Rock Gardens

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Rock gardens, along with ponds, bring diversity to a landscape that helps to break up an expanse of lawn, or add a surprising contrast to conventional residential landscaping. Placed on one side of a swimming pool, rock gardens elevate that one side for a distinctive backdrop that helps to define the pool area. If residential terrain naturally contains a slope with interesting rock formations, all the better, for these rocky gardens are ideal for these difficult landscaping spots.

If you have a knack for exterior landscape designs and love do-it-yourself projects, you can make your own garden. Use rocks that are natural to your region, and set each rock in the ground so at least one-third is buried. Select a few large rocks, if possible, and a variety of sizes to fill in. Limestone is a good choice for smaller rocks because it is porous, which will permit roots to penetrate.

Plants for Interesting Rock Gardens

Although there is a long list of plants that are suitable for these special gardens, low growing perennials are excellent. To achieve varying levels of plant height, also use summer-blooming herbs, annuals, heaths, and heathers. Above all, you might want to consult landscaping experts for species that will do well in your area.

Annuals might include alyssum, blue-eyed grass, lobelia, and summer savory. For the spring bloom of perennials, try phlox, forget-me-not, wallflower, and dwarf lavender. To create interesting rock gardens, select plants that have different colored foliage and flowers, and that provide blooms throughout the spring and summer.

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