Rock gardens can be a beautiful, economic way to improve the landscape around your home. Rock gardens are often found where the climate is rather harsh and delicate plants do not thrive.
Many rock gardens have few plants. The ones that are there are quite strong and can deal with tough conditions.
Having less plant life does not mean that it looks worse than typical landscapes, though. With a creative arrangement of rocks complimented by strategically placed and colored plants, a rock garden can be extremely good looking. Another benefit is that it is low maintenance. It will even reduce the area of your lawn that needs mowed.
You should begin your rock garden by observing the area where you would like it to go to plan what you want to do. You should then clear the unwanted plants from the area, especially and diseased plants. Dig out the roots of all of the plants that you want to get rid of, or else they will grow back.
Assuming you will have at least some plants in your rock garden, you should test the pH of the soil to find it’s acidity. It is common to wait a growing season before actually planting anything after getting rid of weeds and placing the rocks. This will ensure that the soil is ready and that the weeds are all gone.
Mixing mulch, compost, and other nutrients into the soil will help to enrich it and get it ready for planting as well. If the plants you want to have need alkali in the soil, you can add crushed oyster shells or limestone to the soil.
After the soil is improved, you can begin to place the rocks. Having a variety in the placement, size, and shape of the rocks looks very nice. Don’t space your rocks out evenly. If you’ll want a lot of plants, the rocks should be further apart from each other. They can be close together if you’ll use few plants. In general, you should make the design look as natural as possible.
If your garden area is sloped, you should start by placing the rocks low and working up. You should slope the top of the rock towards the slope of the garden so that water is guided downward for better drainage. You should also keep outcroppings from overshadowing rocks and plants below. The widest side of each rock should be it’s base. You want the garden to be as stable as possible.
If the garden area is flat, on the other hand, you should work from the inside out. As part of the landscape rock design you may want to build a map of where the rocks will go so you can keep track as you are placing them. In order to not have too plain of an appearance, you may also want to build some mounds for elevation chance and to add some visual interest to the rock garden.
Again, remember to plant the plants after everything is placed and the soil is settled. You should plant in early spring or early autumn. The plants that you choose should be able to survive in your climate and in rough terrain. Once you plant then, your rock garden should look very nice. Most of the hard work is done after it is arranged and planted, since not much upkeep is necessary.
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