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Love to have a rockery, it's easier than you thought

Rockeries are a great way to take advantage of any inclines you may have or just to make a beautiful and interesting garden.

A rockery is typically a garden that uses large rocks as its center points. Alpine plants are considered to be the norm in rockeries as they are native to high rocky areas.

However you do not need to be in the heights of the Swiss mountains to achieve your own special rockery, as long as you use appropriate plants and consider utilizing complimentary heights in your layout.

Edelweiss - Alpine flower
Edelweiss - Alpine flower

While creating a rockery may be physically demanding, it is a relatively simple process.

rocks surrounding a small pool of water in a garden setting, like a rockery
Rocks and large stones are an essential part of traditional rockeries
Step 1. Gather Several Large Rocks

You will first want to gather several large rocks. If you don’t have any on your property, landscaping companies typically supply them.

When choosing a rock for your rockery, you’ll want to choose something that goes with the natural landscape. Rocks that look natural will give your rockery a realistic feel.

Step 2. Figure Out Where Each Large Rock Will Go

Then, you’ll want to map out where each rock goes. Remember, the rocks are supposed to be used to create a natural feel. So, you’ll want to spread them out somewhat randomly.

You can create what looks to be a small stream or waterfall using the rocks. You can also use a rock to make artificial shade if you plan to have flowers that need sufficient shade throughout the day.

Step 3. Figure Out What Type of Plants You Want

Alpine plants need to be planted in looser soil. So, you may need to add some compost to your soil before planting. This can be easily accomplished by using a tiller to mix up both the natural dirt and the compost.

Keep in mind that some plants need a certain amount of shade each day and others do not. So, you’ll want to plan accordingly.

Most alpine plants are best planted in mid to late fall. One such case is tulips. Tulips are a great choice for any garden as they can come in just about any colour and are simple to plant.

Another great choice is thyme as it thrives in dry soil with little nutrients. In other words, it does not require a lot of maintenance. Plus, thyme comes in many colours and can act like ground cover if you have enough of them.

flowers and plants in a shopping trolley
Shopping for plants is half the fun. Make sure you have texture, as well as colour
Step 4. Dig In the Rocks and Plant

Once you have everything planed, it’s time to get started. You’ll want to first dig in the rocks about a third of the way in to secure them in place.

Then you’ll want to plant from high to low to prevent trampling. Afterwards, make sure to water each plant and especially around each rock to help the soil settle.


Step 5. Maintenance

There is a lot to landscaping, but it is all for naught if it is not maintained. Expensive plants may die if weeds are not regularly removed.

While alpine plants can survive in harsh conditions, you may still need to water them. So, if you find that a plant is starting to turn a lighter colour, then you’ll want to water it.


All in all, rockery gardens tend to result in some of the most unique landscapes. Plus, they require little maintenance throughout the months. So, they are a great choice especially for those who already have a natural incline and want to transform it into a beautiful landscape.

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