Yorkstone Supplies

Order Today 0800 170 1799

Lines open Mon-Fri 9am -5pm

Menu

Rockery Garden Guide

Rockery Garden Hero Image

The Rockery Garden

A rockery, interspersed with alpine planting, makes a great addition to any garden and can be used in areas with low quality soil and heavy sun; making them an ideal solution for those unloved corners where normal planting struggles.

If your garden is a traditional family garden, you probably have all the basics covered; lupins, oxe-eye daisy and the like. A rockery, that incorporates new alpine species gives you an opportunity to broaden the horizon on your garden in terms of planting and the wildlife it can attract, definitely a bonus. What’s more, alpines are hardy, tolerant to drought, wind and intense sunlight, making them a relative ‘plant and leave’, the perfect low maintenance option for a busy household.

Below, we take a look at every aspect of rockery gardens, from planning to planting, so if you’re a little stuck on where to start, read on; you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Rockery Garden Design

Designing a rockery can be difficult, as sometimes, it’s harder to make something look totally natural! To get started on your design, choose a healthy selection of large rockery stones and plot them using a pen and paper before laying them down. Once settled, couple these with medium and smaller stones to give the impression of a natural bed. To ensure your rocks don’t look artificially placed, try working in fives, with at least one large rockery stone in each bunch and any four others to cover a metre radius.

Larger stones should be embedded deep into earth to avoid moving, these rockery stones are used as the crux of the entire design and planting. Consider, setting medium and smaller stones close together, which gives the opportunity to plant smaller alpines between cracks, enhancing the natural look.

Although alpine planting appears sporadic, there has to be some structure and thought applied to your design to make sure everything looks just right. If budget permits, bunch up plants by species for bigger impact. In fact, we recommend limiting your plant list if budget is tight; it’s better to have a high concentration of one or two plant styles rather than hundreds of varying, one off plants.

Rockery Garden Inspiration

Rockery Idea Three

Source: Karen Roe

Love Your Garden Rockery Walling Raised Bed
Rockery Raised Bed Image 2
Rockery Raised Bed Image 3
Rockery Ideas One

Source: Kew Gardens

Chelsea Himalayan Rock Garden

Source: Karen Roe

Vital Environment Garden

Source: Karen Roe

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

Where to Build Your Rockery Garden

A rockery is effectively a ‘miniature version’ of an alpine slope, so a sun facing, well drained, hilly section of the garden is an ideal spot to get started. As alpine planting is most used to mountainous regions, ensure soil has enough ‘run-off’ to avoid water logging which will prevent plants from flourishing.

Situating a rockery close to garden edges, such as a tumble wall or fencing can work well, but keep in mind that alpine plants don’t like shade; ensure that the area is sunny for most of the day. Avoid creating your rockery under trees, although the natural appearance can lend itself well to a woodland theme, falling leaves and heavy over growth can kill off rockery planting, particularly in autumn and winter months.

Edging a pond with a rockery makes for a great, ‘wild’ look and the natural sloping of watersides means rockery plants will grow well. To make the most of a pondside rockery, ensure the area is built up well with rockery stone, pebbles and earth, any plants sat in water will struggle to get established.

In most cases, you will only need general gardening tools, such as spades and forks for moving earth. However, consider hiring larger equipment if you’re working on a bigger scale.

When to Lay a Rockery

A rockery garden can be accomplished by even the most novice of gardeners with a few basic tools. However, shifting rockery stone can often be heavy work so it is recommended to plan and build your rockery in Autumn or Spring.

This means outdoor work wont be too hot, but the ground will still be dry enough to work on safely and easily.

Rockery Garden Planting

When deciding on a planting scheme for you rockery, it’s important to remember that plants will need to be comfortable with well drained soil and a lot of sun. As well as this, keep in mind that some planting will be needed to ‘fill the gaps’ between rocks, so smaller bedding plants are a must.

Mat forming plants such as Alyssum will help fill out a rockery and soften borders between hard and soft, place matting plants along the edges of your rockery to tie the whole design in with the rest of the garden.

We recommend adding in grasses to enhance the natural feel of your design.

Alyssum Rockery Plant

Alyssum
An evergreen Alyssum is a staple of any rockery garden thanks to it's hardiness. Once planted, they will quickly fill gaps thanks to their rapid growth, providing a bed of yellow flowers in late spring.

Alyssum
An evergreen Alyssum is a staple of any rockery garden thanks to it's hardiness. Once planted, they will quickly fill gaps thanks to their rapid growth, providing a bed of yellow flowers in late spring.

Alyssum
An evergreen Alyssum is a staple of any rockery garden thanks to it's hardiness. Once planted, they will quickly fill gaps thanks to their rapid growth, providing a bed of yellow flowers in late spring.

Alyssum Rockery Plant

Campanula
There are plenty of options for adding colour and height to your design with Campanula. Available as annual or perennial, Campanula can be included in any planting scheme to add interest all year round.

Campanula
There are plenty of options for adding colour and height to your design with Campanula. Available as annual or perennial, Campanula can be included in any planting scheme to add interest all year round.

Campanula
There are plenty of options for adding colour and height to your design with Campanula. Available as annual or perennial, Campanula can be included in any planting scheme to add interest all year round.

Alyssum Rockery Plant

Allium
Allium tend to be more elaborate than most alpine planting, adding height to any rockery design. Bunch plant Allium for maximum effect as foliage can often get lost in other plans.

Allium
Allium tend to be more elaborate than most alpine planting, adding height to any rockery design. Bunch plant Allium for maximum effect as foliage can often get lost in other plans.

Allium
Allium tend to be more elaborate than most alpine planting, adding height to any rockery design. Bunch plant Allium for maximum effect as foliage can often get lost in other plans.

Alyssum Rockery Plant

Lobelia
Although Lobelia aren't the hardiest plants, they are a great, cost effective addition to any rockery design, filling the gaps between rocks and adding an abundance of colour. Consider mixing traditional and trailing Lobelia for extra ground cover and more spontaneity.

Lobelia
Although Lobelia aren't the hardiest plants, they are a great, cost effective addition to any rockery design, filling the gaps between rocks and adding an abundance of colour. Consider mixing traditional and trailing Lobelia for extra ground cover and more spontaneity.

Lobelia
Although Lobelia aren't the hardiest plants, they are a great, cost effective addition to any rockery design, filling the gaps between rocks and adding an abundance of colour. Consider mixing traditional and trailing Lobelia for extra ground cover and more spontaneity.

Alyssum Rockery Plant

Saxifraga
Providing an alpine 'matting', Saxifrage is another go to rockery plant. Saxifrage is a great option for adding long term greenery and generally softening up rockery stones. There are hundreds of variants available, from delicate flowered Monarch and Pixies, to more robust Canis.

Saxifraga
Providing an alpine 'matting', Saxifrage is another go to rockery plant. Saxifrage is a great option for adding long term greenery and generally softening up rockery stones. There are hundreds of variants available, from delicate flowered Monarch and Pixies, to more robust Canis.

Saxifraga
Providing an alpine 'matting', Saxifrage is another go to rockery plant. Saxifrage is a great option for adding long term greenery and generally softening up rockery stones. There are hundreds of variants available, from delicate flowered Monarch and Pixies, to more robust Canis.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

 

Rockery Garden Top Tips
Plan your project for cool dry months
Lay rocks in fives
Avoid shaded areas
Avoid planting rockeries under trees
Use mat forming plants on rockery edges
Use bedding plants in nooks

Posted by

Get an instant quote online today Let's get started

Registered office Unit 14, Phoenix House, Littlemeads Industrial Estate, Alfold Road,Cranleigh, GU6 8ND

Company registration number 9161800 VAT no. 163491208