Imitations of mountain landscapes and corners of rocky terrain have always been a favorite motif in the design of gardens. Our alpine hills and rockeries, unlike Western design, have never gone out of style. They are still considered one of the most prestigious and elite ornaments of the site. Not everyone can afford to break a full-fledged rocky hill or a flat rock garden. Where there is not enough space for a large rockery, a mini-format comes to the rescue - an idealized miniature copy that does not lose the charm of mountain nature and its special plants.Mini rock gardens in the garden - ways to organize and select plants.
A small dry wall with plants in the crevices between the stones. A mini-garden with stones of different sizes and a wide range of plants in a limited area is a mini-rockery. Garden in a stone trough.
Types of mini rock gardens
Miniature compositions flirting with mountain landscapes can be anything. It all depends on scale, place and imagination. You can limit yourself to just the simplest option, starting from a single boulder, or you can really try to create a smaller copy of a full-fledged alpine hill.
The most popular types of miniature mountain landscapes include:
- Planted boulder - The easiest option mini-rock garden. The one and only spectacular boulder, near which the effect of mountain vegetation was created, can become a highlight of the design by the terrace or recreation area. It is placed as a visual peak of the composition, surrounded by plants that emphasize its beauty, and playing with small stones and stone chips for a more natural transition.
- A small dry wall with plants in the crevices between the stones. Flexible and unpretentious mountain plants peeping from the cracks, planted in a minimum amount of soil, create, even with a small wall made of stone, a feeling of a mountain landscape. At the foot of this miniature have tiny mountain landscapes or an array of succulents and groundcover, creating a single composition.
- A mini-garden with stones of different sizes and a wide range of plants in a limited area is a mini-rockery. Available boulders and large stones are placed on the allocated tiny plot of soil, complementing them with spectacular plants so as to create a sense of complete composition. Miniature rockery is a kind of preview of a full-fledged composition.
- Rock garden - unlike the composition with a garden around any boulder, this mini-rock garden can be created only if you can get the appropriate stone block. Loose, non-solid rocks like limestone and sandstone with a huge number of bumps, cracks, crevices and chips can be an excellent basis for playing with the motives of mountain gardens. It is in the bumps on the block that the selected plants are planted in the minimum amount of nutrient soil.
- Garden in a stone trough create almost like a mobile or potted rock garden. This option can be realized only if you have at your disposal a large stone trough with a cavity inside or a stone block with a specially hollowed out space for planting. Natural stone troughs are widely represented in the garden centers of Europe as one of the main elements of the country style, they are less common here, but you can still find different shapes and different sizes. Most often, such troughs are made of sandstone or granite. A dense group of alpine cultures and succulents are planted in nutrient soil, which together fill the inner space. This is the most “artificial” view of all mini-rock gardens. Stone troughs can be replaced with a constructed square, circle or rectangle of dry walls, the inner space of which is filled with a dense group of plants.
Plants for alpine hills and rockeries in miniature
For compositions of the mini format, plants that recreate mountain landscapes will have to be selected more carefully than for ordinary alpine hills and rockeries. They should have a spectacular appearance, create striking combinations, and be distinguished by increased drought resistance and durability. They are selected so that the small rock garden looks attractive all year round - in spring, and in summer, and in autumn, and even in winter under snow, and the mass of plants and their growth are not out of control even after years.
Flowering succulents with their fleshy, juicy leaves and shoots that can store water, which will simplify the maintenance of the compositions, remain the absolute favorites for mini-rock gardens. Stonecrops, rosary, saxifrages, aeonium, Rowley's godson, delosperm and juvenile are species that allow you to play with a decorative effect, and choose textures, and at the same time not lose out even for the smallest options.
One of the most beautiful shrubs, which is suitable for mini-compositions with minimal landscaping, is a wolfberry. Growing, it forms stunning pillows and cascades, creating a surprisingly spectacular symbiosis with stones and boulders at the peak of pink bloom.
Near the mini-rock garden you can plant any miniature coniferous or creeping evergreen shrub. The main thing is to choose dwarf varieties that even after a dozen years will not exceed a height and diameter of 50 cm.
Of the herbaceous perennials for mountain mini format compositions, it is better to choose time-tested and hardy plants. They look great on small alpine hills in rockeries and just around the boulders, perennial flax, saxifrage petroraggia, Douglas phlox, common cross, shave, euphorbia myrtifolia.
If you need to choose plants that did not change or almost did not change their size and made it possible to predict the development of mini-rock garden with ease, then it is worth paying attention to the minaret tile or dwarf, rock aurinia, stonecrop, graceful cloves, Iberian rock, saxifrage, juvenile , Erinus alpine, Armeria coastal, offspring breaker, edelweiss, Erinus alpine.
If the task is to create the effect of a flowering carpet, it is difficult to find better plants for this than the bell of the Portenschlag and the soap-bearing basil-leaved. And for autumn accents in the mini-composition you can enter a stonecrop large or millet rod-shaped, whose lilac-orange-red dressing will also help mini-rock garden to become a participant in the autumn garden show.