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Readers Respond: Rock Garden Ideas

Responses: 5

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From the article: How to Build Rock Gardens

If you have a rock garden, perhaps you'd like to share some ideas with us regarding how you went about building it. For example:

  • What kinds of rocks did you use?
  • Were the rocks already on your property, or did you have to import them?
  • What plants did you use and why?
  • Does your rock garden contain anything in addition to rocks and plants (e.g., ornaments of some sort)?
  • From a design perspective, were you aiming for any kind of theme (e.g., a Mediterranean theme, an American Southwest theme, a beach theme)?

Or perhaps you would like to touch on other rock-garden ideas that I haven't suggested. Whatever advice you have to offer, I'm sure newbies reading this will be pleased to learn from your experiences. If you can supply photos, please use this form, instead, to make your submissions.

Rock Garden at High Elevation

Laying the groundwork, site on slope, removing a big old stump, centerpiece is a huge boulder with a natural bowl on top for a water feature. Gathered rocks from my travels, etc. It will be in mostly sun, working up a list of possible plants. We're at 3400ft elevation, mixed wood forest. Hope to send photos. Wish me luck.!
—Galagene

Small Rock Garden

We planted Primrose around the inside circle of natural rocks. Inside we planted perennial Sweet Williams, snap dragons, petunias and low Zinnias!
—Guest Anne

Rock Garden Ideas From Kenya

My rock garden plants (in Kenya) are usually low-maintenance types such as succulents, a few ground covers, dwarf bamboo, cycads and cactus.
—Rose

Ideas for Rock Gardening

For a unique addition to a semi shade rock garden try Rhododendron impeditum which grows only 6-8" tall with tiny deep purple blossoms after forsythias finish blooming. They seldom need winter protection because they lie under the snow most of the winter. Though the blooms typically last only a week or two, the evergreen foliage adds great texture and form to any rock garden. Also for shade try a low growing shade tolerant ornamental grass, Hakonechloa which stays below 2' and has arching bright yellow and green foliage. Also try the Japanese painted fern which will be compact enough to brighten a shady rock garden. For full to part sun try dwarf crested iris and dwarf Chinese Astilbe both which will stay low, bloom beautifully, and will form a great carpet or ground cover as they spread out. The dwarf iris can easily be dug and divided. The blooms are deep purple or bright yellow. Though very compact the iris blooms are quite large and showy for such small plants.
—Guest Roger VanNostrand

Rock Garden Idea: Pasque Flower

I love the way Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) looks in my rock garden. It produces lavender-colored flowers in spring, and its delicate foliage continues to be attractive in summer. Pasque flower will also spread in your rock garden (all on its own), so it's a good choice if you want a plant for your rock garden that will "fill up space."
—Guest jkaat

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