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THE ROCKY GARDEN: A NATURAL REPRESENTATION
Your small rocky environment can be set up in the garden, but not only: even a large terrace is suitable for hosting a beautiful pool with these plants.
The common thread in the construction of a rock garden is to be inspired by nature. Here the rocks are the rugged ridges of the mountains, the large and small pebbles surfacing in the meadows, the sea cliffs, the desert stones. Your garden can draw inspiration from these landscapes, trying to reproduce a similar microcosm.
Even if at the nursery you can find suitable stones for each specific type of rock garden, you can simply choose common rocky elements in your area of residence, perhaps going to look for them personally in the countryside or mountains, or along a coast rich in rocks. Select pieces of different shapes and sizes, to give the most possible heterogeneity to the garden.
Basalt, granite, beole or slate are the materials of the rocks of northern Italy; towards the center the pietra serena, travertine and tuff are the masters; volcanic rocks and tuffs are widespread in the south and in the islands.
To get an idea of how much material to find, let's say that for four square meters of garden you need about ten good-sized stones. Once you have found this material, you have to work out a small project in which it is clear, on the one hand, how these rocks will fit into the garden, on the other hand how many and which plants there may be: a rock garden must have an initial plan, starting from this you will be able to create changes and add additions over time.
THE FIRST ACTORS: ROCKS AND EARTH
The choice of place is essential, because we are going to compose a green corner that needs a lot of light and excellent drainage. There must be no trees that cast their shadow at any time of the day, or drop water or leaves on the rock garden. These areas are well placed next to informally cultivated areas: the contrast with a mowed lawn would be too strong. If it is an alpine rock garden, study the presence of bodies of water or streams, which would enrich the visual effect.
The soil must meet the needs of different plants; it must not be too rich in peat, it must have a neutral or at most slightly acid pH. A mixture consisting of garden soil, peat and fine sand, in equal parts, will be fine. Unless the conformation of the chosen area already has a natural slope, keep in mind that you will have to give it, creating a kind of small hill in which to slope rocks and vegetation. Under the layer of earth, spread fragments of earthenware or stones mixed with sand: this system will guarantee perfect drainage.
Remove all weeds from the area. The most important step is the arrangement of the stones in the ground: they must be sunk by at least 25-30% of their volume, placing them tilted upwards, so that rainwater or irrigation never stagnates. When designing the arrangement of the rocks, also consider the fact that the walkway will be for you to reach the plants, as long as the garden is not of a size such as to include pathways.
THE PLANTS COME ON SCENE
Here are some criteria to choose which vegetation to color your garden with. First of all, foresee plants of different sizes and heights: the smaller ones and those that have a "creeping" trend will go to the front row, followed by the averages and then, to close, the high ones. If you are expecting a rock garden that can be enjoyed from all sides, consider a perspective that places the plants with higher stems in the central part. Avoid geometric arrangements with accentuated symmetries, one must have the impression of a natural randomness. Leave space between the plants, so that they do not hinder each other during growth, even with the root system.
Choose biennials or perennials, in order not to be forced to renew them every year, and consider alternating evergreens with other deciduous or succulent plants (this will obviously also depend on the type of rock garden you have decided to set up). Consider the colors of leaves and flowers, trying to alternate them; with the same purpose, pay attention to the flowering period, because a garden is beautiful if there is always a bud to admire. In case you consider the alpine garden, here you also have the color given by the berries. The strongest colors are yellow and red, which should not be exceeded; blue, pink and white give the idea of lightness and seem to expand the space.
Starting from the dominant color of each plant, here are some indications for composing a Mediterranean rock garden:
- Allium neapolitanum
- Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) red fruits
- Capparis spinosa (caper)
- Cistus salvifolius (female cistus)
- Lobularia maritima (alisso odoroso)
- Myrtus communis (myrtle)
- Phyllirea angustifolia (fillirea) blue fruits
- Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
- Bouganvillea spp. (bougainvillea), many colors especially fuchsia
- Cakile maritima (sea urchin)
- Centaurea cinerina (centaurea)
- Daphne sericea (olicella sericea)
- Lavatera arborea (lavatera)
- Origanum vulgare (oregano)
- Cistus incanus (cisto villoso)
- Hedisarum glomeratum (on the minor)
- Juniperus phoenicia (Phoenician juniper) red fruits
- Pistacia lentiscus (lentisco) red fruits
- Genista hispanica (broom)
- Glaucium flavum (poppy of the sand) blue leaves
- Helicrysum italicum (helichrysum)
- Opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear)
- Othantus maritimus (santolina)
- Lavandula stoechas (lavender)
- Linum narbonense (flax).
Alpine rock garden
Similarly, here are the directions for an alpine rock garden:
Balearic sandstone (sandstone)
Mountain sandstone (sandstone)
Dryas octopetala (dryas)
Gaultheria procumbens (gaulteria)
Gypsophila repens (gypsophila)
Iberis saxatilis (iberide)
Leontopodium alpinum (alpine star)
Papaver alpinum (poppy)
Armeria caespitosa (armory)
Dianthus alpinus (carnation)
Lychnis alpina (licnide)
Sempervivum arachnoideum (evergreen)
Silene acaulis (silene)
Aster alpinus (astro)
Phlox sabulata (phlox)
Saxifraga arendsii (saxifraga)
Acaena microphylla (acaena)
Alyssum saxatile (alisso)
Ista Genista delphinensis (broom)
Helianthemum alpestre (eliantemo)
Hypericum coris (hypericum)
Primula auricula (primula)
Viola biflora (purple)
Blue and purple
Alpine Aquilegia (aquilegia)
Aubrietia deltoidea (aubrezia)
Campanula arvatica (Campanula)
Vol Convolvolus mauritanicum (bindweed)
Gentiana acaulis (gentian)
Sedum caeruleum (sedum)
Onica Veronica incana (veronica)
Rocky garden: Rock garden watering
Before placing each vegetable in the garden, water it and let the water drain. Dig a hole, insert the plant and bathe regularly for a few days; when you understand that it has taken root well, suspend the irrigation. You will bathe only in summer, in very dry periods. At the end of the work, you can cover the whole ground with gravel, crushed stone or vegetable mince, for about two centimeters in height. This coverage, in addition to making the whole area harmonious, has the advantage of preventing the growth of weeds
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