If you plan to give a new look to your garden, then it may be the right time to convert part of your existing garden into a small rock garden. If you have some part of your land or the present existing garden with attractive and natural rock formations and a slope, then that can make it the perfect location for a rock garden. If you are keen to change the existing layout into a small rock garden, what you simply need is some topsoil and some rocks to start with. A rock garden, however, is not simply creating a mound out of earth soil and putting some rocks around it. It has to be done artistically with landscaping in mind and due care has to be taken to the selection of plants and arranging for drainage for water to flow out.
Use a sloping area
The best place to create a rock garden would generally be a sloping area, where it becomes easier for the surface water to flow out. This is because the mountain growing plants that could be used for your rock garden does not grow well in water-bound soil. Running water is the natural habitat for these plants to grow well. The soil areas for such a rock garden setting are required to be gritty rather than well-composted so that the plants can get a natural environment to grow. If there is no slope available, you may excavate some area and then place stones at the bottom. Place some large rocks to protrude above the garden surface and your garden setting is ready. You may arrange some more stones around the big rock. Fill up the space between the rocks with smaller stones as well as gritty soil, which can easily drain. If you mix a bit of sand with topsoil, it can help to drain water to a substantial extent. Though limestone is the best to construct such a garden, even granite or the local stone can also be beneficial and advantageous. You can fill up the pockets between the rocks with composted soil and then place the plants in it.
You may even carve out a running stream with flexible plastic or polythene, with about 1" of flexible piping and a water pump. You may have a small pool at the base and keep pumping back the water to the top of the stream. This helps to a continuous flow of water in the running stream of the rock garden and helps plants to flourish. There are any numbers of plants that you may choose from. There are some low growing plants of perennial nature like balloon flowers, English daisies, forget me not, phlox etc, which can be attractively arranged. You may use plants like summer-blooming heaths, herbs and annuals like sweet alyssum, lobelia, blue-eyed grass that can make the rock garden colourful for the rest of the season.
Great care should be taken of the rock garden, as much as you would do for the potted plants. You may occasionally add some manure or compost to give the plants freshness and the thought to see them grow well even in the poor soil. Clipping off the dead stems and foliage and reducing the size of plants that have become too large for the area are some things that you need to do regularly. It is important to check regularly for insects and diseases and take measures to pesticide them. Some care also needs to be taken, before the first winter in the cold climates.
If you have the right space and chic ideas to create a rock garden, go ahead and do it right away.
Protection from weeds is also necessary. Mulching between the rows provides effective weed control. It is also good for conserving moisture and provides a pathway for access to the plants as well. You can use either straw, grass clippings, wood chips or garden debris as mulch. Be watchful against insects, pests and take timely action as the plants grow. After a plant has fruited avoid using pesticide unless absolutely necessary.
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