Do-it-yourself rockery: the story of my rocky kindergarten with “Alpines”

Beautification of a summer cottage I have been doing for more than one year. What I don’t have is potatoes, endless cucumbers and tomatoes. My whole site is a garden with a lawn and ornamental plants, planted in flowerbeds, mixborders and other compositions. A special place is occupied by the rockery, the creation of which began with one rocky flowerbed, and ended with a whole composition of stone, gravel and flowers.

Brief Background

The idea of ​​creating a rockery was not accidental. 4 years ago, when I just started laying the first stones in it, I had no idea about landscape design. A rocky garden arose as an inevitable component of my site. And that's why. The acquired site, which required development, had completely barren soil. A few years ago, workers on a bulldozer uprooted stumps here and, among other things, cut off the entire fertile layer. Instead of land, we summer residents had almost one clay left, on which it was difficult to grow anything.

And I wanted to grow flowers! And I was not going to retreat from my dream. She asked her husband to bring me some tires, poured in them the earth brought from the forest belt and abandoned greenhouses. I got raised flower beds in which I planted flowers. They grew well, in the first year I only admired them and was happy. And next spring, looking at the work of my hands, I was disappointed. Tires still looked in my kindergarten as something alien. I wanted to be closer to nature. And then it dawned on me! Why not try using stone instead of tires? Determined, I set off for his prey at a nearby ravine. I collected there a suitable medium-sized material and began creative work.

From the collected stone I laid out the first raised flowerbed, filled it with soil and planted alpine flowers. Next was the second flowerbed, next to her - the third. A composition emerged that depressed me with one thing - monotony. Then my gaze fell on the pile of gravel left after the builders. And I decided that for complete happiness, I do not have enough gravel beds. I laid them out as additional segments related to the general composition. Then a gravel stream appeared, flowing from the well to the flower beds. This stream served a very useful service. He thematically linked the buildings to the plots with a rockery, which before that was located, as it were, separately from everything else. The rocky kindergarten grew, rebuilt, and after 4 years found its final appearance.

How to create a rockery with your own hands, see here: //

The rockery consists of several rocky and gravel beds

About the technology of creating stony and gravel beds

The basis of the rockery is the stones that need to be arranged in a harmonious combination. It's complicated. It is necessary to strive to ensure that the composition takes the form of a rocky or mountain landscape. And of course, technology is important. Without its observance, even a rockery sustained in all design traditions, risks in time to become your headache. For example, if it settles and forms a failure. Or it will become a place of rainwater accumulation and all plants will simply be soaked. Although more often something else happens. Weeds begin to sprout through the stone powder, which is very difficult to combat in the already built stone compositions.

All these troubles need to be thought ahead of time and be proactive. According to the rules, the construction of stony flower beds and slides must be done in the fall. Over the winter, rocky mounds will show all their flaws. Stones and earth will sag, the covered soil will be washed with water. In the spring it will be possible to correct defects, to add soil or stones where necessary. And start landscaping. Such a step-by-step construction is especially relevant for alpine hills, flat flower beds are not so prone to shrinkage, so you can green them immediately, and all deficiencies identified over time can be corrected “in place”.

In my flower garden I used two main elements - raised stone beds and gravel beds.

The first flower beds were made. At first, I outlined the desired contour, removed approximately 20 cm inside the sod. I laid a layer of sand for drainage (10 cm) at the bottom, trampled it and laid the walls of the flowerbed with stones. Then she covered the flower bed with soil, which, after planting, was mulched with gravel. I also laid a few middle stones on top for a variety of landscape paintings.

Stones support the soil in raised beds of rockeries

The technology for creating gravel beds is somewhat different. To begin with, I took out the turf by 25 cm, covered a small layer of sand 10 cm, trampled. Gravel fell from above to ground level, also trampled. In a gravel dump, she made holes, put soil in there, planted plants. On the contours of the beds, to fence them off the grass of the lawn, she made a flange from a dense plastic film. On the gravel from above I laid out several stones of large and medium size in random order.

Creating two gravel beds

Gravel dumping on the surface of flower beds serves not only decorative purposes. This is a mulch, which, firstly, slows down the drying of the soil. And secondly, it does not let the weeds go for a walk, the seeds of which sometimes still enter in the flower beds. Sometimes they germinate, but in a much smaller amount than in non-mulled, soil. In addition, it is easier to pull them out through gravel. Where the soil remains open, ground cover plants protect against weeds.

From the two lowest points of the gravel beds, I diverted two narrow drainage ditches, running them into the general drainage system of the site. Through them there is a drain of excess water, adversely affecting plants (especially during the wintering period).

The whole composition was composed fragmentary, gradually, until it completely suited me. But compiling stone and gravel beds is not all. You need to remember about landscaping. Proper planting will hide small oversights in the arrangement of stones, make the flowerbed “lively” and truly interesting.

The surface of the flower beds is mulched by gravel

My principle of landscaping a rocky garden

In my rockery, I grow alpine plants that require approximately the same conditions of detention. For my flower beds located in an open area, I chose sun-loving unpretentious species that need loose, water-passing soils. I made up such a soil, diluting ordinary soil with a large amount of baking powder and peat.

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I grew some plants from seeds, others I bought already in the form of formed bushes or cuttings. Special care for them is not required. I water all my plants under the root, without waiting for the soil to dry excessively. I feed very rarely, once a season, using soluble mineral fertilizer. Alpines grow well on poor soils. I initially made up poor soil so that they did not grow much and stayed in the form of compact low pillows. The main thing is to bloom! Now, if they do not bloom, then top dressing is mandatory.

And now about the assortment of plants. One of the most beloved is Arends Saxifrages. It grows rapidly, blooms luxuriantly, and is capable of self-sowing. It blooms already in the 2nd year of sowing, although the curtains were then still small. But in the 3rd year, when her pillows grow to 15 cm in diameter, it turns out a real floral carpet. For saxifrage, you need to leave at least half a meter of space. Only at first it grows slowly, and then confidently occupies large areas.

Saxifrage tolerates heat only when abundantly irrigated

Another resident of my stone beds is prone to rapid proliferation - awl-shaped phlox. It does not cause problems, it can tolerate the sun and drought. Arenda's saxifrager is more capricious in this regard, as it needs good watering. And phlox, even in Spartan conditions, on poor soils, grows very abundantly and quickly. Therefore, by the way, it is not suitable for small flower gardens. Or the bush will have to be cut to the required size every year, in principle, the phlox tolerates such cardinal pruning without serious consequences.

The awl-shaped phlox grows cascading lashes that hang picturesquely from the stone walls of the flowerbed

Another drought-tolerant flower is alissum rocky, it feels best in the cracks between the stones. It is undesirable to transplant it, it will be sick for a long time. You need to immediately plant in a permanent place. And then he quickly shows himself in all its glory, grows and closes all bald spots flower beds.

Alyssum rocky has a honey aroma that attracts butterflies and bees

Unlike rocky alissum, the transplant tolerates aurethia. So that it forms a beautiful compact bush and holds its shape, it is best to attach it between the stones. Apparently, the Aubriet loves cramped roots.

Aubrieta hibernates with leaves, therefore already in early spring it looks quite decorative

Youngsters carry tightness and a small amount of soil. I have three types of them - cobweb, roofing and spray. All of them form low, dense and neat green rugs. And bloom extraordinarily! They can be planted both on the ground and between stones, on stone walls. A completely non-aggressive, cohabiting with other species, plant.

Unusual flowering cobweb young

I also really love stonecrops (sedums). In general, I believe that a small rocky kindergarten can be planted by young people and stonecrops alone. Stonecrops, in contrast, from youngsters, are aggressors. They grow at a frantic speed, covering with themselves all the free space. Their shape must be constantly regulated, restrained. Stonecrops live in my rockery: thick-leaved, round-leaved, poplar, flower-bearing.

Sedum forms dense rugs

Before all the ground cover in my flower garden, Caucasian arabis blooms. I have no problems with him. Winters well, in the spring it quickly forms a carpet of snow-white flowers. When it fades, you can forget about caring for it altogether - a real Spartan.

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Caucasian arabis blooms in a lush cloud of white flowers that attract early butterflies

Among the stones of the rockery, small Alpines organically look - giant and Carpathian bells. They almost do not grow, remain neat bumps. Alpine clove behaves the same way. The maximum that they can occupy in the flower bed is 20-30 cm.

Alpine cloves need to be planted away from aggressive neighbors, it does not withstand competition and may die

In addition to all of the above, in a rocky kindergarten I grow breaches, gentians, napters, levis, aquilegia, acidic, variegated periwinkle. The collection is quite extensive, so I had to come up with a strategy to help me create a consistent color composition and avoid chaos. I do the following: I plant one species of plant at different points in the flower beds. It turns out that color spots, over some distance, are repeated, echo each other. This brings harmony to the design of my rockery.

Rockery in the summer riot of colors

This is useful: how to create a flowerbed of continuous flowering: //

This will end the story. Although work on my rockery will continue. New ideas are constantly appearing that you want to bring to life. I still continue to create and it makes me very happy!



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