The traditional large garden Rockery is not in fashion at this time - though a few drought hit summers may change all that! The use of Rockery Stones has not diminished however, simply the way they are used in modern gardens has evolved. Rockery stones bring a natural, rugged look to your garden, with no maintenance, and dismissive of any weather conditions. The range of colours and textures available give you the opportunity to create a totally individual look reflecting your taste.
Popular Uses for Rockery Stones are:
Things to Bear In Mind with Rockery Stones:
The start of your Rockery project is only a click away using our secure website, - or if you have any queries telephone our Team who are there to assist you.
Happy Gardening from all the Team at Garden Oasis.
Once created and planted, your Rockery will give you many years of virtually trouble free gardening, but they must be planned to a fine detail. A pile of stones simply laid out on flat ground as if abandoned is not a rockery - in fact it could resemble a much loved pets grave! So to achieve a result that is pleasing to the eye, and as natural looking as possible, take your time, read on and follow our tips:
CHOICE OF ROCKS
Your first major decision. There are a host of attractive Rockery stones available on the Garden Oasis website. For the best effect, decide on just one colour, whether it is to match in with your house brickwork or roofing tiles, or as a dramatic contrasting feature. Remember that big Rocks are expensive and very difficult to move - not really a DIY job, one better left to the professionals who have the equipment. Check from the website where your Rockery stones will be delivered to - even the most obliging of carriers is unlikely to take them around to the back garden for you. Ensure you have a wheelbarrow or flatbed at the very least. It is heavy work, so decide whether you are up to it, rope in a fit friend (or two), and pick a dry day if possible.
PLANNING YOUR ROCK GARDEN
Forward planning will pay off. Create a drawing to scale, 'inserting' your alpines if you are intending to plant up. Allow a weekend for the actual build. Wear protective gloves.
WHERE SHOULD I BUILD IT?
A true Rockery will look best on a sloping site, which is not overly shaded. For a smaller garden it could be achieved by cutting away a triangle edge of lawn - especially if it is in a hard to mow spot, or if the grass is never lush. Rockeries look good set against a wall, or with water coursing through them. They shouldn't be set under trees as the canopy will restrict the sun, and most Rockery plants are sun lovers. Another ideal place is at the side of a pond. In fact if you are digging out a pond, the displaced soil will make an ideal slope for your Rockery.
HOW TO ACHIEVE A NATURAL EFFECT
As previously stated, the last thing you can do is scatter stones around - it will look totally unnatural, and remember this Rockery could be with you for a life time. The Rockery stones need to appear as is they have been in the ground for many years, only partly exposed by the weather washing away the soil. At least part of the Rock should be under soil. We haven't given a hard and fast exact depth rule, because it will depend on the size of your Rockery stones. The other rule of thumb is that the strata or lines running across the surface of your Rockery stones should all lie in the same direction. Don't make your Rockery too 'formal' - it should look as if nature created it. Not easy? Who was it said anything worth it never is?
On a sloped site start at the bottom, working your way up. Use your largest Rockery stones at bottom level, in an irregular line, with a small space in between for planting. Make sure each Rock is totally bedded in - remember none must be surface mounted. Check it looks natural and you are happy with the result before you move up to the next level. Fill gaps with a suitable compost - it must drain freely, and you can mix in grit and/or sharp sand if you have some, as alpine plants won't live with sodden roots- basically they don't like their feet being wet. Work your way up the slope. The rule will apply all the way up - part bury your Rockery stones, and stand back and check the results as you go along. Don't be tempted to add concrete garden ornaments or windmills, unless you really are determined to spoil the natural effect you have worked hard to create!
Do it properly and you will be rewarded with a virtually trouble free area of garden that can be a riot of colour - which leads us onto plant types.
WHAT PLANTS SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Garden Centres have an abundance of alpine type plants and rockery perennials. Check the growing instructions. You want plants that are slow growing, form neat clumps, are compact, possibly with a trailing habit. Consider plants such as Sedum (stonecrop); Dianthus (rockery pinks); Arabis (white rock cress); Gentinia (gentian); Oxalis; Saxifraga (saxifrage); Campanula (bellflower); Aubretia (rock cress). There are many more to choose from- especially if you are buying in the Spring when you will see them at their best.
This is the easy bit - your rockery will be mainly maintenance free. If you have used weed free compost and your plants have spread into clumps there will be very little room for weeds to take hold. Any that you do spot though, remove straight away - if they take hold you could pull out your plants trying to remove them.
Now sit back and look at a job well done. Any Rockery stones left over can be set in groups (odd numbers) at strategic points around your garden or on your patio, to be features in their own right. They also look superb set on slate or gravel beds.