In the old days, those who tried to make their site more picturesque were limited to a simple flower bed... With the advent of landscape design, many summer cottages have acquired a stylish look. Everyone can create a decorative composition on the site. Particularly popular are the rock garden and rockery - an alpine slide with stones in the country with your own hands: photos of rockeries and tips with step-by-step instructions will help you equip a stone garden with minimal effort and cost.
- 1 Diy alpine slide with stones in the country: photo of rockeries in landscape design
- 2 Types and styles of rockeries
- 3 How to make a rockery with your own hands in the country: photo and description of the main stages
- 4 How to choose stones for rockeries: breeds and selection criteria
- 5 Plants for rockeries
- 6 Rockery care
Diy alpine slide with stones in the country: photo of rockeries in landscape design
If you are just starting to reveal the secrets of landscape design, it may seem that an alpine slide and rockery are one and the same. The presence of stones and wild plants, conformity to the natural species is present in both variants. What is the difference?
The construction of a rock garden requires a lot of effort, since plants are dominant in it. The stones in the alpine slide play a secondary role. Their task is to set off the diversity of plants and to hint at the natural mountainous area. Do-it-yourself photos of step-by-step instructions for an alpine slide presented on the network will help you get acquainted with the features of its construction.
In rockery, stone is dominant. It is the combination of its species, textures and colors that creates the overall atmosphere of a stone garden. Plants here are intended only to dilute its severity and coldness.
When considering a photo of rockeries in landscape design, at first glance it seems that it is impossible to create it without professional training. But if you stock up on determination, you can easily master all the stages and soon enjoy a beautiful stone garden on your site.
Plants for an alpine slide: names and photos, do-it-yourself gardening. Types of flowers and shrubs, schemes of their placement. Recommendations for disembarkation and registration. Mixborders in landscape design.
Types and styles of rockeries
Depending on the location, all rockeries are divided into flat (horizontal) and terraced (volumetric).If the site has natural features of the relief in the form of slopes or ravines, they can be decorated with a volumetric rockery. Using retaining walls that will serve as terraces, you can also make a multi-level rockery with your own hands (step-by-step photos that can be seen on the Internet are proof of this). In terraced stone hills, stones of the same type of rough processing are used.
With the help of flat rockeries, you can divide functional areas or hide unsightly places on the site. They do not require regular maintenance and look attractive all year round. They are created horizontally with the planting of conifers and other plants.
Also distinguish between stable, volatile and temporary rockeries. Let's take a closer look at each type:
- stable rockeries are created for many years. It requires careful selection of stones and plants. This composition uses large stones for accents. Plants are framed with the help of small ones. Conifers and perennials are selected for landscaping;
- the variable type is characterized by a small number of large stones. The rockery area is covered with gravel or other small stones with the allocation of places for plants. If the composition gets bored, you can change it, for example, removing the gravel and making in its place flower bed;
- temporary rockery is seasonal. It consists in decorating young seedlings with stones, taking into account their further growth. They will suggest options for the design of a temporary rockery photo, which can be used as an example. A special type of temporary are mini-rockeries. They can be arranged in the form of miniature flower beds. Plants planted directly into the depression of a large boulder look very impressive.
Creation of rockeries is a creative process, and every designer puts a piece of his soul into it. That is why there are no identical compositions. But there are also main directions of styles, for example:
- English style. It is characterized by restraint, which means the presence of long-growing trees and the planting of perennial plants characteristic of the middle zone (wormwood, various types of cereals, etc.);
- in the Japanese style, mainly stable horizontal rockeries are created, in which a large number of stones of various shapes and sizes are used. Plants are presented only as a background;
- in the European style, plants are planted, familiar to the middle lane, so that the whole composition is in harmony with the local landscape.
Having decided on the style and type of rockery, you can start creating it.
How to make a rockery with your own hands in the country: photo and description of the main stages
Initially, such masterpieces of landscape design were created only in high-profile country villas by professional designers. Now, following the step-by-step instructions, you can make a rockery with your own hands on your own at your summer cottage or in the courtyard of a private house.
Helpful advice! It is better to start work on the creation of rockeries in late autumn, or early spring. This will give the stones time to settle so that they do not disturb the flowering of the flora during settling.
Below we will consider in detail the stages of building a rockery with our own hands.
Stage 1. Site selection
First you need to estimate the size of the site.In a small area, a large pile of stones will look rough, and a mini-rockery will be lost in a spacious area. A stone garden will look inappropriate against the background of large fruit trees, along fence or near a building. A lawn or relief drops will be a good place for rockeries.
Lighting also plays a role in choosing a site for a stone garden. If this is a rockery with a minimum set of unpretentious plants, then it can be placed in a shaded area. When planting low-growing bulbous flowers is planned, for their full growth, you must choose a sunny place.
Stage 2. Site preparation
First of all, on the selected area, the outlines of the planned rockery are applied. Then the top layer of soil is removed to a depth of about 30 cm. The resulting pit is cleared of roots and other debris. Geotextiles are laid at the bottom of the pit.
Stage 3. Drainage layer
Drainage in rockeries is just as necessary as in rock gardens. After all, excessive accumulation of water can lead to severe subsidence of stones and poor plant growth. This will undoubtedly spoil the overall picture and may lead to the destruction of rockeries. For the drainage layer, crushed brick, crushed stone or pebbles are suitable. Then you need to compact everything with a layer of sand (about 20 cm), after which the site is covered with soil and left so that natural shrinkage occurs. The optimal period is several weeks.
Stage 4. Laying stones in horizontal and terraced rockeries
Depending on the type of rockery, the process of laying out the stones will differ. Let us analyze in detail the necessary steps in both cases.
When creating a horizontal (flat) rockery, stones are laid out on established ground according to the conceived scheme. They should be deepened at an angle into the soil by half. In this type of rockery, large boulders are used, which will become tapeworms in the composition, as well as a small stone - for sprinkling and decorating borders. For more naturalness, boulders with a rough relief are suitable.
Smooth, polished rocks will look more natural with an artificial stream or swamp. Examples of decoration in the horizontal plane can be seen in the photo of rockeries, in which various types of stones are used.
In flat rockeries, stones should be laid in one layer. Often, one large textured stone is placed at the base of a stone garden. In this case, the rest are assigned the role of a background that emphasizes its beauty. Tuff, granite, limestone and sandstone will look harmonious in single-layer masonry.
In terraced (volumetric) rockeries, only rocks of rough relief should be used. Boulders are laid out in cascades on a hilly slope in the form of stone walls of different heights, lengths and shapes. This leaves room for plants. The accents in the volumetric rockery are set symmetrically and evenly. A multi-level plot makes it very easy to create a terraced rockery or an alpine slide with stones with your own hands in the country. Photos of the device and design of terraces illustrate options for placing stones and planting plants.
Stage 5. We plant the plants
Rockery is, first of all, a composition of stones. But you can't leave it completely without plants - the view will be gloomy and dull. Evergreen conifers, ground cover and perennial flowers, wild cereals in moderation will revive the stones and complete the composition of the natural landscape.
Plants for rockeries are selected depending on its type, location and design style.Before planting plants, you need to prepare the soil. For this, the territory of the rockery is covered with a special substrate and compacted. Then it is poured with water and left to settle naturally. After that, you can start planting plants.
Important! To avoid erosion and subsidence of the soil, the substrate should be poured at least every two years.
How to choose stones for rockeries: breeds and selection criteria
Some believe that rockeries can be made just by adding a few stones to flower garden... But this is a misconception. The name "rockery" comes from the word "rock", which means "stone". Therefore, it is the stones that are the basis for creating this element of landscape design. The correct selection and combination of different breeds with each other allows you to create a picturesque natural composition that can give a feeling of unity with nature.
Landscape designers have chosen many types of stones to create stone gardens and slides. The most common uses are tuff, shale, sandstone, limestone or granite. It is they who can most often be seen on the step-by-step photos of rockeries with their own hands. Consider the pros and cons of using each breed:
- granite is one of the most durable rocks. It is resistant to weathering, slowly "aging". It should be borne in mind that the soil is oxidized from this rock. Besides, it is quite expensive;
- the main advantage of limestone is its rapid weathering. As a result, the corners are smoothed out, the stones very soon become overgrown with moss, which makes the rockery more natural. Limestone in landscape design, rockeries is given great decorative value because of the various shades of color: bluish, yellow, gray. Limestone blocks are often used to imitate rocks and mountain slopes. The downside is its ability to alkalize the soil;
- porous tuff (travertine) is a light and durable stone. Due to the special structure with a large number of pores, it, like limestone, quickly erodes, ages and becomes overgrown with moss and lichens;
- sandstone is denser when compared to limestone and travertine, so it erodes more slowly and retains sharp edges longer. But it has a very pronounced graininess and a beautiful color: red, sand, cream, gray. This is its decorative value for rockeries;
- slate - a wide range of shades of this breed, color fastness to fading made it a favorite stone of landscape designers. Its shades are varied: green, rusty, black, golden, burgundy, etc. This is a fairly hard breed that does not lend itself to weather factors and humidity.
Helpful advice! To make the composition look natural, choose aged wild stones without fresh chips for rockeries.
With the help of pebbles, gravel, crushed slate, you can fill empty spaces and decorate the borders of rockeries with your own hands (photos of rockeries decorated with small stones demonstrate this). For greater harmony and a better aesthetic look, use the same materials in decorating paths, retaining walls and other compositions on the site.
The main criteria for choosing stones are:
- resistance to destruction. Oddly enough, not all stones can be called durable. Some of them are subject to destruction under the influence of atmospheric phenomena.For example, it is typical for such porous rocks as sandstone or limestone to absorb moisture and dust, which is why their surface changes color, gradually loses its original appearance;
- decorative appeal. Each stone individually is beautiful and unique, but when creating a stone slide, an important factor is precisely the harmonious combination of different rocks with each other. Usually, several types of stones are soloing in the overall composition - they should attract the eye with their size or structure. The rest of the discreet options are given a secondary role. Their task is to create a decent background and add the finishing touches to the overall composition;
- natural and natural look. It should be remembered that the choice of the shape and structure of stones depends on the general style of the site design and, directly, on the stone slide itself. Where the stream runs, the stones will be smooth and rounded. Boulders with sharp edges are more common in scree.
Plants for rockeries
First, you need to draw up a detailed plan for planting plants. It all depends on your taste and imagination. The names and photos of plants for rockeries can be found on thematic Internet resources. There you can also see ready-made landscaping schemes for stone gardens.
You should start with planting conifers - the basic plants in rockeries. For this, western and spherical thuja, common or virgin juniper, cypresses, mountain pine and other types of low-growing and slow-growing plants are suitable. The rockery of conifers in front of the house will be picturesque (photo options for planting conifers illustrate the optimal placement). It is recommended to plant conifers in autumn or early spring.
Helpful advice! If you are afraid that the soil on the site is not suitable for conifers, you can decorate rockeries with conifers growing in large decorative pots.
The next step will be the planting of decorative deciduous shrubs. For this, Amur barberry, chubushnik, Japanese spirea, cotoneaster, Potentilla, boxwood, etc. are suitable.
The last stage of landscaping will be planting flowers. To make rockeries look spectacular all year round, it is advisable to combine plants with different flowering times. Moderation in colors will be an important point here, so that the flowers do not distract attention from the main element - the stone.
Perennial and ground cover plants for rockeries are diverse. It can be primroses, saxifrage, rejuvenated, astilbe, bergamo, subulate phlox, Iberis, tenacious. Small-bulbous crocuses, low daffodils, undersized tulips and snowdrops will be the first to decorate rockeries in spring.
Ground cover flowers (geranium, periwinkle, saxifrage, creeping veronica, sedum, hare cabbage) are planted in crevices. In addition to their decorative appearance, they also perform a soil-protective function. The root system of these colors strengthens the soil, which prevents it from eroding. Cereals (fescue, miscanthus, ciliated barley, feather grass) and ferns will give a special kind of "wildness" to rockeries.
Helpful advice! If you have no experience or desire to care for plants, opt for unpretentious species.
If the composition is based on a stream or a small pond, moisture-loving plants should be planted near them, and those that are more resistant to drought should be placed between the stones. Low-growing bulbous plants like to bask in the sun, so it is better to plant them in well-lit places. Also, when planting plants, it is necessary to take into account the breed of stones used in rockeries, because some of them can oxidize or alkalize the soil.
Rockeries do not require careful maintenance, but it is advisable not to leave them completely unattended. Mostly plants require attention.
Conifers and deciduous trees need periodic pruning: plants are trimmed as they grow, dead flowers are removed. You also need to monitor the appearance of weeds and remove them in time. From time to time it is worth adding mulch, which inhibits the growth of weeds and reduces moisture evaporation.
The land under the larch is periodically loosened. For the winter, it is better to cover the plants in the stone garden. In 3-4 years after the formation of the root system, fertilization can be started.
Currently, there are many ways and step-by-step instructions on how to make a rockery with your own hands. With their help, you can turn even the most ordinary plot into a bright, cozy and stylish area.