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The Complete Guide to Designing & Building A Rockery for Your Garden

The Complete Guide to Designing & Building A Rockery for Your Garden
08/06/2018

Rockeries, rock gardens or alpine gardens are types of gardens that have stones, rocks, and boulders as a prominent landscape feature. They give your garden that much-needed natural feel and in addition serve numerous functions.

There is a number of ways rockeries can be used:

For aesthetic purposes

Rockeries can be quite amazing. Stones look and feel natural and go well with green surfaces. The transition is almost seamless and the combination will look very natural. People who don’t have experience with gardening may even think that your garden spontaneously grew. Rock gardens can also go well with rock and brick houses.

For versatile plant habitats

It’s easy to create a variety of habitats within the small confines of a rock garden. Rocks can be placed in such a way that plants that need a lot of sunlight can thrive on its sunny face, whilst shade-loving plants can be sheltered in its shadow.

For preventing erosion

Lots of households have a problem with erosion. This is especially common if your home was built on a slope or some other type of erosive ground. While rockeries cannot fully prevent the issue, they can significantly reduce it. The homeowner should start by choosing hardscape elements and go from there. Gravel will also be important as you can put it in the nooks and crannies and fill the ground making it stronger and more resistant.

For dry climates

If you like gardening but don’t have good climate for it, rockeries can be an alternative solution. By placing lots of stones in your garden, you are able to create a natural appearance. Of course, you will also have plants and grass but in a significantly smaller quantity. Rocks can be used as a way of camouflaging lack of plant life. Keep in mind that in dry climates maintaining flowers can be a real chore and will require a lot of watering. So, you can go with a thrifty solution which is a rockery.

For exploiting rocky slopes

What was previously perceived as an issue in your yard could be turned into its greatest advantage. A rocky slope could be given a new look and matched with other parts of your yard in order to make your garden absolutely rock!

For those who are tired of mowing their lawns

It is normal to get tired of regular lawn mowing after a while. A good way to reduce the frequency of mowing is to rearrange parts of your yard into a rockery. It takes some effort, yes, but it is well worth it. And what is most important – it will save you buying a new lawnmower every now and then.

As meditation retreat

No wonder Zen monks used rocky gardens for their retreat; there is a particular tranquility and connectedness with nature that they evoke. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the daily life, use our expert advice below to easily turn your garden into a spa corner and meditation retreat par excellence. You’ll be feeling at one with nature in no time!

The origins of rockeries

Stones and rocks that we have in our gardens and around us, in nature, were sculpted for thousands of years by the supreme creator – Nature itself. People have always used rock as a primal source of inspiration and tried to imitate it. The more the imitation resembled the original, the better. So, rocks were always used as decorative elements, particularly in early Chinese and Japanese cultures. There was even a horticultural manual of a sort, written by Tachibana no Toshitsuna in 11th century Japan. The advice on how to arrange rocks and boulders was found useful at the time.

The Japanese gardens at the time resembled Chinese styles of decoration and the symbolic function of rocks was present as well - rocks were arranged in groups to symbolize the haven of Eight xian (Immortals) from Chinese mythology, the mountain Penglai in China, which is known as Horai in Japanese myths. The rockeries then became extremely popular in two historical periods and the interest in them spread to every corner of the globe.

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