To build a rock garden (also called Alpine garden) is one of the easiest things to do because you are basically dealing plants that grow in a harsh terrain under not so favourable conditions. Also, it is built on rocks; now how difficult or expensive is it to find rocks? While making a garden in the Alpine way you must remember that it not just a garden you are building but a work of art.
To begin with a basic rock garden should not take too much trouble to make.
Making A Rock Garden In Your Backyard:
1. The choice of place will depend on what kind of plants you are growing. Most alpine or mountain plants are good with bright open sunshine but there are a few that prefer shady spots. If it is a tropical climate you are looking at then it is best have this spot of the garden indoors in a place that receives slant sunlight.
2. What you really need for a perfect rock garden is a slope. Any kind of inclined surface is the best suited for making a garden of this kind because it ensures that the water flows out of the soil quickly. Rock plants are used to growing on slopes and cannot stand water logged soil.
3. The rocks that you choose for making the structure should be rock solid. You need to start with two huge rocks and then balance the smaller ones on it as you go up. It is always better to have two rocks that are gripping each other for that perfect balance that can be rarely achieved with a single stone.
4. Almost any kind of stones will yield results but an expert's pick would be lime stone because it is porous and the plants can extract calcium from the lime. Granite provides stability and a burst of colours to your garden. It is not like all the rocks have to be from the same family; you can mix and match to add contrast to the ensemble.
5. After you have built the rock structure, you need to fill in the gaps with soil for the indoor plants to grow in. now you need to be very careful while choosing the composition of the soil. Mountain soil is fertile but grainy with sand that makes it well draining. When you are growing rock plants they need to have more humus rich fertile top soil and the percentage of sand needs to increased in the lower layers.
6. You can also try doing a what mountain farmers do; terrace planting. Plant the rock plants at different levels of rocks so that the top soil washed from one level gets deposited on the nest and that brings us to the most important element, water.
7. Most rock gardens have a flowing source of water. You can easily make this yourself with the help of a motor pump and couple of pipes. You need to have the pump at the back and a water pool made of rubber or polythene in front of the garden.
Use these gardening tips to make your rock garden rock!