Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The sites of ROCK GARDENS vary widely.  My yard has a slope where big rocks were placed when the home was built.  Although my rock garden gets full sun, many are in shady areas. Some of the things I like best about having a rock garden is that we get to use a variety of plants that are mostly low-growing, that I wouldn't have in the yard; I also like it that it is viewable from all sides--since most of  my beds are against a foundation or fence, and viewing is limited from the front; and, it is a natural barrier between the patio and a big expanse of lawn that we have, so it provides color and diversity in the back yard.  There are some simple guidelines to planting a successful rock garden:
  • Make sure the plants you select aren't too big for the area.  Small, low growing plants are usually best for a rock garden
  • If you're placing your rocks, do so they look like they belong there, not just "placed" there 
  • It is especially nice to see the plants falling, or cascading over the rocks
  • Choose plants whose root systems are close to the surface, as the soil might not be very deep since the rocks may just be under the soil; you can also find areas where you can fill with topsoil to give your plants a better chance of flourishing
  • Because of the rocks, you may need to water a rock garden more because the soil is shallow; watch it closely to make sure plants don't dry out

One of my favorite things about the rock garden is that it has 4 distinct looks from spring through fall--two in spring, one in summer, and then one in the fall. They all look completely different, and I like the change as the season progresses. It's easy to take care of, since I can get to the plants from any angle (a luxury I don't have with many of my beds!)  NOTE:   I might mention that it is one of the few beds that does get overhead watering--I took that into account as I selected the plants that would go in the garden.  My friend has a rock garden that is filled with water-wise plants, and it is actually a dry corner of her yard that doesn't get much water--and it's beautiful!   Most nurseries now feature "Water-Wise" plants and I think that's a great way to go!  Conserving water all we can is not only smart, it's extremely beneficial to us all.  Some of the plants I have in the rock garden are:  Veronica "steppable", Basket of Gold, Candytuft, Snow-in-the-Summer, Blue-Eyed Grass, Lithadora (a beautiful blue!), Blue companula, Twinspur (one of my favorite pinks!),  Dwarf Bellflower, Rockfoil (a favorite filler between rocks with a great crimson/pink bloom), low growing Lavenders, Forget-me-nots, Dwarf Jacob's Ladder, Ladies Mantle, Silver Mound, Sea Thrift, Edelweiss,  Lamb's Ears, Lamium, Creeping Phlox, Miniature Roses, Iris Reticulata, Hen and Chicks, and in spring, I have lots of bulbs; in fall, I have the small garden mums.   If I didn't have a rock garden, I would definitely want one.  It's a fun type of gardening that I really enjoy!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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