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Project Rockery

Did a bit of garden meandering this morning, bagged up last of leaves covering some small steps leading up to my decking at the top of our garden. On the way down next to a cherry tree ( we get a few cherries every year but the Blackbirds get them first!) you can see on the photo a pile say  3 m by 2m of stones we dug out from the very small veg patch in front. It's now or never too start on it . Idea is too buy some turf , when they start selling it at our local nursery, turn it upside down and put the stones back dotted about. Fill in with grit/ homemade compost and some MPC and crack on with planting up. Oh and the Cherry tree is going to be decapitated it was on a last chance last year. Any advice from fellow gardeners about how to go about creating our Rockery gratefully received  oh and our garden is North facing here in Wales thanks.

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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,415

    The authors did have a feature on Gardener's World a few years ago but their Alpine nursery is north facing, cold and wet so they have a ton of advice that suits our Welsh climate.

    I'd backfill with gritty John Innes 2 rather than MPC but it depends on what plants you want to grow.

    The tree leaves may be a problem for you but as long as you get plants that don't mind getting covered or use netting in the Autumn then it shouldn't be too bad. Just stay away from anything that might rot if it stays damp. The main 'problem' I get is moss but that can look pretty good in it's own if you landscape nicely.

    Mossy saxifrages do really well for me here, well most saxifrages come to think of it. I'm just starting work on a similar section of rockery/wall in my garden in a spot that doesn't get much sun.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Do you particularly want a rockery? Or would a ferny area be something to consider?
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160
    I'd think again, a good rockery isn't a heap of dirt with stones dotted about. I've heard that sort described as the plum pudding effect
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,809
    nutcutlet said:
    I'd think again, a good rockery isn't a heap of dirt with stones dotted about. I've heard that sort described as the plum pudding effect
    I agree ... this may help
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=837
     :) 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,898
    Symetrical strata-lines ; excellent drainage ; preferably a sunny aspect ; slow-growing choice plants and dwarf bulbs are (for myself) absolutely essential for a good rockery of pseudo-natural appearance .
    Your stones appear too regular and small for the desired effect .

    Rubytoo has the right idea ; go for ferns !
  • ValleysgirlValleysgirl Wales Posts: 159
    Thanks for all your feedback, but a Rockery its going to be ,I have a fern walkway at the top of my garden already and more in my front garden .Our garden is quite steep, terraced and nearly as we like it with beautiful views over the valley, only thing left to have is a Rockery. It's the best idea really rather than move all those stones to use my imagination and turn it into a Rockery. Read you can use turfs as a base and put stones on top and use grit/John Innes say 4 or 5 inches deep and start planting. I can split some of my saxifraga and have some grasses , sysyrinchiums primulas to start  . Will look for that book Wild Edges at my local Library thanks, will post a pic when it's done hopefully in the next month Roll on Spring, it's been quite mild here long may it continue! My Tenby Daffodils are nearly opening!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,809
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 5,830
    So a rockery it is, Valley Girl. Good for you.  It might look nice to sink some of the larger stones vertically, as in a kind of scree formation and plant between them - but I expect you know that already.
    My inherited rockery under a large pittospormum is very large limestone rocks (impossible to move) embedded in subsoil/clay? I can hardly get a hand fork in to dig a hole but hellebores have done surprisingly well and self seed, I've also got heathers, campanula, tecrium, various thymes and small bulbs. I've topdressed with a pale small diameter Cotswold gravel just to lighten the area as it can be a bit gloomy. Good luck with yours - enjoy it.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,415
    I love the dry riverbed look. It reminds me that there's a plant nursery in Pembrokeshire, St David's I think, that has an amazing dry riverbed feature in the middle. Maybe a good source of info @Valleys girl ?
  • ValleysgirlValleysgirl Wales Posts: 159
    We do have a GW 2for1 card Wild Edges will look too see what's on offer in Pembrokeshire partner gardens, you never know ! Not too far for us down the M4.  Got a bit of heavy work to do on it clearing the bean sticks then laying  some upturned Turf and replacing the stones  strategically some flat and some on their sides , then filling In suppose. Then the best bit choosing/ splitting and maybe a visit to the Secret Garden To find some extra plants. Happy days  will post pics on my progress hopefully starting next week. Happy Gardening ! thanks for feedback Lizzie .
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