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24.02.2016 admin
There is something profoundly elemental about the interplay and connection between rock, plants, and people.
Traditional rock gardens summon images of babbling brooks splashing through rugged rocks, encrusted with bright yellow, pink, white and blue frothy flowers. Ultimately rock gardens gain much of their appeal and glory by a great contradiction: they are wonderful combinations of plants that paint a perfect picture if successful, but at the same time they are like jewelry settings that set off the bright gem-like miniature plants within them.
Visit public gardens with rock gardens that are near you to see what kinds of alpines are adapted to your region and site.
There is a vast literature on the art of rock gardening in books and journals and on the internet—read, read, read. Try designing a garden based on your native soil and conditions to begin with: you should have a rock garden you can neglect while on vacation! Start small: rather than risking a hernia with hundreds of tons, do the garden piecemeal, one success at a time. Everyone I know who pursues rock gardening finds it an absorbing, rewarding hobby: a small garden just five or ten feet across can accommodate dozens, even hundreds of little plants that can bloom from early spring to late in the fall. Thanks to Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator at Denver Botanic Gardens for providing this information.
Plant Select® Petites  debuts well-adapted, smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners. True to his word, David Spain with Moss and Stone Gardens brought me more rock for my rock garden. From time to time, I’ve invested a couple minutes in wondering why this garden is getting so much of my time. Over the years, I actually wanted to add the gravel as a mulch but never found the time to do it. As I brought the rock garden to the level described in Rock garden journal entry 3, Rock garden journal entry 2, If veggie gardening is the gateway drug to ornamental gardening, then…, I needed a few pieces of larger rock.
Helen  Yoest is a garden writer, speaker and garden coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™.
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View full sizeThe OregonianOnce you become a convert to rock gardening, you rarely look back.Saying I'm a rock gardener is like saying I'm a rock star. GARDENING AND HEALTH: Researchers at the University of Texas found in a study that gardening once or twice a week can reduce the risk of cancer by 50 percent for people who have never smoked and as much as 40 percent for former smokers. DISNEY GARDENING: Horticulture is not the first thing you think of when you think of Disney. The day's important news, including local and national headlines, delivered every morning.
Rock gardens can turn grassy areas and awkward difficult-to-mow slopes into a low maintenance garden. If you have a sloped property, a rock garden is ideal to prevent erosion and provide anchors and shelters for plants.
One of the great things about working in design is that you get a chance to experience a wide range of mediums, far greater than you would ever have in even the most ample single garden. Taking my theme from the many Colonial era stone walls on the property, I decided that this would be the ideal setting for a rock garden: the stones would add year round interest and three dimensionality to the flat deck, and combined with plantings, would merge into the perfect foil for the greens and blues of field and sky beyond.
After the old perennials were removed,  Glenn and his guys created several groupings of multi-ton stones to provide sufficient massing on the deck. From the above you can see how I am organizing the stones based around outcroppings of large boulders. The the smaller stones are then positioned around the bigger pieces to form natural looking clusters. Finally, sufficient soil is brought in to mound around the stones, and the spaces are planted. So are heathers: their softly colored foliage in shades of chartreuse, gold, gray and green blend beautifully with the stones, and will slowly spread to form mats of color that changes over the seasons.
Their bloom time – August through September – is also well suited for up close appreciation from the pool. It seems as though the plentiful rains have created a bumper crop of little brown mushrooms this year. Squash Vine Borer moths emerge from winter hibernation between 900 to 1,000 growing degree days. Fall is officially here, proven true by the yellowed Honey Locust leaves raining down outside my office window.

The change in leaf color indicates a physiological shift within woody plants as they close down for the winter.
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Rock gardens seem to reignite a bit of the magic from the time when humans lived more closely to the earth, and each new tiny blossom that emerged was noticed and mattered.
But rock gardens can be a stylized Canyonlands with rugged buttes tufted with sagebrush and cactus, or they can be modeled on a prairie bluff with a few wind tossed grasses and pasque flowers basking in the early spring sunshine. Rock gardeners are torn between the artistic urge to paint with plants and the scientist’s zeal to collect everything individually. I find that some new flower that entrances me often sends me to books or the computer to research it: a few years later I am climbing some remote peak seeking to find it in its wild haunt.
Enjoy these treasures in garden situations where small gem-like but tough plants are best suited: troughs, permanent containers, rock gardens, patio gardens, fairy gardens, green roofs, and smaller gardens. If you plan to tie together any fashionable space, then this vibrant rug will assist you well. OK, that's not such a good simile, because I can become a rock gardener, but the chances of going on tour are slightly smaller. But on a tour of Disney World several years ago, I saw plenty of evidence of how serious they take plants, habitat, education and beauty. All rights reserved (About Us).The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Oregon Live LLC.
Badly done, they look tacky  think the brown lava rocks, clorinated stream and musak from speakers hidden in ficus, courtesy your average 70s shopping mall.
The hard part was going to be getting pieces of a sufficient size up onto the deck without damage or injury.
You need species that will appreciate the quick drainage and high temperatures such a garden provides, and most importantly, won’t outgrow their welcome. One big caveat though: once established, heathers are quite drought resistant, and in fact this planting will require little additional watering after the first year. I’ve known this for a very long time, but it was recently brought to my attention again in a particularly visible way.
This weekend provides a perfect opportunity to explore the changing colors across the state, with gorgeous weather and many opportunities nearby. Borders, vegetable gardens, raised beds are far less subtle and evocative by contrast: spade in some manure, rake it out, put the tall ones behind the short ones in front and keep the colors tasteful: presto!
Some make use of only native plants, or plants that occur together as a community in nature, while others are more loose and stylized in their interpretation. For me, the rock garden becomes a kind of microcosm of the world itself, generating pathways to places far away and mysterious. Good Berry Bad Berry is the authoritative one-stop guide to identifying and safely enjoying these healthy “superfruits” – with clear descriptions and full color photographs of 40 of the most noteworthy widely available berries in North America (including a separate listing of berries found only in certain regions). A berm rock garden is a type of raised bed with several rock groupings, which can be built on level ground.
The setting was spectacular – a 10′ raised deck overlooking fields and pasture – but the large crescent surrounding the pool had been planted with a boring line of perennials with little seasonal interest other than midsummer. Dwarf conifers (like the miniature hinoki cypress (left) stonecrop, and  sedums are ideal planted in masses. So, short story: For years I have had a wonderful grape vine … Continue reading >Hardening OffWith the price of nursery plantings heading north of the Pole this year, there is every impetus in the world to grow your own annuals and vegetables from seed. While these fungal fruiting bodies won’t hurt your lawn or plants, they can be poisonous to curious children and interested pets. If mushrooms are discovered in your garden bed, rake them out and provide some air movement to the mulch. For lawn mushrooms, applying nitrogen can help microbes decompose the plant material mushrooms live off of faster, as well as making your lawn healthier and less friendly to mushrooms.
As you’re enjoying the beautiful scenery, you may be wondering – why do leaves change color? But all rock gardens evoke and celebrate the natural beauty of plants growing among rocks in the wild.
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Yoest, a garden writer, was researching an article on avocados when she learned that the fruit was considered an aphrodisiac.

But I think a guy in Alabama went too far when he tried to grow kudzu, the monstrous vine trying to take over the South. Brett Buckner admits his illicet act in a blog about the new book "Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants," by Richard Mabey.
That’s why you may see some mushrooms pop out of your mulch, compost piles, and fallen trees.
Because the process is highly labor intensive; … Continue reading >LegacyLegacy is an amazing thing.
Mushrooms in lawns can be coming from decaying roots from trees previously removed or even decaying plant material in your lawn, like a buildup of grass clippings and roots. Maybe even join the North American Rock Garden Society, which garden writer and recent convert Helen Yoest describes as "a serious group of gardeners. Mix and match sizes and colors of rocks on the same pathway to create visual interest and landscaping depth. As a child growing up in the 70s, I was captivated by the TV gardener and garden writer, Thalassa Cruso. Find out what they are in a good Q&A by an Alaska gardener, who also answers questions about pumpkin pollination and pesto problems. And, geography permitting, surrounding said mismatched pathway with various greens increases its beauty exponentially.View in gallery3. I’ve written about her several times before, so I will only add here that my … Continue reading >A Typical Spring DaySo ladies and gentlemen, in case you’ve ever wondered, this is what a busy garden designer’s desk looks like on a March morning.
Beautiful river rock forms a “triple threat” in this backyard oasis, designating an intuitive walkway and juxtaposing nicely against the wooden fence and lush green grass.View in gallery4. In addition to adding and amending to a stack of clients’ plans, I have a bucket load … Continue reading >Weather WhipsawPredictably, when the weather briefly moved into the 70s last week, my phone began to ring. Various sizes, shapes, and colors of rock combine to create a soothing yet energetic waterfall for the Zen backyard.View in gallery5. Excited clients were wondering about getting started with planning (certainly) and with planting (certainly not.) A few seemed disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm … Continue reading >Biennial PleasuresThere’s a whole group of wonderful plants that have fallen from favor in American gardens — biennials. A “bridge” of bluestone passes through a “river” of smaller rocks for a delightfully scenic and water-friendly backyard.View in gallery6. The reason why is not hard to fathom, because there is so much confusion and misinformation out there about how to grow biennials … Continue reading >Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #8: The Collector’s GardenLast summer on our way to Scotland we stopped in the ancient market town of Ely to see the cathedral.
Rock walkways and patios are durable and easy to maintain, plus they add so much to the natural beauty of a backyard.View in gallery7.
Ely’s was one of the first of the Gothic cathedrals, and a trip from Cambridge through Ely, Lincoln and then … Continue reading >Frost Against the PanesIt is in the dead of winter that the greenhouse is at its best, for then is the contrast of life and death the greatest. With or without a water feature, rock gardens (interspersed with climate-appropriate plant life) are a lovely way to transform that useless, troublesome backyard corner into a focal point.View in gallery9. Mortared rock walls combine with tinted and stamped concrete to create a textured, unique, and beautiful backyard feature.
Incorporate the look and feel of water in the desert (without wasting the real resource) by laying light and dark rocks in a flowing two-tone formation.View in gallery11. Some foliage can be planted directly into the rockway itself, creating a more seamless space.View in gallery12. This Asian-inspired rock wall serves as a gorgeous backdrop for lighted plants but in no way takes the backstage in aesthetics.View in gallery14. Oh, and if you can throw in some gorgeous mature trees to arch overhead, all the better.View in gallery15.
For a low-maintenance twist on backyard plant life, embrace the concept of growing things in pots that sit atop a nice easy-to-manage rock bed. Nothing lengthens the relaxation of a summer’s evening like a well-suited backyard firepit.
Sometimes, the best backyard isn’t a “yard” at all, but rather a strategically designed and landscaped mecca, complete with seamless rock walkways, comfortable sitting areas, vibrant plant life, and subtle privacy factors.View in gallery19. Plant perennials (flowers, succulents, berries, shrubs) in the nooks and crannies of your rock wall and watch it come to life each spring and summer. Get creative with rocks as flower bed borders.Depending on the size of the rocks, you can double or triple them up for a fluid, eye-catching edge.What’s your favorite way to use rock in your backyard landscape?

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