How to Create the Perfect Rockery
If you want to add a further touch of luxury and sophistication to your garden, a rockery is a great way to do it, and there are a number of different avenues available to you. For example, you could balance the rugged aesthetic of natural stone with a beautiful waterfall, or you could make it more vibrant by adding exotic plants into the mix.
To ensure that you’re properly informed and inspired before making your design decisions, the Gardenscapes team will be covering everything you need to know about creating the perfect rockery.
The benefits of a rockery
There are plenty of ways in which a rockery could benefit you and your home:
- Add structure to your garden: Even the most beautiful gardens run the risk of looking a little bland if they lack structure and dynamism. A rockery can instantly make your garden look more exciting by adding height and interesting materials.
- Find a home for alpine plants: Some alpine plants thrive on rockeries because they require lots of light and great drainage, so use this as an opportunity to get some new plantlife in your garden!
- Recycle old bricks, tiles and paving slabs: If you’re looking for a way to upcycle some old building materials, a rockery could be a wonderful way to do it! You could leave the objects in their original state to create something new, or you could break them up and spread it like a shingle to use for the base layer.
- Add another layer of sensory pleasure: Rockeries are one of the best ways to naturally introduce a water feature into your garden, and one of the best aspects of water features is the beautiful, tranquil noises they make as they trickle away. It’s simple things like this that can really transform your garden into a peaceful retreat.
Building the rockery
So you’ve decided you want a rockery. Great, now it’s time to think about arranging it.
- Find the right location
Firstly, you have to find the perfect location for your rockery. Remember that if you’re going to be introducing alpine plants, then they’re going to need great light exposure, so don’t build it in the shadows of trees and shrubs. However, you also need to consider that rockeries tend to be the focal point of gardens, so choose a strong visual position that will immediately bring the structure into view when someone enters the space.
- Choosing your materials
When choosing the right stone for your rockery, you have so many different options that you really can’t go wrong. You could go the upcycling route, like we mentioned earlier, and choose materials from around the home. Or, if you want to go the more traditional route, you can choose rocks with great character, such as hard limestones or sandstones.
Remember to always keep in mind the sorts of plants that you’re going to feature on your rockery, as this might influence the kind of stone you would like to use to build it.
- Prepare the area
Once you’ve chosen the site, it’s important to make sure that all weeds are properly cleared from the area, as they could end up disrupting the growth of other plants or causing issues with the structure of the rockery. Once you’ve done this, laying down a layer of rubble will help improve the drainage of the rockery and provide further support.
- Placing the stone
The strategy here is simple: start with the largest rocks at the bottom and build them up towards a point at the top. Place the rocks so they are facing different directions in order to create a dynamic look.
To help keep the larger rocks stable, you can use smaller rocks set with top soil around the edges until the desired result has been achieved. Top tip: the best topsoil for alpine plants includes weed-free topsoil, leaf mould and horticultural grit.
- Time for plants
When it comes to adding plants to your rockery, this is really up to you. However, we would recommend that plants that do better in the cold face north, and those that thrive in the sun face south.
If you’re looking to add a rockery to your garden in Surrey or Sussex, Gardenscapes can help. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to designing and building beautiful rockeries, so you can trust us to create something truly show-stopping. For more information, please contact us today.