The Q&A Archives: Rock Gardens

Question: I live in zone 6. I am interested in making a rock garden. What kind of plants would I use? What about dwarf trees? Any suggestions? I would like to incorporate a small water garden in there somewhere. Approximately 4X4.

Answer: Based on your description I am not sure exactly what you are envisioning, but in a space that small you may have to limit yourself to just one or two main elements. You might be able to make a small yet very satisfying pond in a half whiskey barrel size and arange it nicely with several rather large rocks and perhaps one dwarf conifer or a small tree such as a small crabapple variety. (The dwarf conifers actually tend to grow rather large over time, since dwarf is a relative term compared to their fullsized relatives which may top out at over 100 feet tall.) For the best effect the rocks should be partially buried so they look more natural. Finally, in a space that small you could also enjoy some small spring bulbs such as crocus or a handfull of daffodils for early color before the water garden comes into growth for the summer. Have fun with your project!

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