American Homeowners Association Membership  
American Homeowners Association



Garden Design on the Rocks

Perhaps it's a steep slope or poor drainage that keeps that
problem area of your garden in a perpetually bare or weed-
stricken state.  Or you just want to add visual interest to an
otherwise boring landscape.  Don't give up hope--consider a rock
garden.  Rocks are both a solution and an interesting design
element, according The Washington Post.
>From a design point of view, sizes and shapes determine the
visual context and mood of your rock garden.  Tall, upright
stones can be combined with ornamental grasses to achieve a
windy, whimsical mood.  Lower, heavier stones--partially buried--
suggest an earthier tone.
The trick is to place your stones so they look organic, like
nature put them there.  You're going for a random arrangement
rather than a straight-line or geometrical design.  You'll need
to play musical chairs until you get the best placement.  Start
with your best-looking rocks.  View your arrangement from several
distances and perspectives.  Wait till you're satisfied before
filling in the soil and make sure your rocks are firmly anchored,
at least one-third in the ground.  
Now you're ready to start planting.  Choose plants that are
appropriate to scale--dwarf varieties for your low-lying rock
garden.  Those hardy and ever-popular hostas are perfect for
shaded areas.  Daylilies stand out in sunny sites.  Creepers are
fun and will populate the spaces between your rocks in a couple
of growing seasons.  They come in many varieties including vinca,
sweet woodruff, and thyme (a more fragrant alternative). 
Other perennial alternatives include epimedium, sedum and the
more traditional tulip or daffodil.
Rocks help to retain soil and limit erosion but remember to 
consider drainage and soil-type in selecting and caring for 
plantings, particularly on sloping areas.  Monitor soil erosion
 and nurture root development.