We have so much green space in our side garden that it’s starting to blend in with the surrounding fields. To add some colour into our magical space, we’ve taken sections and turned them into little gardens. One of them being a rockery. We had an idea for a rockery ever since we made a small pond by the rose bushes. It was originally going to go there but realised we didn’t have the room.
Dig & Dig Some More…
We chose a patch by the swing because we thought it’d be nice to sit on the swing in the evening with colour around us and the sound of buzzing bees pollinating. I dug over the plot, pulling out the weeds and grass we didn’t need until we had a nice clear space.
*I used the Winter’s hanging basket Ivy In the rockery as it is great at stamping out weeds
Tip: I actually should have put some membrane down here with a load of top soil because it turns out weeds are more persistent than I thought! I refused to use any types of chemicals to get rid of them so it’s a weekly picking session for me.
Oh, So Many Flowers….
I didn’t just want to plant any flowers. Firstly they had to be designed for rockeries and Hardy. But I also wanted to choose flowers that had memories attached to them. So I went shopping with my Nan and we picked some together and Rik’s mum donated a few that were Rik’s Grandad’s favourites.
Tip: Make sure you choose a variety that flower in Spring and Summer. I didn’t realise that I’d chosen mostly Spring flowers so the rockery is looking a little lackluster now compared to a few weeks ago. Although I can begin to see new buds! We’re going to add more summers ones in soon.
Now we’ve got fresh compost from our compost bin, I’ve been sprinkling some into the old soil and around the plants to help provide more nutrients. I’ve also heard using ash from log burners over the colder months help to keep the nutrients in the soil – certainly worked for the roses!
Tip: I think it’s best to work in the compo and ash as you’re digging the plot and preparing it.
Luckily we did have quite a few large rocks lying around in the garden, left by the people previously here but you can buy big boulders and what not from a garden centre. The idea is to start small, with the larger rocks ending up at the back. There are no rules here whatever looks pleasing to your eye.
As for the plants, we put the climbing type plants near to the rocks so they had something to climb over. You can pretty much get your imagination going here with what colours you’d like where.
Tip: Remember to leave enough space between plants so they can grow without squashing one another. Thankfully we’ve left enough space so we can put the summer plants in.
*I’m a bit nuts about different types of grass.
Our patch is quite dry mainly because we’ve loads of trees which surround the plot and will be sucking up the water. So on dry days. we’ve to water it once in the morning and once in the evening.
We’ll be extending the rockery towards our Cherry tree and adding some form of ornament such as a wishing well. A fence will also be going up to help separate the wild from the wilder!
- Buy plants in bulk as there’s always discounts for e.g buy 5 for the price of 3;
- Choose plants that have yet to flower or have buds on them;
- Use fresh yogurt on your rocks to help moss grow if you like a whimsical look;
I’d love to know your tips for creating and maintaining a garden rockery. I’m still new to gardening so learning by trial and error. 🙂 Remember it’s British Flower Week June 19th – 25th, so get out in your garden and celebrate. On the blog will be an interview with a Welsh ‘Farmer Florist.’