Rock Garden Plants

What Landscaping Enthusiasts Should Know About Rock Garden Plants

Planting rock garden plants is a great way to spruce up one's surroundings. Turn yourself into an avid gardener, or bring out those dust-laden gardening tools that have been waiting for far too long to be used.
Rugged in nature, rocks are seemingly out-of-place and are usually spotted amidst wild grass. Therefore, to liven up those rocks that are dotting your premises, it is time to transform your backyard into a sight for sore eyes. Limestone is a good rock for budding plants, due to their porous nature that allows moisture to pass through. Choose the right plants depending upon the climate in your area. Rock garden plants thrive on pleasant, cool weather, as opposed to the scorching sun.

Planting Instructions

Knowing the how in rock gardening, and precisely following the ways in which you can begin one on your own, is vital. Here's how you need to begin.

Clear the Area
Discard dead plants or weeds in your area, and shovel your way through the earth to get rid of stubborn ones. Tough branches call for a sturdy pair of shears that will help clear a path. Eliminate any evidence of plant life; you don't want them regrowing in the same spot.

Pick a Layout
Once you've pictured what layout you want to work with, make a note of the measurements of the area, and shift the markings if you want to make any changes.

Place Your Stones Correctly
Once you've selected which stones to work on (if you want to go all out on your rock garden, get stones that will highlight its pathways, ponds, and plant life), place them in the areas you want the plants to take root from. Start by moving around the bigger stones using the right equipment; do not attempt to do this step alone. Once you've selected which stones go where, make sure they aren't too haphazardly placed; maintain order.

Type of Plants
Like I mentioned earlier, choose plants that grow in favor of the climate. Juggle with different kinds of plants like Japanese rock garden plants that add an element of Zen to any surrounding.
  • Mosses and lichens are highly recommended―you can border flagstones along pathways with them.
  • Castanea (chestnut)
  • Cotoneaster (evergreen shrub)
  • Juniperus Horizontalis (Glauca―evergreen coniferous shrub)
  • Morgenroot (evergreen shrub)
  • Minor (thyme―groundcover)
  • Cotula Potentillina (water buttons―groundcover)
Planting
For those who want to incorporate riverbeds, you'll need to create one using an eye for detail, or through a professional who knows what he's doing. This will require a lot of digging work and planning. The plants you pick out can then be planted in the earth. Make sure the holes are twice the width of the plant's roots.

These plants require direct sunlight; therefore, don't place them in shaded spots. Make sure to position these plants in such a way that they are not deprived of sunlight. Some plants don't always feed on pure sunlight, so do a little research about how much exposure is required; sometimes, placing certain plants in partial sunlight is a necessity.

"What's so special about the garden at Ryoanji?" I asked him, naming the famous rock and sand garden in Kyoto's most brochured and pamphleted Zen temple.

"The spaces between the rocks," he replied, with his mouth full of toothpaste.
- Alan Booth (Looking for the Lost)
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