Let There be Rock

Want to be the first among your friends to install a rock garden? This rustic arrangement can be quite charming, but keep a few things in mind before taking the big step.
     Print Edition: July 20, 2014
Let There be Rock

Want to be the first among your friends to install a rock garden? This rustic arrangement can be quite charming, but keep a few things in mind before taking the big step.

LAYERING

A gentle slope that gets plenty of light is your best bet for the base of a rock garden.

As the soil needs to be porous, you will have to start with excavating the chosen spot for foundation laying purposes.

Fill the drainage layer evenly with a mish-mash of hard, clunky waste-concrete, brick, clay-till the halfway mark of the trench. This, along with the next layer, absorbs the moisture from the fertile layer of topsoil. The soil layer should have one part topsoil, one part leaf mold and one part gravel.

CORE ELEMENTS

Choose rocks that blend in with your lawn and get different sizes of the same type. To make your rock garden look as natural as possible, dig at least 1/3rd of the larger, boulder-sized rocks into the ground. Scatter the rocks haphazardly.

SPACE OUT PLANTING

Let the soil settle for two or more weeks before planting flowers. If any weeds appear, pull them out by hand. Also, experiment.
Test the suitability of flora for your climate and soil after planting.

DESIGN

Let design drive your rock garden. Too much clutter detracts from its calming appeal, and your colour scheme should reflect the controlled minimalism.

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