Do-it-yourself rock gardens

How to make a DIY rock garden

Creating DIY rock gardens allows you to create decidedly fascinating variations of a green space that would otherwise risk being anonymous. Given that a rock garden can also be made in very small spaces, it is clear that, in the presence of sufficiently large surfaces, there will be the possibility to indulge to a greater extent, for example by increasing the spaces between the stones or increasing the number of plants. On the other hand, regardless of the size of the perimeter, it is advisable to opt for a sunny place, preferably not shaded by trees or buildings, and above all to choose a gently sloping terrain that is able to guarantee correct water drainage. As far as the selection of rocks is concerned, you can use stones and rocks found nearby: this will allow you to work less, to save money on transport, and to contextualize the garden in the environment that surrounds it. Should be avoided, if possible, excessively porous rocks, which would risk being shattered by wind, rain and frost, while rocks should be privileged near the banks or in the beds of the rivers, possibly surrounded and covered by plants and mosses that may be maintained.

Which rocks and boulders to choose

In order to recreate an environment that is as natural as possible within the rock gardens, moreover, it will be preferable to use slightly linear and angular rocks, which are as irregular as possible. The different blocks of stone will be placed one on top of the other, so that the upper and lower rocks are interspersed with a space where embankments can be obtained in which to plant and plant the plants. The boulders, of course, must be stuck in the ground with the utmost care, making them touch each other where the slope is higher, so as not to have to face the dangers of falling on the occasion of particularly violent rains that could cause landslides the terrain. About the land to be used, instead, it will have to be disinfested and well fertilized, consisting of a part of sand, a part of fine gravel, a part of garden soil, a part of fertilizer and two parts of earth of leaves. The gravel must be placed first, once the structure is completed, in order to make the set of boulders and rocks natural and uniform. It will be equally important to limit the growth of weeds, and to clean the spaces surrounding the plants, so as to guarantee the drainage of the water to the roots. The realization of rock gardens in short, do-it-yourself requires patience and correct design, taking into account that it is not enough to randomly pile stones and boulders, without a preventive design, to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing green space (even if the plants could then however survive). Given that, once realized, a rock garden requires limited maintenance, also thanks to the type of plants chosen (which usually, in nature, are used to grow and thrive in arid environments, able to adapt to windy conditions and to recreate autonomously a living space), runs a difference remarkable between a garden and a common stony ground. There is obviously no need for specific knowledge, but for a careful project.

A sloping terrain

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As mentioned earlier, the slope of the terrain should not be too obvious: otherwise, heavy rainfall could wash it off. It is the same reason for which it is fundamental to pay attention to the humidity and the compactness of the soil, which affect its drainage capacity: in fact, after stones, boulders and rocks have been positioned, intervening a posteriori to dig becomes decidedly complicated, and even a simple fertilization of the soil causes considerable problems. If you really can't do without building the rock garden in correspondence of a very high slope, you can opt for the construction of low stone walls against the ground, ideal for another to accommodate the plants, and even a terrace. Although the plants, as mentioned, are resistant and able to withstand difficult conditions, between dry summers and snowy winters, this does not mean that we should not do everything to avoid this type of stress. For this reason, it would be advisable to avoid excessively dry places, with insufficient humidity due to the root system of the plants, and on the other hand excessively damp places, which could cause rot.

Do-it-yourself rock gardens: Construction of a rock garden

The rock garden can be bounded with stakes, so as to define its shape and identify the soil where the plants will be placed. To prepare the foundation, the surface soil should be dug for no more than about ten centimeters, taking care to eliminate weeds and grassy clods; on the other hand, the layer of superficial soil, if fertile, can be preserved and used again as a fill, perhaps mixed with organic fertilizer and grit. The turf, in turn, can be repositioned, or alternatively used to make the compound, introduced into the organic material with the grass pointing downwards. The DIY rock garden, at this point, is practically ready: all that remains is to plant the plants, water them monthly, and wait for them to grow luxuriantly.