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The design of a garden is the art created in a designing process, stage-by-stage preparation and direct performance of work on planting of plants and creation of landscapes. Many owners of grounds address the professionals who are engaged in design of a garden and receive ideally picked up option of arrangement of the territory. It is a lot of also those who prefer to be engaged in arrangement of own garden independently. Amateur gardeners can comprehend not only bases of landscape dressing, but also to achieve the high level of understanding of this art by studying of thematic material and devoting a lot of time to works in own garden. Today it is fashionable to decorate the possession of various compositions from stones and various perennial and annual plants.
Decorating the site on the taste very few people think to what category its composition from plants and stones will belong. But nevertheless differences between the landscaping elements which are kinds of rock-gardens are caused not only their names. Let’s consider within this material the composition which received the name “rockery”, and several options of creation of this element of a garden.
Rockery — what is it?
Rockery can call the landscape composition executed on the plane, height or method of the device of terraces. It is intended for display of features and beauty of various plants contrasting with artificially created, stony environment. Unlike other stone compositions, for creation of rockery stones only of one breed and not blossoming plants are used. It can be limestone, granite, shell rock, sandstone, etc., deliberately select deckle-edged rough massive stones.
Allocate two types of rockery:
- Plane: it is constructed on flat sites of a landscape, it is characterized by a harmonious combination of vegetable color accents and various flat stones. It is supposed that plane rockery will be surveyed from above.
- Volume: it is constructed on hillocks, hills, terraces, characterized by existence of a set of volume stones and plants with obligatory one large accent. Volume rockery is intended for its survey as from above, and from other foreshortenings.
How to position rockery
As well as any other landscape composition, rockery is created, first of all, to admire. Therefore at a design stage it is worth providing that the composition was looked through by the observer from the places which are most visited by it. If in the house there is a balcony or a terrace where the family spends much time, then and the view from there of a garden needs to be provided the most attractive.
It is necessary to consider distance from rockery to the observation deck, their situation relatively each other. The decorative construction has to be turned to observers and its prospect to disclose all beauty of composition and the author’s idea.
The separate element fitting into the general landscape – the most advantageous option of its location. Harmonious smooth transitions of heights, saturations of landings, a color combination of plants and small architectural constructions – all this is a necessary condition and pledge of the fact that further, to the creator of a garden cardinal transformations will not want any more. Once the created landscape will only be improved and to be supplemented with small elements.
If the site of the estimated rockery device represents a slope or a terrace, then its altitude will be defined by the natural level of the available height. The rockery models are suitable for such land relief: rock, hill, wall and other volume types.
If the site is located on a plain surface, high-rise rockery on it can be created too. It is the most expedient to remove it on perhaps distance shot. The big prospect will hide artificial origin of the high-rise hill. As a background for flat rockery the green fence, a blank stone wall can act.
What it is important to consider at arrangement of flat and high-rise rockery
The basic at creation of rockery is that:
- All elements of composition have to be connected among themselves by one general statement, creating the object which is harmoniously combined with other background of a garden.
- It is necessary to plant vegetation and to look after it taking into account that the lower tiers did not cover with themselves the subsequent at survey of rockery from different points.
- The most volume (noticeable) components of flora it is necessary to have so that they framed the central accents of composition.
- Rockery has to be beautiful, but make an impression of naturally developed relief composition. Therefore it is necessary to remember that the emphasized symmetry of arrangement of components will give obvious artificiality of a construction, but also the full asymmetry will not make success as will bring feeling of a disorder in space.
Before beginning works on creation of rockery, it is necessary to stay as the landscape designer and to develop several outline sketches. It is good if there is an opportunity to discuss each of them with the relatives behind a tea cup at the burning fireplace. Long winter evenings – the most suitable time for reflections about summer and creations of plans of further arrangement of the territory, in lack of summer heat is especially sharply felt the need for upclassing of the site. Plans for the future give forces, early planning allows to correct all defects of the project in due time.
In what feature of a construction of flat rockery?
In a landscape of ideally leveled land plot a certain composition which is designed to become the center of attention of observers arises with itself. Rockery as well as possible is suitable for this role. Flat rockery is not the flat platform with stones and plants, but in comparison with a high-rise construction, nevertheless it is less contrasting, in the relief plan, with the main landscape, an object. Flat rockery it is the most expedient to have near site borders. That the composition most naturally fitted into a landscape, as a support and a background for it the strong fence decorated with the trudging plants with large leaves has to serve. It is also possible to provide a role of a background to the group of coniferous trees or trees and bushes creating a green hedge. At arrangement of flat composition it is recommended to create several bright accents which can be dark green bushes or stones unusual, attracting a look, a look.
In what feature of a construction of volume (high-rise) rockery?
High-rise rockery – the most advantageous option of arrangement of a landscape as gives to his creator unlimited opportunities of combination of various styles. It is most spectacular as absolutely differently looks from different positions of the observer. If land areas allow, then it is possible to create a big rocky object with a set of vegetable objects.
The difference of volume rockery is that at its composition there has to be only one main accent focusing attention on itself irrespective of a perspective of its survey, and he has to settle down in the center. The big rock, a stone boulder or an architectural object can be such accent. The accent plays a role of a reference point concerning which all other composition is built. In that case if the main object it is impossible to arrange in the center, it is necessary to find the solution to avoid composite narrow-mindedness. Rockery can be counterbalanced by one more significant component which can become an original tree with the roots which came to a surface, a bright dense bush, etc. The volume composition has one more expressed advantage: considering at its design behavior of a shadow from high objects during the light day and at artificial lighting, it is possible to create fantastic, mysterious space, it is illusory increased or, on the contrary, narrowed where it is necessary.
Popular rockery models
Rockery, as well as all rock-gardens, it is accepted to divide on styles, distinguish the Japanese, English and European styles.
The composition in the Japanese style differs in prevalence in it of stones, plants are designed to be only hardly noticeable satellites here. For Japanese presence of such garden is national tradition as contemplation of stones leads to reflections and memories of the past, causing association of delay of a current of time.
The English style assumes thoroughness therefore the English rockery is for ages the put composition with prevalence of the durable, slowly growing trees and bushes of coniferous breeds.
Rockery in the European style most is suitable for arrangement of gardens. The composition assumes existence of attractive stones and plants of deciduous and coniferous breeds of various height and shades.
Popular types of rockery are three: temporary, changeable and stable
Temporary rockery is the simplest model and it is easier to create it others. Such model several years prior to creation on its place, further, of stable rockery is constructed. For this purpose on the place of alleged placement of composition at the necessary distance from each other plant saplings of evergreen bushes and trees, their arrangement needs to be planned taking into account an adult state. The stones which are used for construction of temporary model have to correspond to the planted plants. As saplings cannot become still full-fledged decoration of such hill, plant annual and long-term fast-growing small bushes. Having gone through a stage changeable, such rockery can turn into constant or remain in a stage changeable.
The model of changeable rockery will be to the taste to those who do not love constancy and got used to experiment with the garden. Several plants (small trees or long-term bushes) can be a composite basis for such model. Except stones it is necessary to provide enough gravel sites on which it will be possible to plant various annual magnificent plants subsequently in such rockery.
Stable rockery differs from the previous models in the fact that in it stones boulders or group of stones are capitally put and plants which slowly grow land, do not give young growth and which krone can be exposed to formation (a scrap, a hairstyle). The soil blood plants are divided by stones here, and each look occupies a certain zone. Considerable stone borders interfere with penetration of roots of plants into other zones therefore the picture remains to a constant. Gradually such model really merges with a landscape and looks very naturally, especially if the area of such composition is considerable.
What rockery model to prefer?
Rockery can perform quite certain useful functions – to strengthen slopes, coast of reservoirs, to prevent soil erosion. Besides, such composition can successfully decorate not quite successful for arrangement of flower beds or growth of fruit and berry plantings of the place. For example, in zones where sunshine seldom get and it is almost always cool. A priori, in such places it is necessary to equip stable rockery better volume.
Amazingly the high-rise rockery equipped in small gorges over a pond look.
On the big square it is possible to build the polytypic terraces strengthened by retaining elements. Rockery of the considerable sizes can include rock garden elements, a reservoir, the fountain, various garden constructions and mountain footpaths.
The hilly relief is a reason for arrangement of big high-rise rockery. At successful planning, due to creation of rocky ledges, small plateaus, mountain taluses, tracks, a color combination of plants, using shadow play it is possible it is illusory to increase space. For small rockery use dwarfish breeds of trees and small bushes, everything has to be proportional concerning the site.
In case the composition is located close to a terrace, an arbor or the house, it is necessary to consider that it well will be looked through at a short distance. If you feel a lack of time to exclude growths of weeds in rockery, it is necessary to provide a good barrier to their penetration in composition, and in it to sow all zones strong plants. It is necessary to remember that the more in rockery of stones, the there are less chances at weeds to fill it.
Stable rockery in the Japanese or English style demands smaller leaving, than the composition created in the European style.
If you create rockery on the equal earth and do not want considerable eminences, then it is possible to create certain eminences in it in the form of flowerpots from stones with the bushes planted in them.
Good assistants if desired to make high-rise rockery on the plain various visual effects are. For example, if to build a stone retaining wall with a small inclination in the party, opposite to the observer, then it is possible to create visibility of additional volume. The step rockery form it is also illusory increases its volume. The thought-over system of street lighting allows to show rockery in night-time in the most advantageous look.
With live character and changeable tastes it is better for people to choose rockery in the European style of changeable type. Every summer such composition can be altered and supplemented with other plants.
What stones to apply at arrangement of rockery?
As rockery is after all a rock-garden, it is necessary to belong to material selection especially carefully. Stones have to be different in the size, but one grade, the invoice and approximately identical coloring. For small rockery without retaining elements it is necessary to choose flat stones they could be laid strongly and, further, the designs which are laid out from them did not fail. If it is planned to carry out filling of some grounds a stone crumb, then its color can contrast only a little with the main scale.
Large and small pellets are suitable for plane rockery more; for high-rise hills – boulders with keen uneven edges; for stony terraces – layered boulders of a rocky look.
Stones cannot be the identical size, large always have to make a composition basis, and smaller copies and a stone crumb only to emphasize their natural appeal.
It is recommended to use at rockery construction limestone, sandstones, marble, granite, dolomitic breeds and natural limestone.
- From limestones it is recommended to use stones of a white and gray color, also more rare will approach a golden and bluish color. Experts do not advise to apply limestone of cream color, it is very fragile. Limestone very quickly adapts in rockery as it quickly disappears and its sides take a natural form. Mosses and lichens willingly lodge on stones of this breed, but inevitable lime application of the soil can interfere with growth of other plants.
- The calcareous tufa (travertine) is twice easier than usual limestone, is less aggressive to soils and therefore cannot do much harm to bushes and trees; is the excellent environment for food of mosses and lichens of any kinds.
- Sandstone is most spread in the Russian Federation, it is formed as a result of destruction of rocks, differs in durability and a variety of color scale.
- Slate – one of kinds of sandstone, it has multiple shades (gray, green, violet) colors. Eventually slate disappears and its edges smooth out.
- Dolomite usually massive, has different structure: from fine-grained to rough. The breed is rather fragile, but beautiful due to brilliant inclusions, happens white, yellowish and brownish color.
- Granite practically does not give in to wear, its sides are not rounded and do not lose color brightness.
What plants are suitable for rockery?
Besides mosses and lichens in rockery plant the unpretentious trees and bushes which are giving in to formation. On South side plant plants, the least exacting to moistening and steady against a drought, on northern – less exacting to heat and illumination, soils, steady against remoistening. 2/3 territories of the free earth of rockery it has to be covered with ground cover plants and 1/3 – wood plants (deciduous and coniferous).
The soil integumentary choose unpretentious and quickly adapting to conditions, for rockery are recommended: seduma, etc. At the same time it is necessary to plant plants taking into account conditions of their growth in the habitat. These plants can grow perfectly practically on stones, they do not require a big layer of earth, they do not need to be fertilized and watered. It is possible to fill with them cracks between rocks and the pockets which are specially prepared for them.
Wood coniferous create a hill silhouette, are skeletal. In need of giving to the hill of additional height, on its top it is recommended to plant a tree with a pyramidal form of krone. For different types of rockery are recommended: cypresses, dwarfish fir-trees, thujas, mountain pines, juniper, balsam firs, yew peaked, etc.
Wood deciduous choose with dense krone, the evergreen box, a barberry, etc. approach. The undersized barberry, a heather very much are in harmony with coniferous, all wood types perfectly look blood in combination with the soil.
What is retaining walls?
Retaining walls serve for the organization of terraces which each step may contain independent composition or one of elements of the general composition. Walls hold all design, construct them their stone or a brick, subsequently revet a brick with natural stones. Retaining walls do not have to be unilinear, they are the same element of composition, as well as all the rest.
Typical mistakes at arrangement of rockery
Creation of the project and obtaining theoretical knowledge cannot protect, fully, inexperienced, in creation of stone gardens, the person. Here, of course, experience and skills of work with natural materials at construction is important. The fans only beginning to comprehend the principles of landscaping can recommend to ask for the help experts if desired at once build volume rockery or to begin with temporary model.
Typical mistakes during creation of rockery are:
- Attempt of cultivation of plants in atypical for their growth of conditions.
- The lack of dressing of a fence on a background of rockery spoils all composition.
- The excessive haste without preliminary analysis of a condition of the soil where rockery is constructed leads to the fact that the soil can settle and destroy composition. The friable soil needs to be condensed with method of adding gravel under massive boulders.
- Use for filling of the draining layer of construction debris of unseemly structure can do much harm to future plants.
- Planting of trees in small rockery without their adult state leads to a composition disproportion if trees grow too big.
- Application for registration of the hill of too large number of stones with keen edges makes not too good impression. For flat rockery it is better to use only roundish stones.
Constructing any stone hill it is necessary to think over a safety issue. If you have small children who will independently walk in a garden, take care of that all stones were reliably recorded and did not collapse even if will climb them. Carry out tests of all designs by the weight of own body. At the device of steps, use stones with a rough surface to exclude sliding of footwear soles on them.
During creation of rockery of any type it is possible to experiment and break the production principles, but nevertheless harmony, the builder has to have a naturalness and lack of excessive diversity in a priority.