If you love having a wide variety of spring and summer flowers on hand but unfortunately have to tend to a sloping lawn unsuitable for a traditional garden, a rock garden might be able to fit your needs. With the right combination of rocks, groundcovers and blooming plants, you'll soon be the proud owner of a gorgeous space that will surely be the envy of your neighborhood. Here's how to get started.
Setting Up Your Space
According to Missouri Botanical Garden, a good rock garden looks effortless, "as if nature had a hand in its creation." Whether you choose to bring in rocks from outside or use ones already in your yard, it's a good idea to arrange them a bit haphazardly to create an organic scene. Try to group small rocks together to give viewers the impression that a larger form was eroded over time. The source reports that large boulders should be buried halfway in the ground to offer stability. Try to stick to one type of rock to form a cohesive look.
Plant Characteristics to Look For
GardenGuides.com points out that you'll need a variety of plants that thrive in well-drained soil. This could include trees, shrubs, perennials or annuals - or a combination of all types of greenery. You want to look for plants that can fill crevices in rocks and provide a cover for the ground, as well as specimens with dense root systems that can anchor themselves on steep slopes. It's a good idea to choose flowers and plants that require the same conditions, reports the source, so you won't have to concern yourself with various types of maintenance.
The Perfect Flowers
If you're having trouble finding the right flowers, The Garden Helper has a few tried-and-true suggestions that should flourish in your new rock garden. This includes plants with Alpine in the name, like Alpine asters, columbines, pinks and poppies. Some of these reseed themselves so you won't have to worry about planting subsequent crops. Blue Carpet and Blue Bugleweed make nice groundcovers with pretty flowers, and Creeping Speedwell will form a fast-growing mat of lush green leaves.
The plants you choose will depend on your taste preferences, so if you like the idea of a certain type of flower but aren't sure if it's suited to your area, it's a good idea to check with your local florist to make sure that it will thrive in a rock garden setting.