Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gardening Article: Planting The Perfect Rock Garden

Have you been toying with the idea of planting a rock garden? If you have, you'll have quite an exciting challenge ahead of you. It will definitely be a new experience when compared to simple gardening, but very rewarding and the results can be extremely stunning. If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, here is a simple guide for planting a rock garden to help you get started.

Picking Out A Color Scheme

This is a great place to begin. It will help you decide on the type of rocks you want to use and the flowers and plants you need to buy. Every gardening project needs a starting point and picking out a color scheme can help you get the ball rolling with a quick and easy decision.

Where Will You Put It?

Choose a spot that receives a lot of sunshine. You're not going to want to attempt a rock garden combined with shade gardening.

Choosing The Rocks

In most cases you won't have a preset potential rock garden sitting in your back or front yard. If you do, great. If you don't, you'll have to start searching for stones that will match your color scheme and at the same time look like they are part of the yard itself. What you are striving for is a stone setting that looks like the rocks have been set there permanently.

What Type Of Soil Is Best?

Most rock gardens will require a sandy soil since the plants used in a rock garden need excellent drainage. If you have a soil that is more on the clay side you'll need to add some sand. While you're at it, add some compost to it as well.

Purchasing The Plants And Flowers

As mentioned above, you'll want to look for plants and flowers that work well with a lot of drainage. Buying flowers that require the soil to remain wet just isn't going to work.

If you are planning to set up a garden on the outside of the rocks you can look for flowers and plants that match the growing requirements of your lawn. Of course, there is no need to purchase flowers and plants that do well with drainage if they are placed at the bottom of the rock garden around the outside edge of it.

Keeping It Varied Yet Uniform

While you will be looking for plants that meet your color scheme, you'll also want to find some with different heights and textures. This will give you the right variation you need.

You don't, however, want to overdo things by getting too many different types of flowers and plants. In order to keep your rock garden looking uniform, only buy a few plant types and flowers.

Getting The Correct Foliage

Plan to spend a good amount of time picking out the foliage you want. Remember that your flowers will bloom at certain times of the year while the foliage will remain constant. This is going to be the backbone of your garden.

Setting Up Your Rock Garden

The best way to start setting up your garden is to plant something first and then arrange the rocks around it. It is a lot easier to move the rocks around than it is to constantly replant to create the desired effect. You'll simply continue to plant and rearrange rocks until you can stand back and look at your garden with pride and honor.

Adding Mulch

The last step is to add your mulch. The best thing to use is small colored stones that match your color scheme.

Dressing It Up

Some people choose to use realistic silk flowers to create an effect. While some true die-hard gardeners consider this to be cheating, it is an option. Realistic silk flowers can be purchased in colors to make a dramatic color statement, especially when the flowers are not in bloom.

If you set up your rock garden properly it can be a very low maintenance proposition once it has been completed. The trick is to pick out the proper plants, flowers and foliage and to not get tempted to purchase other flowers when you are at the flower nursery. Especially if they don't meet your drainage requirements.

About the author: Robert works for, he is a gardener and writer who enjoys writing about flowers and gardening.

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