Sliding gates: how to make your own hands
Currently, there are many ways to decorate the dacha, making it unique. You can use figural trimmed bushes, rare plants, paths, originally laid out with a stone, flower beds with various combinations of colors. All this has long been familiar to experienced gardeners. Nevertheless, there is an unbroken version of the landscape design of a summer house - an alpine slide.
Alpine slide or rock garden is a landscape composition, recreating the landscape of mountains. In its center, a stone or several stones are installed at a certain height, and along the slopes there are platforms (terraces) with specially selected plants and flowers, mainly from the Alpine mountains. This kind of object can become a "star" as a large garden, and a small suburban area. The basis of this element is the combination of stones with mountain plants.
Rock garden today - the main competitor of gypsum sculptures and garden beds, rabatok and mixborders, which have long been no surprise. Currently, rocky slides are extremely popular among owners of suburban areas. This is due both to their beauty and spectacular appearance, and the opportunity to create their own, unique in design and atmosphere corner, which will be pleasing to the eye all year round.
The main difficulty in creating a mountain landscape at the dacha is the need to artificially reproduce the natural natural spontaneity. After all, where there are conditions for plant growth at the site of rock breaks, there is no symmetry, and in order to repeat this in his garden, remarkable imagination and skill are needed, as well as the artistic taste of the author of the composition.
At the same time, the rock garden should not be too different from the general landscape, but on the contrary, it should harmoniously fit into it.
Sometimes an alpine slide is mistakenly called rock aquarium.but this is not the same thing. Rockery is a construction made of stone, rubble and other materials (from the English word rock - stone). There are two main differences between rock garden and rock aquarium. First, the rock garden is an imitation of a mountain landscape, while rock ariaries can be located both on a flat surface and on an inclined one - on any one that the master of landscape design comes up with and creates. Secondly, any plants can grow in rockeries, not just alpine plants (and in Japanese rockeries there should be only stones), which is convenient in climatic conditions other than mountainous ones.
Where to place?
Choosing the best place to place an alpine slide, you need to take into account a number of conditions.
- Natural relief. If the site has slopes or small ravines, you can use them for the arrangement of rock garden, avoiding unnecessary waste of time and effort.
- The rock garden should be visible from every corner of the dacha, which means that it should be located in an open and not blocked by trees place. Lack of trees will help to avoid the need to clear the hill from the fall foliage in the fall.
- Lots of sunshine as high mountain plants love light. It is desirable that the sun illuminates the object in the morning. The more the shadow falls on the hill, the longer it will dry out after the rain. Although this problem is solved - you need to plant nearby fern species.
- Limited amount of water and rocky ground. Excessive moisture is harmful to alpine plants.
Landscape designers recommend placing rock gardens on the eastern or western slopes., because mountain plants feel best there. You can arrange a hill and on the northern slope, but then you need to use shade and moisture-tolerant crops. It is also important to maintain a balance between flowers and stones. You can place a rock garden near the house, but not too close to the wall due to the possibility of snow melting from the roof, or you can in the center of the plot. Against the background of the fence it is impractical to position the slide. Requires a different background, for example, in the form of a hedge. You should not create rock garden near big trees either, as the tree will suppress it with its size.
Of course, it is not necessary to place a hill near greenhouses and beds. It will not look aesthetically pleasing, will not fit into the landscape. Rock garden make out in the part of the site, which is intended for recreation, where the owners will be able to enjoy its attractive views and rejuvenate near it.
To complement the front of the rock garden can neat lawn. It will serve as a frame if it is located around the hill. A beautiful continuation of the hill can be a flower garden with the same plants or a rocky mound of small size. Effectively, when a pond is built at the foot of the hill into which a small cascade or stream flows down from the slope.
True, in order to make it, it will take much more manpower and resources than for an ordinary roller coaster, but the result will justify all costs.
Before you start to do something on the site, you must imagine the future rock garden, regardless of whether you plan a high hill with a waterfall or a small rocky garden. To prevent common mistakes, you can use schematics for beginners. In order to make a draft of the hill with your own hands, you need to make a drawing, make an approximate plan.
It is necessary to take into account:
- position on the site, the placement of other objects near the hill;
- the size;
- the presence of the reservoir, its type and boundaries;
- the layout of the stones, their size, shape, breed;
- planting plants.
As the initial stage of the work, it is necessary to prepare a site of size 1.5x2.5 m. At the selected site, all weeds are removed: for example, bindweed, thistle. The most suitable for arranging slides is sandy soil. If the soil is clayey, drainage is not required, however, if the soil is too wet, then groundwater drainage is indispensable.
To do this, you need to dig a hole with a depth of 30 cm (depending on the planned height of the future rock garden). The more reliable the drainage, the more solid the slide will be. The first 10 cm should be filled with split brick or gravel. It is possible to use expanded clay for this purpose. The next 5 cm is a layer of coarse sand to be leveled. Each layer must be watered. Then the ground that was previously dug up is poured in, and it is tightly tamped around the entire perimeter of the future rock garden.
In order to avoid intensive growth of weeds, it is recommended to pass the soil through the net-screen before falling asleep. Laying stones begin only after the soil has settled, that is, after 14-20 days. In the rock garden there are several terraces, usually their number varies from 3 to 5. Each tier is laid out around the perimeter with large stones, after which the gaps are filled with soil, which is compacted. Next, proceed to the design of the next terrace. In case the ground subsides, it is necessary to fill the voids formed with the substrate. If the rock garden provides tracks, they are laid out at the same time.
It is best to build a slide in the fall, as natural shrinkage will occur in winter. It is also good to treat the soil with weed-killing agents - later it will be much easier to care for the plants. There is an opinion that the best solution for the design of a rock garden will be that which is carried out without any construction work.
Thus, it is possible to safely adjust the design if necessary.
To select the types of flora for arrangement of rock garden, additional knowledge and skills are required. Variants of shrubs, flowers are selected depending on the type of slides. If it is stony, located in a sunny place, then we need light-loving, drought-resistant cultures. In order to create a classic alpine slide, both low species and perennials — herbs and flowers — are required. In addition, you need to know that not all types of plants "get along" with stones and are suitable for placement on a hill.
Choosing your combination of crops for planting on the terraces of rock garden, it is better to give preference to those that meet the following criteria:
- beautiful appearance;
- low varieties of shrubs and trees;
- lack of care;
Best of all, carpet, small-bulb, rosette and tuberous groups of plants are suitable for this purpose. The basis for the decoration of the slides are small trees, mostly conifers, such as pine, thuja, cypress, juniper. If we talk about flowering shrubs, then to decorate the rock garden perfectly suitable lingonberry, blueberry, almond, broom, rhododendron.
Imagine a rock garden in which there are no flowers, it is impossible. Perennial plants with beautiful flowers will make any garden unique and stylish. Considering the climatic features of Russia, one should not limit oneself to alpine alpine plants. In some cases, the presence of cultures that live in forests, steppes or even on the sea coast will be appropriate on a rocky hill. There is even a Mexican version of rock garden with cacti. Decorate the rock garden can edelweiss alpine and styloid phlox, Carpathian bell and saxifrage and many other types of plants.
Along the edges and in some areas of the rock garden planted stunted and ground cover crops: primroses, ferns, periwinkle, lavender, bells.
As for leafy plants, there are some difficulties with them. The main thing is to avoid planting deciduous species, because it can create unnecessary problems with flying and subsequent cleaning of the leaves. Moreover, the fallen leaves not only spoils the aesthetic appearance of the slide, but can also harm other plants. Therefore, when choosing deciduous crops for the design of rock garden, it is better to pay attention to the evergreen representatives of this type, such as iberis, dryad or cotoneaster.
If you want an alpine slide to start pleasing the eye in early spring and bloom all summer months until late autumn, you need to include in its decoration bulbous species: snowdrops, crocuses (regular and late), tulips, proleski, Pushkinia, autumn crocus. Expressive background for plants with a short flowering period will create their long-blooming "brothers": for example, Atlantic poppy or bell.
There are many varieties of stony gardens, and they are all united by one: they are an artificially created mini-copy of the mountain landscape. The stone embankment mimics the plateau, merging into a series of terraces, and above them are stones designed to be mountain cliffs. To equip the rock garden is best natural stones belonging to the rocks: basalt, sandstone, limestone, granite, other strong and low-porous rocks. It is undesirable to work with shell rock, tuff, dolomite. Since these rocks are porous, they quickly absorb moisture, as a result of which they are subject to rapid destruction.
It is important to take into account the appearance of the rock garden. It is best to think about this point already at the drafting stage. In addition to the site, the rock garden should be in harmony in style and with the house. If the house is made of wood, then the shape of the slide should be softer. A high-tech house will allow you to play with the shape - for example, to use geometric shapes in the decor, such as cubes, prisms, balls. Most alpine slide will look in the case of a bright dominant element. It can be a large original stone, an interesting tree, a stream or an unusual flower.
It should be clearly visible from any side, since it is thanks to him that the design looks complete, and the landscape looks one.
It is also possible that the main accent that attracts attention to itself is not in the rock garden. So, if you plan to plant flowers bright, then the stones are better to take neutral tones, so that they perform the role of the background. If the plants are inexpressive, then it makes sense to choose interesting, bright stones. In the case of combining different rocks, there is a high risk that the rock garden will look like a pile of randomly sketched stones, so it is best to take samples that are similar in color and shape.
Most often, the following rocks are used for the construction of the hill:
- white-green quartz;
- white marble crumb;
- milk quartz;
- quartzite petrified wood;
- both green and red jasper;
- rainbow quartz;
If limestone is used as the base for rock garden, an alkaline reaction is possible in the soil between the stones. This soil is not suitable for some plant species and needs acidification. You can acidify the soil, for example, with sphagnum moss or sheet compost. In order to create a small rock garden about 2.5 x 1.5 m in size, you need about 2 tons of large, heavy stones. Each stone individually must weigh at least 12 kg. This is necessary for the stability of the structure. In some slides even boulders weighing 100 kg can be used.
The color of the stones and their shape are extremely important. Too round or, on the contrary, acute-angled will not work. As for stones of different colors, they look proportional only in rock gardens of a certain type. In the classical method of stony garden decor, it is assumed that single-rock stones of different sizes are used. The largest of them spread out along the perimeter of the hill, often below - they are suitable for framing. For better coupling with the ground they are driven into the soil by about 60%.
The stones on the tiers of the hills must be positioned so that their faces, which are accessible to the look, look impeccable. Stones with defects are laid in such a way as to hide the defects. Between boulders must be intervals, which are subsequently filled with plants and flowers. It is necessary to make laying of stones, taking into account their size and weight, whenever possible naturally, trying to recreate natural chaos.
Stones laid out the required number of tiers slides. In order to draw a peak, the most interesting stones in size and shape are selected. The terraced shape will allow to direct the water flow from the slide to the right channel and prevent soil blurring, as well as to divide the slide into areas suitable for the growth of various plant species.
If the rock garden project involves a stream or waterfall, then at the top you should fasten and mask the hose or pipe, and at the foot or in the reservoir itself - the pump that will regulate the pressure of the water supplied.
Planting plants for rock garden, it is important to perform all the work in a certain sequence in strict accordance with the scheme. Then the arrangement of the rock garden with their own hands does not take much time and effort. There is an opinion that if you have a well-thought-out plan, it is possible to make an alpine slide in just one day. First you need to choose the green elements of the system. As the basis, alpine perennials are most often used: for example, fescue, lavender, geranium and others, which gradually grow over time, forming a green cover.
It looks very picturesque.
To achieve the visual effect, it will be right to plant the plants with different flowering periods on a hill, arranging them in groups that have a shape that is close to round. Then the rock garden will delight the owners from early spring to late autumn. It is better to combine vegetation so that dim and low specimens of flora are grouped, and the most spectacular plants are located separately, attracting attention. On the hill, which has several terraces, the landing of plants is done in tiers.
- The most drought-resistant plants are planted on the upper tier of the rock garden. This is where most of the sunlight gets, and the moisture from the soil evaporates quickly. For this purpose, most suitable ground cover representatives of the flora.
- The middle part of the slides is best decorated with plants that love both the sun and moisture, easily tolerate shade. On the rock garden terraces, the soil moisture is higher, so the choice of species suitable for the decoration of this part of the composition is much wider. At the foot of the plant are plants that easily tolerate shade and love the soil, saturated with moisture.
- Dwarf trees (both coniferous and deciduous) and shrubs should be planted first of all, taking the largest areas under them. On the "base" of the rock garden it is inappropriate to have them. The best place to plant upright dwarf plants in the composition is near large stones set at the edges of the hill at some distance from each other. Grassy species are planted after shrubs, and ground cover plants complete the planting.
It is also important to take into account the duration of flowering of plants, the climatic conditions in the region, the compatibility of plants with each other. If you correctly arrange annual and perennial plants on the area of rock garden, it will look attractive all the time, while the owner will be able to annually supplement the composition with new species.
There are seven types of rock gardens:
- rock - surface with natural fractures;
- горный склон, на котором располагаются хвойники и валуны значительных размеров;
- чешская скалка, главной характерной особенностью которой является слоистая каменная кладка;
- forest ravine, in which a spring or an artificial waterfall flows;
- slope with terraces;
- rocky wall - a low hill with randomly scattered stones;
- gorge with groups of asymmetrically placed stones;
- Alpine lawn, planted with wild crops that grow mainly in the mountains.
Each type has its own recommendations for plants suitable for planting.
It may seem that the location of rock gardens is permissible only in well-lit areas, but it is not. If you choose the right flowers and shrubs, then it is possible to equip the hill and in the shade. Then the composition will imitate not the highlands, but the zone of the mountain forest. Any relief of the terrain is suitable for a shady garden: a gentle, and a gorge, and terraced, and tiered. Each of them can be beautifully beaten, creating a cozy corner on the site. This rock garden can be decorated with large stones, natural snags. You can arrange the path of rubble, gravel or mulch bark.
For decoration of the shady rock garden a larger selection of plants is provided. You can use not only the alpine mountain crops, but also grown in traditional flower gardens, such as lilac, hydrangea, elderberry, viburnum. Partial shading is also well tolerated by phloxes, peonies, mint, primrose, daylily. However, it is not necessary to overdo it with flowerbed perennials. Firstly, they are much looser and larger than their mountain "brethren", secondly, they grow too actively, covering stones and ground cover species of plants. As a result, the composition ceases to look neat, loses an attractive appearance.
If the balance between the mountain and flower beds of the flora is maintained, the shady garden can decorate the site, while being easy to maintain, because the plants that fill it are less demanding and demanding than heat-loving crops growing in the sun.
To the rock garden pleased the owners not only during the day, you can mount the lighting around it. Then, with the onset of the evening, he will look even more spectacular. It is best to use for these purposes solar-powered lights, since for their installation does not need cable laying, electricity. During the entire daylight hours, the battery is charged, and at night it illuminates the area. You can arrange the light sources around the perimeter of the rock garden, and you can highlight the terrace. In this case, the limiter can only be the imagination of the owner of the garden.
If there is a reservoir adjacent to the hill, then it is possible to install one or more waterproof battery models depending on the size and shape of the reservoir.
A good idea for the area adjacent to the hill can be a bench located in the shade. It can be decorated as you like: make a single piece of wood or buy a wicker garden. It is also appropriate to decorate the bench with decorative pillows, place an additional source of lighting so that you can sit with a book in the evening. You can go further by building a platform next to the rock garden, where sun loungers and a table will be placed, to make a gazebo. If you have space, you can even arrange the sofas and organize a recreation area. It all depends on the wishes of the owner and the size of the site. The main thing that the rock garden and the area next to it in harmony in size, color and style, complementing each other.
If the size of the territory of the site allows, then next to a rocky hill you can break several flower beds, and the same plants with which the slide is decorated will grow on them. This will add extra volume and scale to the composition. Especially well such an ensemble will look on a large, spacious area.
It is important to understand that each of the stony gardens, made independently, is unique. With a little effort, you can create a real "diamond" in the garden. In addition, the decoration of the hill can be enjoyed by the whole family. So, in addition to an impressive result, you will get a lot of positive emotions from joint creative work.
Children of any age will be able to contribute to the arrangement of rock garden, and parents will once again have the opportunity to be with their children.
It is not enough for some owners to create a rock garden in the garden, and it is important to make it truly unique. There are many possibilities for decoration. The most effective solution is, of course, the arrangement of the water body. Make it harder, but the result will be worth the effort. There are a variety of options: you can place a pond at the foot of the hill, and you can organize a waterfall that will flow or stream from the top.
The fountain beating from the center of the rock garden looks beautiful. It is necessary to consider that even through a small waterfall every hour flows from 1 cu. m of water, and when lifting to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 m, this requires a pressure of 1.5-3 m. It is impossible to fit a pressure tank capable of providing this into the rock garden design, therefore a special submersible pump is needed in this situation for artificially created reservoirs, which, unfortunately, is not cheap. If there is no opportunity to spend a large amount of funds on the design of the slide, or there is no space for a large rock garden, then you can try to make it out of scrap materials. In any house there is something that is suitable for the device of a small alpine slide on the garden. Small stones, shards from broken ceramic dishes and the dishes themselves, crushed stone - everything will work. Even if there is only an old basin or a baby’s bath that has long ago become useless, with a certain amount of applied forces and imagination, they can be turned into a real masterpiece.
As an alternative to natural materials, you can take old waste tires from car tires, and then use them as a basis for rock garden. For a small slide, one large tire is enough, and a few pieces laid out in one row can be an excellent way to “lift” the soil and create the foundation for a future composition. Tires can be seen as part of the composition, or hidden in the soil. For those who know how and loves to do needlework, Alpine slide decoration will not be a problem. Egg trays stones and papier-mâché storks, garden gnomes made of empty plastic bottles and pots in macrame technique - anything can be a good addition to the overall composition, give it even more individuality. Having thought out the general idea, you can decorate the entire garden area in the same style.
It is important not to forget that too many details can turn the rock garden into a regular flower bed, and be able to stop in time, keeping the balance of natural and artificial.
How to care?
Care of the rock garden includes the observance of simple rules - weeding, cleaning dried inflorescences and periodic (but not frequent) watering. To protect the rock garden from frost, the most fragile plants for the winter should be covered with spruce branches, wood shavings or burlap, and for the rest there is enough snow cover. When snow falls, you just need to maintain a layer of snow on the hill. This will help the structure survive the winter. Adding soil washed out during irrigation and strengthening of boulders is carried out as needed in the first year after the clearance of the slide. Ground should be gently rammed tightly.