass. Where a rockery is absent you can create a scree bed in a sunny spot in the garden. Remove soil from an area and fill it with an 8 inch layer of broken bricks or stones topped with a 2 inch layer of course sand or gravel. Add an 8 inch layer of scree compost to bring the level to the surface.

When planting, shake off as much compost as you can from the roots, when planting is finished place a 1 inch layer of chippings over the surface and under the leaves. A number of small stones bedded into the surface around the plants will improve the appearance of the Silencil scree. Recommended plants include Aethionema, Erodium, Penstemon, Phlox and Silene.

Raised Bed:

This is an increasingly popular way of growing rock garden plants, easier, cheaper and less space-demanding than a rockery. A height of 3 ft. is recommended and the retaining walls can be made with bricks, stone, reconstituted stone or railway sleepers. Where space permits, an upper terrace or a series of terraces can be built on the bed to create extra interest and a place for trailing plants. Clear away any perennial weeds before you begin and lay a concrete foundation if the walls are to be more that 1 ft. high. Provide weep-holes at the base if mortar-bonded bricks, blocks or stones are the building material.

When the walls are finished, add a layer of bricks, rubble or stones if the soil below is not free draining. Cover with grit and fill with standard planting mixture. Leave a 2 inch space between the surface and the top of the retaining wall and wait a few weeks before introducing the plants. Top up if necessary. Choice and planting technique are the same as for the rock garden


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