Alpine slide in your garden
A rock garden is a special type of garden in which evergreens are planted.
The construction of a rock garden begins with a marking of the site. A rock garden looks more impressive when it smoothly turns into a flower garden of ground cover plants, which serves as a kind of connecting link between it and any other landscape objects.
First, remove the soil layer to a depth of at least 20-25 cm; under the highest part of the slide, we make packing of crushed stone, gravel, broken brick - this is the basis of the slide and its drainage. After the base is installed, the bottom is compacted, fertile soil is poured at the level of the earth's surface, which is rammed and spilled at the same time.
The marking of the contour of the first tier of the slide begins with the laying of stones. To choose the right stones, you need to arrange them separately from each other. We especially carefully ram the soil under each stone and lay from one to three foundation stones. To make these stones sit well, you can add a small layer of sand. When the contour of the first tier is lined with stones, fill the cavity formed between them with soil to their upper level, compact and spill the structure. Then we outline the outline of the next tier. And all operations are repeated. The number of tiers depends on the size of the structure and the stones used. For a 5x3 m slide, 3-5 tiers are usually created. On the upper tier, a pre-laid, most beautiful stone is installed.
The stones provide the ability to get to any place when weeding and maintaining plants on the slide and in the flower garden without damaging them. For ease of movement, the stones must be flat on top, they must be installed very carefully at a distance of approximately 50-70 cm from each other. Piles of stones should be alternated with group plantings and single plants - this combination always looks natural.
Rock garden vegetation
Any plant in a rock garden has its own functional purpose. For example, species that form carpets or cushions are spectacular over large areas and look like a multi-colored fluffy carpet. Plants of these types include: yarrow, tenacious, beetroot, armeria, stonecrop. Bulbous plants are also placed in the rock garden on horizontal sections, they harmoniously fit into the rocky landscape.
In small crevices, hyacinth, undersized forms of barberry, grow well. The soil for them must be permeable, because these plants do not tolerate much moisture.
The central element of the entire composition are conifers, dwarf forms of juniper, spruce, thuja, cypress, mountain pine - all of them give the rock garden a unique charm. In addition, the combination of evergreens with stones has a special charm.
Lawson's cypress Minima Glauca, whose height is 1 m, looks spectacular in groups and has very small bluish-green or dull blue scaly needles; Juniper Cossack Tamariscifolia (1 m) with open needles of a bluish hue.
Due to its short stature and beautiful color of the needles, the Virginia Kobold juniper with needle-like needles, bluish above and green below, has become very popular; horizontal juniper Vilo Toni with small silvery-bluish needles and Cossack juniper Cupressifiolia with bluish-green needles.
Ground cover forms are often found among junipers:
- juniper horizontal Hughes with silvery-blue needles and branches pressed to the ground,
- juniper horizontal Glauca with bluish-steel needles.
It is very important to choose the right place for planting a plant in a rock garden. One group of plants grows in intense light conditions, while the other grows in partial shade or prefers shady areas.
On the southern slope of the alpine slide, it is recommended to place drought-resistant, light-loving species for which direct sunlight does not pose a threat.
The east side and southeastern slopes are suitable for plants that cannot tolerate excessive light
Ferns are planted on the northern slopes. They prefer to grow in humid, shady areas. By placing a large stone in a rock garden or planting a tree, you can create partial shade, which is necessary for the development of some species.
Planting plants in rock gardens
Plants on a rock garden are planted taking into account the distribution of special zones, differing in the degree of moisture and illumination. Depending on them, plants with appropriate characteristics and appearance are selected.
The most favorable time for laying a rock garden is autumn. And with planting plants, it is better to wait until spring. During the winter, the earth will be compacted, the stones will settle, all the pits and depressions in which plants can be planted will become more clearly visible.
In the spring, you need to protect the seedlings from the return cold and, if necessary, cover the plantings.
In the fall, planting should not be done too late: the plants take time to settle down before the first severe frosts.
Versatile mix for rock gardens
Do not forget that soil is necessary for the life of all plants, and it must be prepared. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the specifics of plants. Due to the fact that many species coexist on a rock garden in a small area, the soil in different areas can be very different.
The most commonly used universal mixture is sod land, peat, sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.
Evergreens thrive in nutrient-poor soils. For their optimal development, stone chips are added, they make up a mixture of earth, peat, sand and small or crushed stones, taken in equal proportions. If the plant needs soil containing a large amount of humus, then it is necessary to increase the amount of peat and soil in the mixture and reduce the amount of sand. It is desirable that the substrate on which the "Alpines" will grow has a neutral reaction of the medium; for this, a little lime in the form of a powder is added to the soil mixture.
When the stone base of the rock garden is laid out and the space between the boulders and blocks is filled with the prepared soil mixture, you can start planting the plants. The day for planting should be cloudy. When the soil is loose, it is easier to compact it around the plants. Before planting, the plants are given a "water bath" to water the roots. After that, the seedlings are distributed according to a preliminary planned plan. Planting begins with the tallest soloing perennials, then the accompanying undersized species are planted and, last of all, ground cover plants.
The plants should be watered regularly immediately after planting, even if the weather is not too dry. A sign that the plant has taken root will be the appearance of new young leaves. If the plants are planted in the fall, then you need to expect new shoots in the spring.
Plants that have just been planted in the ground require special care. Check each specimen daily, add potting mix if it shrinks, loosen the top layer to prevent crusting, and water the plants abundantly in the first days after planting. Sometimes it becomes necessary to cover them from direct sunlight.
In spring, the Alpines' greatest need for water. In late summer and autumn, the soil around the plants is watered if necessary. Excessive moisture can damage the roots.
The main enemy of the rock garden is weeds, which must be dealt with constantly. The roots of weeds must be removed from the soil at the beginning of the stony garden, in addition, the mulching layer on the soil surface also prevents them from growing.
It is enough to feed the Alpines twice - in spring and at the end of summer; for calcium-loving plants, you can prepare a mixture of compost with calcium.
DIY alpine slide
This amazing alpine slide
Alpine slide (rock garden) - one of the most popular decorations for the site... Landscape designers around the world are building this beautiful piece of decoration.
To you don't have to be a professional landscape designer to create the perfect alpine slide or a landscape architect, it is enough to be the owner of the site and have a great desire to decorate it. And, of course, have the necessary knowledge.
General principles for creating an alpine slide
In order to create an alpine slide with your own hands should observe special principles and also rely on your feelings, your taste and sense of style.
A slide, for that it is a slide, should be, no matter how corny it may sound, a slide. It is impossible to name the ideal size of a rock garden, since it depends on many factors: this is the size of the site, location, climatic conditions, etc. But usually an alpine slide is not higher than one meter.
Another principle, not even a principle, but a condition is the obligatory presence of a symbol of mountains - a natural stone. The stone must necessarily be natural, since it is he who will convey the entire flavor of the mountainous area and create the feeling of being in the mountains.
Alpine slide is a unique project and it is simply impossible to imagine without plants. It is not very difficult to choose the ideal plants for a rock garden, the main thing is that they are drought-resistant and withstand a huge amount of ultraviolet radiation. All these characteristics are possessed by mountain plants, planting which, you will create a complete feeling of real mountains.
All these are just general principles that we will describe in detail in this article.
How did the rock garden appear?
Alpine slide will decorate any site
The Japanese first began to use the rock garden as an object of garden decoration. in their world-famous stone gardens or stone gardens a thousand years ago. The alpine slide combines the roughness and hardness of the stone and the tenderness and freshness of flowers and shrubs. This combination creates an amazing duet, symbolizing the real beauty and unity of two principles - male and female, or, according to the teachings of Feng Shui - yin and yang.
In Europe, rock gardens began to be erected in the 16th century. At that time, special and outlandish plants were grown on them, which were specially brought from natural mountain conditions.
In the 18th century, the fashion for alpine slides reached Russia. Such a wonderful decoration could only be afforded by wealthy people. The gardeners of the imperial court erected these magnificent structures in the imperial gardens. And to this day, these rock gardens can be seen in the gardens of St. Petersburg and Peterhof (the summer residence of the imperial family).
And now, centuries later, the alpine slide does not go out of fashion and excites the minds of professional landscape designers and ordinary people.
Rock garden or rockery? How do they differ and what to choose for your site?
1) Alpine slide 2) Rockery
Many non-professionals confuse an alpine slide with a rockery. They differ significantly from each other, but they also have some similarities.
Similarities: in both cases, the basis is natural stones. Another similarity is the plants used. They must necessarily be the "indigenous inhabitants" of the mountains, because only such can live and develop well in conditions of lack of water and bright sun without shading.
Differences: rockery, unlike a slide, is flat - this simplifies its creation. Plants are used not as a base (or as a full-fledged addition to stones in a rock garden), but as a background for stones, as an addition.
Plants for an alpine slide
As stated above, plants must withstand a huge amount of bright sunlight and be drought tolerant.
Recommended plants for a rock garden with a description:
Rejuvenated - one of the most popular plants, an inhabitant of the mountains. Its succulent and fleshy leaves and stems store water, making it easy to grow even in the most challenging conditions.
Saxifrage - the name itself speaks for itself. This plant is ideally suited to grow between stones. It blooms in spring with small flowers that create a bright "carpet". The rest of the time, the plant looks just as decorative, as the stems and leaves tighten the stones, penetrate into all the cracks between them, the same "carpet effect" is created, but it will be juicy green in color and very fluffy.
Sedum - the plant is truly graceful and unique. It is not at all afraid of bright sunlight, but on the contrary, under their influence, the casting becomes very juicy green. It blooms in June-July (depending on the species) with bright yellow or pink flowers, collected in wonderful, fluffy inflorescences. The plant is completely unpretentious. Another excellent ability - stonecrop is not afraid of weeds, they are afraid of him, as he easily "creeps", creating a natural barrier.
Edelweiss - a plant that must be on an alpine slide. Edelweiss is the symbol of the Alps. He is not afraid of even the most severe frosts. It blooms from June to July with unusual flowers.
Host. This plant is familiar to many gardeners. She is completely unpretentious, cold-resistant. It is valued for its high decorative foliage: from pale green to dark green with white inclusions (which can be in the form of stripes or spots). It also releases thin stems in the summer, which are literally covered with lilac (in most varieties) or white flowers.
Badan - another decorative deciduous plant that reaches a fairly large size. It grows very quickly, so it is preferable to plant it on the first, lowest tier. Evergreen foliage will delight you all year round. The famous Altai tea is brewed from last year's dried foliage. In early spring, it blooms profusely with large, collected in large inflorescences, pink flowers.
Bloody root - a flower that deserves special attention. In Russia, it is undeservedly distributed poorly, although it is even adapted to harsh conditions. Many amateur gardeners do not even know about the existence of such a flower and in vain, because it blooms with amazing, large, white flowers. It got its name for its peculiarity: if you break the root, then a bright red liquid, very similar to blood, will start to run, which is used in folk medicine.
Aquilegia Is a popular plant. The bushes are large enough, columnar, less often spreading. It blooms from June to early August (depending on the variety) with large flowers of different colors, which can be monochromatic, but also multi-colored. The flower is very unusual, consisting of peculiar tubes. The people called this plant catchment precisely for this feature. But, in spite of the unofficial name: the catchment, - aquilegia does not need a lot of water at all.
Viola (pansies) - also used for rock gardens. Completely unpretentious. Moreover, the viola can be transplanted from place to place, even in a flowering state.
Juniper - representative of conifers. If you choose creeping species (for example, Cossack), you can plant it on the first tier. Over the years, it grows and a whole curtain of young junipers is formed, which can be planted or left in the same place to create the effect of a soft, terry carpet.
There are many more plants suitable for a rock garden.... You can choose absolutely any, the main thing is to follow the principles described above.
Briefly about the construction of a rock garden
Approximate planting scheme
Initially, you need to choose a place for the future rock garden... The site should be spacious, well lit from all sides.Also, we must not forget about the angle that you will see (it can be some specific side, or it can be in the center and will be viewed from all sides).
The next step is to create drainage. To do this, you need to remove the top layer of soil by 30-40 centimeters and fill the resulting hole with rubble and sand.
The rock garden looks great on the site
Next, we prepare the nutrient soil... The ideal option is soil mixed with humus and sand. Create a slide from this land and lay out stones. The stones must be laid out with aesthetics in mind, but also understand that they must hold the ground, otherwise after the first rain your slide will turn into a blurred heap. And only after you have done all this, you can plant the plants.
As it was written above, only natural materials are used in the rock garden (stone and plants), so do not stir various garden figurines, plastic and glass products on it. But what is desirable to do is to provide your rock garden with lighting in the dark. Even if it is not fully highlighted. If you decide to highlight it pointwise, then stir the lamps near some particularly beautiful plant or stones. It is better if you do this when it is dark, then you will see exactly how everything looks and can better place the lighting fixtures.
Be sure to make an alpine slide and then you will see how your site will come to life, will look completely new.
4. Planting plants
The best part about creating an alpine slide is planting flowers. A hill of earth and stones "comes to life" right before our eyes, when plants appear on it. You can plant flowers on an alpine hill both in spring and in autumn. If necessary, during planting, you can add soil mixture to the flower garden.
Without flowers, an alpine slide would be just a heap of stones
What flowers to plant on an alpine hill? Stonecrop, crocus, viola, edelweiss, young, saxifrage, lumbago, alpine aster, Japanese spirea, aquilegia, dwarf barberry, juniper look great on it. There is no universal rule for combining plants. You will have to be guided by your own preferences and sense of style.
If you don't have an alpine slide yet, but you really would like to create one - get to work! All you need is soil, rocks and plants. But leave the various decorations and garden figurines for another flower bed.
Garden alpine slides
The specialists of our company will help you decide on the design of the alpine slide, as well as make the project a reality.
In landscape design, alpine slides are one of the most popular elements, because they can be used to bring a small corner of alpine nature into the garden. In addition, they will be a great addition to a landscape flower garden or decorative reservoir.
Types of rock gardens:
In order for an alpine slide in the garden or in the country to please with its flowering throughout the season, you need to be especially careful about the choice of plants. In this case, it is necessary to take into account not only the flowering time, but also the size of the crops, as well as the peculiarities of their root system. So, for the upper tiers, it is better to select low-growing varieties, and place the higher ones lower.
The device and design of rock gardens in the country and in the personal plot
The device of the rock garden also assumes the presence of drainage, which helps to create an optimal microclimate for the planted plants and prevents them from getting wet and damp. When designing an alpine slide, you need to adhere to the maximum naturalness, therefore, absolutely symmetrical arrangements of boulders and flowers will be inappropriate here.
The design of garden alpine slides requires special knowledge, so it is best to entrust it to professionals. Only they will be able to choose the right plants and create on your site, albeit small, but such a charming mountain landscape.
Rockery is the same alpine slide, only flat. This is precisely its main advantage. After all, here you do not have to spend money on creating a relief and foundation. You only need drainage and a substrate of sand and gravel. The size does not really matter - even a miniature composition can look very dignified. In order for you to achieve just such an effect, we will reveal an important secret: rockeries are very fond of all kinds of framing, for example, paving or gravel dumps. But do not put gravel directly on the ground - pulling the weeds out from under it is very problematic.
The combination of stones and conifers is a win-win for any site. The main thing is to observe reasonable proportions.
Advice: do not be afraid to fantasize - use unexpected solutions and decor uncharacteristic for an alpine theme in the composition, for example, multi-colored gravel and fragments of colored ceramics.
Spring care of the rock garden
At the end of March - April, when the soil dries up a little, we carry out spring cleaning, wake up the hill from hibernation. We prune shrubs and shrubs and give them the necessary shape, cut out old shoots of herbaceous perennials, remove leaves that have fallen over the winter, remove the shelter from heat-loving plants, eliminate the consequences of the activity of moles and mice, if they came to visit us, and at the same time admire the flowering of blue-eyed liverwort.
It is also important to examine the stones that have loosened over the winter, add earth and tamp them well. If gullies from melt water have formed, we also fill them with fertile soil and moderately compact them.
In the future, throughout the growing season, it is necessary to regularly weed and loosen the soil. Perennial weeds (dandelions, wheatgrass, sow thistle, runny, field bindweed, horsetail, etc.) should be carefully dug up with roots, trying not to disturb the structure of the hill and not to damage the roots of ornamental plants. In the shady corners of the hills, liverworts (liver mosses) love to grow, especially on acidic and too compacted soils.
Mosses must be thoroughly weeded, the soil must be deeply loosened if plants that require an acidic environment do not grow nearby, mineral fertilizer, double iron superphosphate or ash can be applied - at the rate of 30-40 g per 1 m 2, which will lower the pH level. Timely loosening and mulching of the soil prevents the growth of annual weeds.
Types of alpine slides
Before you start building a slide, think about what type of rock garden you want to create.
The classic type of rock garden is a man-made imitation of real nature with mountain paths, hills and hillocks.
The most fashionable type of rock garden now is limestone slides. The slabs are laid out with an edge, and the cracks are filled with fine gravel. Thus, a natural mountain range is imitated with hollows, ledges, cliffs and plants that seem to have grown from a seed carried by the wind.
Those who love aristocratic sophistication will appreciate the monochrome rock gardens of 2-3 plant species.
You can also build a mini-alpinarium on your balcony, terrace or porch in front of the house.