Rock garden: the best device diagrams and an example of creating with your own hands

It is impossible to imagine the landscape design of an individual or summer cottage without picturesque corners designed to decorate the garden and so please the eyes of their owners. “Zest” that can instantly transform the look of the garden landscape - an exotic guest for our latitudes originally from the Mediterranean - an alpine hill, created in the form of an island of wildlife of the Alpine mountains, made of rock stone with bright intersperses of lush vegetation. We suggest you figure out how this design works.

Types and schemes of rock garden devices

Armed with patience and imagination, you can easily create a rock garden with your own hands. Let's look at how to plan and lay down an alpine hill correctly without involving specialized specialists. Please note that the main component in the construction of the rock garden is a group of stones of various sizes, the “gray silence” of which is diluted with representatives of the flora, characteristic of the alpine terrain - conifers, integumentary and stone-cutting plants. Creating a rock garden at the cottage or near a country house, you form a mountainous fragment of nature that resembles a natural one, therefore stones and plants need to be arranged in a chaotic, natural way.

The rock garden serves as a bright decoration of the garden, standing out against a green lawn

Depending on the principle by which stones are selected and placed, rock gardens are of the following types:

  • The rock is a steep alpine hill with dominant large boulders at the base, surrounded by stones of medium and small size, placed closer to the top.
  • A scree or hillside is a rock garden with one slope, where the dimensional stones are closer to the top and the small stone placer is at the base.
  • Mountain valley is a horizontal composition of rock garden with boulders, medium and small stones located in a free way.
  • Terraced slope - rock garden of this type is organized on a gentle slope in the form of small steps supported by large stone blocks.
  • Forest ravine - such a rock garden is located in a depression similar to a shell, decorated with massive boulders overgrown with moss.
  • A rocky wall is a rock garden formed mainly from flat-shaped stone folded in the form of a low curb.
  • Separately, I want to highlight the latest fashion - rock garden " Czech rolling pin ". We wrote a separate article about him - you can read here.

Sometimes the alpine hill is called rockery. In fact, rockery differs from rock garden in the selection of stones - when laying it, not only rocks are used, but also round-shaped river boulders or large pebbles.

The rock garden in the form of a rocky wall made of layered stone can become an original solution to fencing

Choosing a place to place

When choosing a place to create a rock garden on your land, you need to consider that you create an accent designed to decorate your garden, therefore, you need to place the alpine slide in the open, so that it is a site with good visibility from all sides. As a rule, an alpine hill is pitched in the center or on the edge of a grass lawn. It is best to orient the rock garden to the south or south-west - in this way it will be well lit by the sun and get enough heat.

Alpine slide in the center of the green lawn will become a dominant element in the landscape design of your site

Terraced Alpine slide harmoniously fit into the natural relief of the garden

When laying an alpine hill, it is necessary to avoid places adjacent to buildings, and in the shadow of massive trees, however, shrubs or trees may be present in the background, at some distance, to create a background for a spectacular perception of rock garden. It’s not bad when the rock garden is inscribed in the existing landscape of the land plot, located on a gentle slope or in a ravine, fitting into the natural elevation differences - the lowlands and elevations of the site.

Strive for the trees and shrubs in the background of the rock garden to be solid in color. The colorful background will distract from the whole perception of the alpine hill as an accent element of the landscape of the site.

A staircase leading up the slope can be beautifully complemented by an alpine slide imitating a rocky landscape.

The starting point for creating a rocky hill can be a rock garden scheme, drawn at the scale where you preliminary plan the arrangement of stones and planting plants. If the rock garden is supposed to be located deep in the garden, you need to think through the paths and paths leading to it.

Lost in the back of the garden, surrounded by a wild corner of nature from the Alps, it can be a great place for a secluded vacation

It looks spectacular when a rocky winding path or a dry stream of small stones crosses an alpine hill, and a bench or grotto with a bench is located nearby, from where you can admire the result of your landscape art.

Looks great rock garden in tandem with a small pond, overgrown with reeds and water lilies

A rock garden with a pond looks very harmonious, especially if it is a slightly marshy pond with characteristic moisture-loving plants planted along the coast. An interesting decision to design a pond can be to plant a dimensional tree or coniferous bush on a tiny “patch” of land adjacent to the water. This technique will visually expand the boundaries of the site.

The rock garden, created from huge boulders in combination with a small waterfall, will truly decorate your garden

A spectacular accent of an alpine hill combined with a pond can be a small waterfall flowing from an artificial gorge or stone wall.

Step-by-step steps for arranging a rock garden

Preparatory work for the bookmark

Using the previously created plan of the rock garden device, start its bookmark with the marking of the chosen site - determine the diameter of the hill, its height and the location of large accent stones. The height of the slide is calculated based on the diameter of its base - 1 m of base is 10-20 cm in height. The height of the rock garden is optimally in the range of 0.5-1.5 meters.

Create an alpine slide scheme, indicating its dimensions and placement of the main elements of the composition

Form the slopes of the alpine hill in such a way that one of them is more gentle and oriented south

Many people wonder how to make the rock garden resistant to the natural processes of destruction under the influence of wind, groundwater and rainfall. It is best to begin the arrangement of the rock garden in the fall and carefully prepare the foundation for it. Soil preparation, preceding the creation of an alpine hill, consists in clearing the site and in removing the top layer of soil to a depth of 20-30 cm.

Before laying the rock garden, form a drainage layer to drain water

This deepening is necessary for the drainage device - water drainage from the rock garden, for which it is covered with gravel, expanded clay, crushed brick or construction waste to a height of 10 cm. A 5-centimeter layer of coarse sand is poured on top, then a 15-centimeter layer of soil, onto which, subsequently stones are stacked and plants are planted.

When arranging a terraced rock garden, a large stone is laid at the base of each tier

When preparing a site for rock gardens, pay special attention to weeding to get rid of perennial weeds such as wheat grass, which, when germinated, can destroy the hill from the inside. It is advisable to additionally treat the area under the bookmark of the rock garden with herbicides.

Creating a basic composition of stones

To create a composition of stones, start by laying large boulders at the base of an alpine hill

A composition of stones is the basis of any rock garden. It is important to choose stones of the same type for the entire slide, but of different sizes - several large boulders, stones of medium and small size. Provide flat stones - they will serve as original steps for movement when caring for an alpine hill. You need to start laying stones from the bottom up - from large to small, grouping and distributing them. It will be erroneous to stack the stones in a regular way, observing equal distances between them. Stones for rock gardens should be located chaotically, as close as possible to the natural mountain landscape.

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When arranging an alpine hill, the stones need to be deepened a little into the soil

When laying an alpine hill, the stones are buried at 1/2 or 1/3 of their height, and then, additionally, they are covered with fertile soil, which in equal parts includes turf land, peat, humus and sand. After the sinuses between the stones are sprinkled, the earth is rammed and watered with a spray, so that the soil does not wash out. Planting of plants is not recommended to be performed immediately after the composition of the stones is arranged - the hill needs to be given about 2-3 weeks to settle and sag a little. It is best if the hill survives the winter, and in the spring already begin planting plants.

Another point - when you form a composition of stones, periodically move away from the slide at a distance of 3-5 meters to assess its harmony and integrity.

Plant selection and planting

Having wintered, the rock garden is ready for planting in the spring. Usually, these are plants characteristic of the high mountains of the Alps. First, shrubs are planted, then herbaceous plant species, and finally, ground cover “Alpines”. Plants for rock gardens need to be selected in such a way that the slide looks spectacular at any time of the year, pleasing the eye with the flowering of spring primroses, bright foliage of ground cover representatives of the flora and evergreen conifers.

To plant a plant in the ground, a hole is dug between the stones, the bottom of which is strengthened with gravel, where the plant is then placed. After planting, the earth around is rammed and mulched by small gravel.

Proper placement of plants will contribute to their growth and enhance the aesthetic sound of an alpine hill

A dwarf weeping tree may become the center of the composition of the coniferous rock garden

It is important to know that a rather unpretentious version of landscape design can be a rock garden from conifers, when the stone composition is diluted with evergreen shrubs and trees.

How to choose a suitable stone?

Choosing a stone for rock garden you need to pay attention to its size, shape and surface features. Considering that the rock garden imitates a mountain landscape, where the stones are polished by precipitation and winds, have an irregular but natural shape, it is undesirable for an alpine hill to use a rounded stone of river origin or stone scrap with sharp edges.

A good choice for rock garden is limestone or sandstone. Dolomite is suitable - sedimentary rock, shale with a layered structure, basalt, travertine, calcareous tuff, light gneiss. A particularly valuable specimen for rock gardens will be a forest boulder overgrown with moss and lichen.

To form an alpine hill, it is necessary to select a stone of different sizes - from huge blocks to small gravel

An excellent choice for an alpine hill is sandstone - a layered stone of light beige tones

Stone options for rock garden:

  • White-green quartz - fragmentation stone, smoothed in fragments, ranging in size from 20 to 60 centimeters, is mined in the Orenburg region;
  • Milk quartz - a stone with an uneven rough surface from 30 to 70 cm, mined in the Urals;
  • Sirpanthenite - a stone of silver or green color, measuring 25-45 cm, mined in the Caucasus, 15 rubles / kg;
  • Elbrus - a stone gray or beige measuring 20-90 cm, 11 rubles / kg;
  • “Petrified wood” made of oblong quartzite yellow-beige in color with veins, size 20-50 cm, 16 rubles / kg;
  • Jasper green and red, size 20-60 cm, 12 rubles / kg;
  • Green coil - a stone measuring 20-80 cm, 19 rubles / kg;
  • Quartz “Rainbow” - a stone of yellow-brown color, measuring 10-70 cm, 11 rubles / kg;
  • Sandstone - a stone of an arbitrary rounded shape of sand or gray, with a size of 30-90 cm.

If you use limestone to create a rock garden, then the soil poured between the stones will have an alkaline reaction, unsuitable for some plants, so the soil will have to be acidified.

Plants for planting in rock gardens

Shade-tolerant alpine plants that plant on the northern slope of the rock garden:

  • Astilba - blooms in July, has small pink flowers collected in pyramidal inflorescences.
  • Badan is a perennial from the family of Saxifrages with bright green fleshy leaves and raspberry inflorescences.
  • Periwinkle - the owner of a brilliant dark green foliage and blue 5-petal flowers.
  • Tenderness is a groundcover rapidly growing under the influence of the sun.
  • Fern - Looks great at the foot of an alpine hill.
  • Primrose is a spring primrose.
  • Stachis is an unpretentious plant with bluish fluffy leaves.
  • Hosts - grow in the form of rosettes from leaves of various colors - in white, blue, golden streaks.

A spectacular solution for a rock garden in the form of a stone fence - a colorful flower cover

Periwinkle and cloves - traditional inhabitants of the Alpine hills

Photophilous alpine plants that plant on the southern slope of an alpine hill:

  • Adonis is a perennial with bright colors.
  • Acene - does not lose foliage in the winter, and the flowers after flowering take the form of needle-shaped red balls.
  • Decorative bow - large leaves combined with long vertical arrows with spherical color.
  • Iris is a perennial bulbous plant with flowers similar to an orchid.
  • Lavender is an evergreen shrub with a small purple color.
  • Sempervivum - small rosettes of fleshy leaves of green color.

The combination of integumentary plants with saxifrages and primroses creates a harmonious plant composition rock garden

Universal plants for the alpine hill:

  • Arabis is a perennial groundcover, blooms in May and late autumn.
  • Bell - has a plentiful color in July to October.
  • Crocus is a corm plant, primrose.
  • Muscari is a bulbous plant resembling hyacinth.
  • Mylnianka - grows in calcareous rocks, an alpine perennial.
  • Sedum (stonecrop) - rosettes of juicy leaves with lemon color.
  • Scylla is a primrose with blue inflorescences.
  • Violet is an unpretentious plant that blooms almost the entire warm season.
  • Phlox is a carpet plant with a shallow pink color.

Hybrid forms of browia are also suitable for growing on an alpine hill. Read about it: rastenija / brovalliya-kak-vyrastit-nezhnoe-rastenie-cvetushhee-ves-god.html

A combination of wooden steps and a conifer rock garden is an interesting move in the design of a rocky path.

Evergreens, harmoniously and naturally complementing the rock ensemble of the Alpine slide:

  • Norway spruce and Canadian;
  • Mountain pine;
  • Juniper is Cossack, rocky or ordinary.

Shrubs forming an intermediate tier between low trees and ground cover crops in rock gardens:

  • Almond;
  • Russian broom;
  • Japanese Spirea;
  • Barberry red-leaved;
  • Spindle tree;
  • Heather;
  • Cotoneaster horizontal;
  • Bloodroot.

Forest boulders overgrown with lichen, located on the shore of a pond - an original idea for decorating a rock garden

Caring for rock gardens involves weeding, removing dried inflorescences and sparse watering. Fertilize the alpine hill with phosphate and potassium fertilizers, but not often - only to prepare for the winter. To protect against freezing in the winter, plants are covered with shavings, spruce spruce branches or burlap. When it snows, snow is constantly maintained on the hill to help plants winter.


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