Decoration of Alpine Rockery Garden: What Plants are the Most Suitable?
You might have heard a lot about so-called alpines and alpine rock gardens. It might sound posh and only for designers to do, but it’s actually something you can make yourself.
It’s not going to be the easiest project, but an absolutely doable one. So what is the alpine garden?
The alpines are the plants that grow at high altitudes. The conditions in their natural habitat can get quite harsh with -20 degrees Celsius of cold and thick layer of snow in the winter.
Because of this, the plants, that managed to adapt by being smaller, growing slower and needing less water. This way they are not getting damaged neither by the strong wind that would break taller vegetation, nor by snow.
They also have hairy or leathery leaves that help them lock in the water. In search of nutrients, their roots are growing through the large areas.
Now you see, that while being not too high maintenance themselves, the alpine plants and flowers require special conditions. They, for example, will not grow in the soil too wet and thick, or in the too hot conditions.The best way to ensure they feel comfortable is to recreate their normal habitat as close as possible. And there’s no better way of doing this than making a rock garden.
There are some alpine rockery ideas that could be an inspiration for your future landscape design.
In order to make a beautiful Alpine garden several steps should be done and all of them will be elucidated in the following sections.
First of all, you need to know what is your soil like. For the alpines to grow good you need the perfect drainage, and if this is not the case you’ll need to make it perfect.
Normally the alpine garden is a small feature, so you can make an elevated flower bed, in the corner of your yard, creating the slope and allowing better drainage. If you have a wet clayish soil, you will need to make a pillow that will let the water pass through (more design ideas for your yard).
This you can do by starting the bed construction with the layer of the gravel, sand or bricks. The ground you going to cover this layer with should be completely cleared from debris and weeds (find out effective ways of killing unnecessary grass).
There’re three ways of doing so:
- To use the special weed killer chemical.
- To do it manually (but then you better repeat this at least twice, with few weeks in between).
- To buy the special gardening compost.
Now it’s the time to place rocks. Do not make a mistake thinking that the alpine garden is all about the plants.
The rocks are not just an essential part, but maybe the main feature of the whole composition. So, make sure they look the part – choose carefully.The best will be if you manage to find couple of large boulders to make them the centerpiece of your composition. For more natural look, all the rocks in the rockery should be buried at least half or better 2/3 in the ground (learn how to clean rocks properly? ).
For the inspiration you can always browse for some pictures, but it’s better to see photos of the actual alpine sceneries than get the ideas from the designer rock gardens. Take your inspiration from the nature itself not from the copies of it.Learn more information about rock types for landscaping: for pool, crushed rock, small, large and flat rocks, pebble rocks, white marble, glass landscaping rocks, lava rock and it’s pros and cons. Also fake and river rock.
How to plant alpines in a rockery? Now, when you have your main look with the rocks, you can add some color. And that will be the flowers and other plants.
The alpine plants for rockery you can often buy in the small pots, so before putting them in the ground it is recommended to place them into the composition in pots, to make a planning and see how it’s going to look in the end. After you chose the places, you can plant alpine and rockery plants.
Some of the popular alpine rockery plants are:
- arabis Caucasica (white flowers);
- draba aizoides (yellow flowers);
- gentiana Verna (blue flowers);
- helianthemum (evergreen with various colors);
- linum Arboreum (evergreen with bright yellow flowers);
- teucrium Subspinosium (pink flowers).Advice! Adding the top dress is better first with hands around the flowers, than later you can simply spread the rest of it around, without being afraid to damage the plants.
If you want to add the special detail to your alpine garden, you can add a small water stream. This will not only make your design more interesting, but also will help you to direct the excess water away if you have such.
To make a dry creek you simply need to dig the trench, pretreat the soil for weeds and then place the rocks in the stream, to let the water run over. The best choice for the stones in this case will be, obviously, the river rock and pebbles with their rounded shape and natural look.Here you can find more design ideas of rock landscaping:
In this video you will learn some useful recommendations about planting Alpine garden:
The alpine rock garden might not be the easiest landscaping project to do yourself, but with a small effort it can be done and it will bring you a lot of pleasure in the future, without much maintenance. Now go, check for pictures and I’m sure you will want to get an alpine garden in you backyard immediately.