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Today we will talk about all the details of the construction of a rock garden on the site with our own hands. One of the most common mistakes made by beginners here is to plant ordinary flowering plants between the stones. After all, in fact, for such plants as physalis, daylily, phlox and other garden flowers, a slide is not needed.
Creating an organic relationship in the design of a rocky area of any shape with other elements of the garden is the main task. Also of great importance is the choice of the point of view, the correct choice of stones for an alpine hill - their breed, texture and shape, as well as the use of the perspective effect.
A skilfully created stony garden should create the impression of a long-formed landscape, therefore, use of stones for an alpine hill is necessary only for those that have a weathered (aged) surface covered with moss or lichen. Do not forget that some species of lichens require a bright sun, and many mosses prefer shade and are hygrophilous. The conditions for the natural growth of plants must be maintained in case of stone transfer along with plants growing on it for an alpine hill.
Plants for rock garden
The success of the do-it-yourself alpine slide will depend more on the associated vegetation. Ground cover species are the basis of the plant assortment: they are unpretentious, have long and early flowering, and also grow rapidly. Thyme, shaving, stubble, Iberis, various stonecrops, saxifrage, rehula, awl-shaped phlox, soap dish, which fill the cracks and covering the voids, and they quickly add color to the whole composition, forming perfectly with their own hands, look great on thyme, shaving, stalk, iberis, Iberis, a variety of sediments, forming colorful rugs. However, these plants should not be released from control: when planted on fertile soil, they rapidly and aggressively conquer new territory, thereby crowding out more “peaceful” neighbors.
Creating a rock garden at the cottage
Which plants are more suitable for an alpine hill? First of all, those are planted that in the ordinary flower garden can simply get lost and be crushed by powerful neighbors. Also, under such plants are meant those that can develop worse due to inappropriate moisture and low nutrient content of the soil. Hence it is not surprising that such plants are best located in a rocky garden. These include, in particular, stunted bulbous ephemeroids. They are the very first to blossom between the stones in the spring. Fritillaria, crocuses, bulbous irises and dwarf bows are also suitable. From the middle of June, the empty place after their wilting, again, may be taken by the foliage of other plants that has grown by this time.
In general, the types of plants for an alpine hill can be characterized as follows. First of all, they should not be too high and at the same time they must be frost-resistant and able to adapt to very severe weather conditions in central Russia. The whole point here is also that most mountain plants are in a certain niche with certain growing conditions. And the Russian winter, as you know, can often be too slushy, sometimes shrouded in frost, then short in time, then too long. Summer, in turn, is arid or excessively rainy. In this regard, in order not to create difficult conditions for the "mountain" plants, one should choose from them those that will be most plastic to unstable weather. Fortunately, there are a lot of such plants today.
Low-growing shrubs, such as various heathers and cotoneaster horizontal, as well as decorative forms of conifers - junipers, decorative pine, thuja, will serve as a spectacular decoration for any do-it-yourself slide made by yourself.
You should not forget about beautifully flowering perennials, among which you can choose varieties and species that are suitable for growing in a rocky garden. For example: Chinese astilbe, reaching a height of 15-25 cm, which blooms in compact paniculate pinkish-purple blossoms in mid-July, or an exceptional dicenter, in height which is no more than 20-30 cm, and blooms from mid-May to early August pink flowers collected in racemose inflorescences, as well as perennial flax, gypsophila, various primroses, gravilate and many other plants.
Bulbous flowers for rock garden
You can not neglect the early spring flowering bulb. Crocuses and snowdrops will bloom first on the created alpine slide with their own hands with the advent of the first warm sunshine, then sprouts and chionodoxes will appear. We certainly recommend planting species tulips by Greig and Kaufmann, as well as daffodils, reviving a rocky landscape with bright sparkles of their flowers.
Drawing up a plan and diagram of an alpine hill
Now that the plants are selected, it remains to think about drawing up a plan for the alpine hill itself. Naturally, stone has a great opportunity to build a beautiful rock, hill or wall. However, do not forget that the ultimate goal here is precisely the harmonious combination of stone and plants.
It is necessary to take into account the fact that height and "rockiness" affect the freezing of our garden in the winter season. It follows that the design of the alpine hill should be limited in height, or only winter-hardy plant species should be planted in the upper part, again.
Then, for each plant, conditions are created that are as close as possible to natural ones. Ideally, a stone garden should have all the attendant attributes of mountains of natural origin - these are steep cliffs, gentle slopes endowed with fertile soil, and rocky talus. Only in this case it will be possible to find a corner for every plant that will delight with abundant flowering.
Rock garden construction
And so our conversation turned to how it is better to build an alpine hill. Then, when the necessary material is purchased, do not hesitate and you need to start building it.
The construction of an alpine hill begins with a foundation, or rather, with a drainage device. In principle, it can be neglected, but only if the site does not stagnate water. The drainage technology is actually very, very simple.
At the initial stage of construction, a ten-centimeter layer of soil is removed, which can be replaced by such means as, for example, coarse sand, gravel or crushed stone. Just before backfilling, you just need to make sure that no rhizomes of perennial weeds are present in the ground - otherwise they will easily penetrate between the stones and destroy the alpine hill. The ideal option is laying under the drainage of geotextiles.
The next step in the construction of the Alpine slide is the addition of land and the laying of stones. It is better not to use ordinary soil here - a special mixture is more suitable. For the preparation of the latter are used: garden loam (it will increase the moisture capacity), coarse sand (to give looseness), compost of three years exposure (to give nutrition) and fine crushed gravel. At the same time, do not forget that the earth in the mountains is always rocky.
Having made a mixture of such a plan, pour it over the drainage in a small layer - about ten centimeters - twenty literally. Then we trample down this earth, and even better - we moisten it well so that it sags properly.
It is already possible to start the main moment of building an alpine hill - laying stones. In order for the slide to stand for a long time and not undergo deformation, looking natural and attractive, It is very useful to observe a number of simple rules during construction:
- layers of stone should lie parallel to each other throughout the rock garden
- the largest stones are first set, and then the smaller ones
- the stones on the upper layers must necessarily lie on the lower stones, because if the plate lies on one side of the stone and the other on the soil, then after some time the slide can simply skew
- if plants expecting directly plants with a voluminous root lump, then especially for them to leave seats between the stones
- all the voids located between the stones must be filled with soil, and the best assistant in this will be water; after each layer is laid with stones and soil, it will be very good to water it all, and abundantly
- stones should be placed so that the soil between them is not washed away by meltwater and rain, because otherwise you will have to constantly add soil, and the plants will be sick due to exposure of the roots
An ideal option would be the newly built alpine hill providing the opportunity to defend for one winter, so that the freezing and thawing cycles, as well as melt water, will help to identify all the shortcomings of this structure.
And only after carrying out the above actions, the construction of the alpine hill can be completed by planting plants. Here you need to remember that you can help each of them by adding the necessary ingredients to the ground - for example, it can be dug limestone, if the slide is made of sandstone.
And one more tip. To preserve moisture in the soil of an alpine hill even on the hottest days of summer and to eliminate unnecessary evaporation, there is a certain way. A universal recipe here can be called sprinkling the surface of a rocky garden with gravel or stone chips, with the obligatory use of the same rock from which the alpine hill is composed.
The stony garden has many advantages, and first of all, it is compact. As a rule, a fairly large number of plant species grows in a relatively small area of a rocky garden, and it is planting among stones that emphasizes the beauty of each of them. In addition, rocky gardens are very decorative and unpretentious.
Such gardens retain their decorative effect for a fairly long time and do not require complicated maintenance due to the use of perennial plants with different flowering periods when planting.
Rock Garden Design
Materials for rock garden
In order to make an alpine hill in the country, various rocks are used, which differ in their effect on vegetation and origin. The most valuable stones for the Alpine slide are considered to be “warm” stones - shell rock, tuff (trafertin), dolomite, limestone and sandstone. Air- and water-permeable, with a porous structure, layered data of sedimentary rocks, the soil is slightly alkalized and combined with most plants. Their only drawback is the relative fragility.
Igneous rocks are very decorative in their appearance and are widely used in landscape design. Diorite, gabbro, granite, diabase, basalt, in contrast to sandstones and tuffs. But, unfortunately, when creating an alpine slide with your own hands from such material, you must carefully select the plants to choose, as these are “cold and dense stones: the soil near them is slightly acidic. Plus, chipped blocks are prone to slow” aging ”, therefore, do not fit well into the surrounding landscape. Metamorphic rocks such as quartzite and shale (gneiss) are very similar in their properties.
Rock garden - a bright accent in the garden (20 photos)