plants for rock gardens - Knowledgebase Question

Wilmington, No
Question by lorig28412
July 5, 2009
Planning on making a small rock garden in back of my condo. Can you suggest plants and types of rocks for this?

Answer from NGA
July 5, 2009


There are as many types of rock gardens as there are rock gardeners. In a traditional sense, a rock garden would be an imitation of the conditions created by an alpine scree. In a more practical sense, many gardeners have created attractive plantings in areas that are naturally rocky. And in some cases, gardeners are able to use a pile of rocks as the basis for a planting area. Most plants will not grow in a plain pile of rocks, however. You will need to add organic matter and a source of nutrients such as compost, as well as some type of finer material such as gravel or soil, to provide a medium in which the plants may root and grow. You may find that spreading the rocks apart and then partially burying them provides a more "natural" look, or you may find that using them as a retaining wall for a raised bed is in better keeping with the rest of your yard. In either case, you will need to create a good environment for the plants roots, in addition to arranging the rocks.

Here are just a few hardy plants to consider: groundcover -- creeping thyme, creeping phlox, ajuga, and many sedums, laminum, euphorbia Succulents -- non-spreading sedums, sempervivens Flowering plants -- dianthus, achillea, armeria, Alyssum saxatile, hepatica, geum, California poppies, potentilla, tiarella.

Best wishes with your project!

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