The beauty of the mountains fascinates us so much that we even want to have a small part of it on a small plot near the house. Therefore, probably, the rock gardens and rockeries are becoming increasingly popular. These are plantings in which the stones are combined with plants, but differ from each other in the ratio of these components. In rockaria, stones predominate - their absolute majority. Plants in them are present only in a very small amount. In alpine hills - rock gardens - plants can be a significant amount. They mimic alpine meadows with characteristic vegetation. Moreover, it is not so difficult to make an alpine hill with your own hands: you need to know its characteristic features and construction rules, which then apply in practice. All the intricacies of the arrangement of the rock garden will be discussed further.
- 1 What are
- 2 Stones: what and where to take
- 3 How to make an alpine hill
- 4 Plants for the Alpine hill: rules of disembarkation, names and photos
- 5 Video lessons on the creation of rock garden
Since the Alpine hills copy real mountains, they can differ greatly in shape, quantity, size and type of stones, the way they are laid, and even on the terrain. For example, there are layered stone slides, which are also called "Czech rolling pins". They differ in the vertical arrangement of stratified rocks.
Rocky slides - the most common in our locality is the rock garden. This is a small earthen mound, over which the stones are laid. Stones - layered or boulders, the space between them is filled with crushed stone, pellets, pebbles or boulders of smaller size. This will be a rocky hill.
But there are those in which the fertile layer occupies a considerable area. In this case, from the green of the lawn, single stone blocks stick out, bright flowers and small coniferous plants stand out. Such plantations mimic alpine lawns.
There are alpine ravines. If the plot has a similar relief, you can arrange it by making an artificial creek. To do this, lay the bottom and edges with stones, make a small pond below, from which water is pumped to the top of your "cliff".
Along the bank of a stream and a pond to plant hygrophilous plants, on stones - suitable for their alpine grasses, flowers and perennials. Such a construction is certainly more difficult in terms of technology, it also requires more expenses - a pond, a stream, a hill - everything requires investments. Such complex systems are already considered landscape hills, because they partially change the appearance of the whole site.
And one more kind of rock gardens - terraces. The division of the plot into terraces is necessary if it is on a slope. Then a multilevel device is the best way out. For leveling the soil, the retaining walls are laid. They are often made of reinforced concrete, and then decorated with boulders. On these retaining walls, too, feel the ground cover plants.
The same principle - the organization of terraces - is used on flat areas, but with a different purpose: to make it more picturesque. In this case, the height difference is created artificially, and this is a large amount of land work.
Stones: what and where to take
The basis of the slides of any type - stones and will need them a lot - a few tons, and different sizes. Choose from those breeds that are more common in your region. It looks best chopped blocks, but already lying, with dark edges. You can use pellets with smooth sides, but creating a natural composition from them is not an easy task. It will take approximately one quarter of a large size, about the same average - the rest - small stones.
Excellent looks granite. But it is hard and "cold" on it can rarely grow even the most tenacious saxifrage, and the soil next to it quickly becomes acidified. This also must be borne in mind and periodically adjust the acidity (or plant plants that love acid soil).
It is best to use tuff. It well drains the water, water flows through it perfectly, more importantly, plants grow on it directly. What's more, it neutralizes the acidity that the Alpine people like.
Lime slabs are also good, but they go exactly with slabs, they are well designed alpine plains or very low and gentle slides.
How to make an alpine hill
First, select the site where the rock garden will be broken. Depending on the conditions on it, and choose the type of hills and plants that can be put on it.
Experts recommend not to do a "grave" - a mound in the middle of a flat site looks exactly like that. If there is at least a small natural or artificial "foundation" it is better to start a hill from it. It can be a well, a large old tree, even a wall of some structure, from which the rock garden descends. On a flat surface, more appropriate rockery - a flat structure of stones and plants.
How to choose a rock garden
If the site is bogged down and located in the lowland, you can equip a small pond or swamp, the edges of which are decorated with stones. But even on stones in this case plant hygrophilous plants - they will successfully drain the adjacent area. If drought-resistant rocks are planted in such a place, they will wither until they die - the conditions they require are different.
For a sunny or shady, but dry area, it is possible to organize any type of slide. On a flat site a large difference in heights is difficult to create - it is more appropriate and easier to do something like a mountain valley, an alpine meadow or a low hill. In the presence of a difference in altitude, it is possible to decorate it in the form of a rock garden or to increase the existing height difference by arranging a hill on one side, from which the rock garden will "escape" the rock garden.
When to start
If you do not beat the relief that is, you have to shift and pour the soil and stones, sometimes broken bricks and other similar construction debris are poured into the bottom of the hill. All this is poured over the soil and is trampled, then the earth is piled on top, which is interspersed with stones. And so from the bottom, to the very top - the stones to the ground. It is clear that the entire structure will shrink. And decent - up to 1/4 of the height. For this reason, the Alpine hill is often created in two stages by its own hands: the first - soil works - are carried out in the autumn, the second - planting plants - in the spring.
That during the wintering with plants or without rain and melting snow did not wash the soil heavily, the most problem areas are fixed with a net, burlap. Where most of the water comes off you will see after the first rain. You can speed up the process by watering your slide with water. In those places where the water comes down most, lay a grid, sprinkle with small stones. In the following winters, the ground will gradually consolidate the roots of the plants, but finally they will grow only after a few years, so that the stones need to cover the ground for the next winters, only carefully.
Alpine hill with your own hands: the sequence of actions
Regardless of the type of landing chosen, the sequence of actions for the arrangement will be almost the same. Everything starts with simple but large-scale land works, then exercises with weights followed, and only then landing.
STEP 1. Mark the outlines. On a designated place, outline the outline of the future roller coaster. They should not be symmetrical - they should look natural. In any case, it's worth it. Therefore it is better if the form consists of different broken and rounded lines. First you can develop it on a piece of paper, then use a colored rope or cord to transfer to the ground (you can outline the contours with a path made of sand, for example, etc.).
STEP 2. We remove the fertile layer, we organize drainage. On the outlined area remove the soil, remove the roots of plants. If the soil is not very good for removing water, pour rubble and rammer. It is drainage for draining water and maintaining normal humidity. Plants growing on stones do not tolerate water stagnation and waterlogging. They are used to a minimum of moisture. And they need to create similar conditions for them. On top of the gravel, more sand is poured, with a layer of 10-15 cm, and the top is already a fertile layer or a special substrate for the selected plants.
If the soils normally divert water, gravel does not need to be poured, but the plant soil should be removed: the plants will break through the stones and struggle with them is difficult. Therefore, clean everything qualitatively.
With sandy soil there may be another problem: it can be too loose (silty sands). Then on it the stones will all the time "float away." The problem can be solved if the rubble is covered and it is well to drive it into the ground, if this is not possible, spread the geotextile in the pit (use it for road construction and landscape design) and fix it along the edges of the excavation. In this case, it is desirable to take a dense one so that it will withstand a mass of soil and stones. He will not allow the stones to change their location and will hold the whole structure. In particularly severe cases, it may be necessary to pour a concrete base - a reinforced slab.
Step 3. The formation of the relief. On the sand pour a layer of soil about 20 cm thick. Arrange the first, the largest stones. They are partly to be drowned. This will look more natural. For a traditional slide, stones are stacked, not put upright. When organizing a Czech rolling pin, on the contrary - all the plates put a stop. But this is fundamentally different formations and we will tell you about the manufacture of the rolling pin a little later - there is another principle of formation.
In the first row, the heaviest stones are laid. The gaps between them are filled with soil, which can be interspersed with smaller "unformatted" stones, which will not look good in the open. Laying stones, check their stability: they need to jump. If it does, it does not move, you can continue to work. Lay out the second tier - boulders a little less. And just fill the distance between them with smaller stones and ground.
By the same principle, the third tier is formed - there are already stacked small stones, which can be interleaved quite small.
Step 4. Planting the plants. As already mentioned, this stage can begin six months after the formation of the relief. Since the conditions for all are different, then the plants are selected based on them. But if we talk about the Alpine hill, then on it, in theory, should live only those plantations that grow in the Alps. Basically they are not very bright, and they do not feel well in our latitudes. They are planted by true connoisseurs of mountains. And the vast majority of dachas and household plots plant plants, which they personally like more. Strictly speaking, this is a flower garden or a composition with stones ... But, no matter how the structure was called, it has the right to exist if it brings pleasure to the owner.
What is the difference between a Czech rolling pin
As already mentioned, the Czech rolling pin consists of vertically placed slabs. Such plates in our market can be bought from sandstone or limestone. Find more or less one color, but different shapes and thicknesses - from one centimeter to dozens. And look for those who have at least one face was dark - weather-beaten. They are exposed to the outside. Some more amount will be needed with two "tanned" edges. When making a slide, they are exposed to the outside - it is so beautiful and "more natural.
Everything begins also: the marking of the site and the excavation of the soil, the backfilling of the drainage layer. Here are the differences. From the large plates "ridges" are formed and they are placed and the edge with a slight slope - about 5 °.
Between the dominant ridges we lay out smaller strata, the intervals between them are covered with substrate or soil. If you are going to plant the alpine plants, they do not need a nutritious medium. In it they can even die. They are necessary in creating conditions close to natural, so you have to adapt to them and make up for each kind of soil mixture. The basis can be considered such: in equal parts to mix a light meadow land, river sand with a large grain and a stone crumb. In order for the soil to hold better the water of the brick crumb: the temperature in the summer is higher than in the Alps and it dries faster. With this soil mixture, fill the spaces between the slabs.
In these "rocky outcrops" plants are planted. Then the remaining intervals are covered approximately 2-3 cm with a layer of fine stone crumbs of the same color. This is, first, add naturalness, and secondly, it will prevent from drying out. The problem with the outflow of water is solved automatically - it perfectly fades into vertical slots. And since the soil mixture is loose, no stagnation is formed.
Plants for the Alpine hill: rules of disembarkation, names and photos
To obtain a decorative effect, not only and not so much flowering plants are more important than those that have beautiful and lush foliage, which retains its decorative effect throughout the period: from spring to late autumn.
Planting bushes and trees should be approached very carefully: they grow, still decent in height, attempts to cut them only harm the appearance. If you want, look for dwarf varieties, but specify their growth. You can recommend horizontal junipers - they grow into sides, and up almost do not grow. You can use mountain pine or nest fir. But this is at a sufficient altitude of the relief. Trees and shrubs are planted in any case in the "lowlands", and so that it does not block the survey.
The plants are planted in groups, but so that between them there is a solid free space filled with stones or small crumbs. A solid carpet is not for a rock garden. Here every plant is a soloist and for each one there must be a separate scene. Therefore, in the foreground - the most undersized, behind them - medium height and the highest - in the background.
Some plants that are often planted on rock gardens in the country or near the house with a photo are presented in the photo gallery. Please note that basically one or two varieties are depicted, and there may be more than a dozen (as it usually is).