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Rock garden?

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Rock garden?

Postby Goldens » Jun 28, 2011 3:55 pm

I have a big area at the back of my yard that has me stumped. I don't know what to do with it. It has a large purple leaved tree and a crabapple tree at the back with an evergreen shrub off to the side. The rest is a mix of rocks, gravel, grass and weeds. Right now I'm just keeping it mowed down as best I can. But I wondered if I should work with what's there and turn it into a rock garden. Well, it would be more of a 'stone/rock/ground cover' garden.

Has anyone started one of these from scratch? I'd love to hear how you approached the design, plant selection and the 'groundwork'.
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby earwig » Jun 29, 2011 5:52 am

I have done two little ones but I also volunteer at a public Rock Garden which twiged my interest and learning by doing is the best way to learn IMO.
In fact I have to head out there this morning so will try tonight to write out a few thoughts if others haven't done so by then.
Betty
"The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker, for it involves hours of walking round in circles, apparently doing nothing." --Helen Dillon
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Jun 29, 2011 3:35 pm

Absolutely. Last year my mom brought me a few alpines, and I had a bunch of rocks left in the yard that borded sickly trees (removed) and a weedy gravel pad. So I've turned it into a rock garden and it was the best bed ever! So, this year I cleaned up and pulled up a couple of huge bushes from the side of the house and turned it into a rock garden too. Seeing I am not a construction worker I went for the dry river bed look. :) I will be posting updated garden pictures in a few days, so if you are curious, you can check them out :)
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Goldens » Jun 29, 2011 5:19 pm

I would love to see pictures of the rock gardens you have created.

I've ordered a few books on the topic and I'm reading up on the Internet, too.
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Countryboy » Jun 29, 2011 6:53 pm

I had a client once who went with the dry river bed look. It was beautiful when we installed it. :) Beautiful too when the leaves started to come down. :)

But cleaning the leaves out of it?!! . . . was a nightmare. :x

A blower is abt the only way to do it. :cry:
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

Frank . . ON5a
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Jun 30, 2011 1:15 pm

One of my beds is flat, and the other is on the slope = no leaves problem, even on the opuntias. Wish I could say the same about the fence around the property that turns into a Select Examples of Local Garbage Exhibition after every major windstorm (meaning every week or so in Calgary) :)
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby earwig » Jun 30, 2011 10:28 pm

OK Golden, here are a few pictures of the two rock gardens I made.

The first one I made is a crevice garden although I think I made the crevices too wide. I have a lot of rough flat rock available so that is why I chose that type of rock. I used a slope off my sitting area that I was never happy with.
april - 09.jpg
Just about finished April 2009
may -10.jpg
May 2010
june-11.jpg
June 2011


The other was a difficult area by my driveway that was the result of excavations for the placement of my mini home. It contained large rocks that I could not move by hand so attempted to put soil around them but never liked what I had done. So I asked my brother assistance with his handy rig to remove the two larger ones.
may10.jpg
Removal of large rocks May 2010
I thought he had got them all but when I continued digging i discovered another I could not move
septa10.jpg
One by crowbar refused to budge September 2010
and I tried to work around it and placed a few rocks but it just was not what I wanted.
sept-10.jpg
Playing around with troughs and rocks. Sept 2010
So this spring I added a lot of soil to cover the rock that would not move and made a hump. Decided it would stay this way.
June11.jpg
Mostly planted but more will be added. June 2011

click photo to make larger.
Betty
"The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker, for it involves hours of walking round in circles, apparently doing nothing." --Helen Dillon
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Goldens » Jun 30, 2011 11:45 pm

Wow - those look like very intense projects - well done! Thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

I know what you mean about being dissatisfied when some things just don't work out the way you wanted. You're never satisfied until you go back and accomplish your original vision.
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Goldens » Jul 01, 2011 11:58 am

Okay, I've been reading up on creating rock gardens and there is far more to it than I thought. Not sure if this is beyond me - both as a novice gardener and limited in budget (especially after this foundation year of countless bags of soil, compost etc and tons of plants).

I'm on the lookout for a seminar or workshop on it but I suspect there won't be anything until next spring.

Still, this project idea has caught my interest and I'm excited about the possibility. I think rock gardens are beautiful. It might be a great solution to that troublesome area of my yard. Also, it will give some variety to the landscape. That's if I can keep my rock loving Golden retriever out of it! :)
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Re: Rock garden?

Postby Trailblaze1 » Jul 06, 2011 2:04 pm

Loove those rock gardens, earwig! Artistry.
Trailblaze is Diane Woodman
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