Rockery

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by ShearMe, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Would any one have tips or pointer as to how to begin construction of a rockery? I will be doing some side research if there's anything else on the web to augment this, but community help is way better than internet articles designed to drag you in to see the pretty advertisements.

    Thanks for any help in advance. :)
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What is it supposed to accomplish? This will affect how it is built.
     
  3. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    I want to fill it with plants, preferably flowering, that do well in partial shade/full shade.

    I'm unclear as to whether I make a pile of dirt and surround it with rocks or to make a pile of rocks and fill it with dirt, though I know there must be much care and planning. I just don't know how to start.
     
  4. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Shearme,
    Take a look at an old post of mine (2 weeks ago) under Conversations & Chat, labled Finally!!!. This is my rockery. It is the barrier between an upper and lower yard. Would yours be free standing, or similar to this? If free standing I'd pile up rocks and dirt at the same time so that you don't end up with holes when the dirt settles. If I can be of any help let me know. barb
     
  5. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Thanks, barb, I read your thread, and you have a beautiful rockery! Your thread is what got me interested, but mine will be free standing. By building up rocks and dirt at the same time, do you mean, put a layer of rock, a layer of dirt, a layer of rock, etc.?
     
  6. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    No. Decide how much space you want it to cover, border that area with the largest rocks you can handle and backfil the center with dirt to a bit higher in the center than the first layer of rock. Remember the "lever and fulcrum" in moving the rocks.
    Then add/lean a second layer of rocks a bit smaller against the piled dirt, off set a bit behind the base rocks, half to a third the distance back from the base layer of rock. As you can see in mine the face is not flat but off set, each rock a bit further back from the one under it.
    Keep back filling and adding rock to the height desired. Then your can put some distinctive rocks, a trellis, or yard art on the top for added interest.
    Sometimes it is easier to add the plants as you build up. Especially if they have a largish root bundle, that way they can be planted deeply enough to get well established. Remember, you are planting for lateral as well as verticle and cascading views. At full growth you don't want a plant to grow up or down to hide another plant.
    Hope this makes sense to you. Feel free to ask further. barb
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  7. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Thanks, Barb. As soon as I can buy some good looking rocks, I'll buy some topsoil and pretty plants. :)
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look at books etc. on rock gardening. Those show you how to arrange rocks with plants, including how to build rockeries in such a way that plants can be accommodated.
     
  9. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Thanks, Ron, I completely forgot about books. They are usually much more defined and concentrated in the information you want. :)
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Can you link the rockery into a slope? or to some feature. Seems a pile of rocks in the middle of a lawn ?? would be a bit clunkey. My Dad built dry rock walls as part of his gardening business. He used a lot of scoria (volcanic rock) because it was light and easy to handle. One of the important things to do whether the feature is to be free standing or as part of a bank. Make sure the surface you build on is dead flat (dig it out if you have to) and set the biggest rocks to the bottom. Try and have the flatest part to the base. As you build it up it should lean in very slightly. Use the smaller boulders near the top and try and find some capping pieces to give a nice even finish. As you build to help keep eveerything firm some rocks are laid across to act as ties. All the hollows behind are filled with scrap and the soil. If I were doing it I would get the soil put where you want the rockery and build it up around the mound. It is easierto build into the soil so the rocks are safe.

    http://www.readersdigest.com.au/handyman/dry-stone-wall/article92769.html

    http://www.1earthfirst.com/Rockeries.html

    http://www.gardenseeker.com/advice_about/building_a_rockery.htm

    Liz
     
  11. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Cool, I'll check those links out when I get back home. :)

    No, I'm not putting it in the middle of a yard, that would be really chunky. XD
    It would be up against a fence. :)
     
  12. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Member

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    Hi,

    Looks like you've got all the help you need, but check out my home page. I've built a couple of large rockeries, all free standing, though they're a bit sparse on plants (mainly because that's the way the clients wanted it). The only problem with the pictures on the rockery page (under 'All Things Gardening') is the grevillea is missing - there was a problem with the irrigation (the water was off!) and the poor plant died. I wasn't happy, but there we go.

    Anyway, good luck with your rockery!

    TW

    PS - I just realised I haven't uploaded the photos of the rockeries yet. There is one there, but it's not of the main rockeries *heads desk*. Erm, if you're interested, check back later in the week, maybe Wednesday. I should have them up by then!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  13. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Cool, I'll check that out. I forgot to tell everyone who helped here that I went with a normal planter for now around the mailbox. I had to hand chisel every block I used from larger 75 lbs. blocks (leftovers from our retaining wall). Pics will follow. :)
     

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  14. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Member

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    Wow, that's a neat idea. A little something different. Like the plants you've chosen as well - cascading ones will look good once they've grown a little. And hand chiselled? I'm definitely impressed!

    TW
     
  15. ShearMe

    ShearMe Active Member

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    Thank you. The sedums are perfect because they survive great even when I forget to water them. ;)
     

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