Mini-rock Gardens In The Garden - Ways Of Organizing And Choosing Plants. Photo

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Mini-rock Gardens In The Garden - Ways Of Organizing And Choosing Plants. Photo
Mini-rock Gardens In The Garden - Ways Of Organizing And Choosing Plants. Photo

Video: Mini-rock Gardens In The Garden - Ways Of Organizing And Choosing Plants. Photo

Video: Mini-rock Gardens In The Garden - Ways Of Organizing And Choosing Plants. Photo
Video: Build a rock garden! 2023, December

Imitations of mountain landscapes and corners of rocky terrain have always been a favorite motif in the design of gardens. Alpine slides and rockeries have never gone out of fashion with us, unlike Western design. They are still considered one of the most prestigious and elite site decorations. Not everyone can afford to break a full-fledged rocky hill or flat garden of stones. 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 of organizing and choosing plants
Mini-rock gardens in the garden - ways of organizing and choosing plants


  • Mini format for large mountain scenery
  • Choosing a place and arranging mini-rock gardens
  • Types of mini-rock gardens
  • Plants for alpine slides and rockeries in miniature

Mini format for large mountain scenery

Every garden owner dreams of luxurious rose gardens, noisy ponds, spectacular alleys, lush hedges and royal flower beds … Dreams of classic garden objects are often crushed against reality - a limited area of land where you cannot fit everything you want.

Sometimes less functional compositions have to be sacrificed and compromised. But there are also pleasant alternatives to the options we are used to. One way to add a special touch to your garden, even in a very limited space, is to downsize and create a miniature dream-like experience.

One of the most popular objects for experimenting with the zoom out format is the alpine slides. Allocate an entire area for a rockery or an alpine hill, abandon flower beds or a platform for a lawn, a vegetable garden, an orchard, a recreation area in favor of a rocky landscape, not many people decide.

Rock gardens, like reservoirs, are another favorite garden motif. They are very flexible, make a vivid impression and always create a special atmosphere if they are equipped and decorated correctly - regardless of style, size, plant selection criteria and complexity of care.

The rock garden and rockery can be stretched over the entire area or only up to a whole huge area with a walking area, can be combined with a pond or a recreation area, pay tribute to the classics, or you can play mountain landscapes in a miniature format.

Rock gardens and their types have long ceased to correspond to the established patterns. To create a rocky garden, it is not necessary to build a hill according to all the canons, planting vegetation on the slopes. In the union "plants + stones" there is so much room for imagination!

Rock gardens can be arranged even in small bowls, troughs, pots, building a portable ensemble and being inspired by fashionable potted gardens. And you can equip the same mini-miracle, only without constant care, additional protection and hassle, creating a mini-rock garden in the garden - a composition with a mountain character, but a very limited area.

Mini-rock gardens are the same compositions with a mountain landscape, only in a really very limited area. They allow you to recreate your favorite landscape using even the smallest space, a tiny corner or one single boulder - that is, as much space as you can allocate to them.

They are created according to the same rules, principles and standards, with the same plants, rocks and decor as large alpine slides and rockeries. It's just that the mini-landscape looks pastoral, idealized, almost toy-like and becomes in itself a decorative item and an accessory in the design of the garden.

Mini-rock gardens - one example of the "forgotten old". Perfect mini-landscapes, which offered perfect combinations of plants in tiny but very cute compositions, were in vogue almost a century ago. It is from the mini-rock gardens, arranged in small gardens or as a "highlight" of the recreation area, that mobile stone gardens, and rock gardens in the interior and greenhouse were born.

Mini-rock gardens are the same compositions with a mountain landscape, only on a really very limited area
Mini-rock gardens are the same compositions with a mountain landscape, only on a really very limited area

Choosing a place and arranging mini-rock gardens

Basic rules for choosing a location and arranging a rock garden in a mini-format:

  • If they decide to set up a mountain garden not in troughs or pots, but in the soil, while leaving the same miniature area, then the choice of location is a key factor in success. A small rockery or rock garden should be perceived as an original design touch and a special decoration of the site. This means that you need to place it in the most prominent and eye-catching place. Mini-rock gardens are an excellent option for decorating a terrace or adjacent flower beds, a recreation area taken out into the garden, a front garden, a special corner near the main path or the territory closest to the house.
  • Miniature mountain objects are created only in sunny, warm and dry places without the risk of stagnant water.
  • Placing a mini-rock garden, it is worth creating a harmonious transition to the panorama that opens in the chosen place: the alpine slide should not look "alien" in the landscape. A small stone lined with succulents in the middle of a huge area or a cobbled terrace will be perceived as something strange. Mini-format rock gardens are created as a decorative ornament, tied to the brightest view and focal point. Most often, it is broken up with reference to shrubs or saline plants, large compositions that seem to protect or create a background for a miniature mountain composition.
  • The stones and base for a mini-rock garden should always come first. At the beginning, it is the stone elements of the composition that are selected, placed and processed, and only for them the plants are selected. Of course, the breed must match the area and the rest of the garden.
  • For mini-rock gardens, medium-sized healthy cuttings are used. Plants are planted in already prepared soil (or after the gaps between stones and cracks in stones have been filled with it).
  • Soil and drainage for mini rock gardens is critical. Unlike large compositions, full-fledged "layers" for alpine slides in mini-format are not created, they are just imitations, broken in ordinary garden soil. In order for mountain plants and succulents to thrive, you need to take care of soil preparation. A good layer of drainage should be laid around the entire perimeter of a small alpine slide or rockery. The excavated soil is mixed with sand and fine pebbles or other loosening agents to create a substrate as light, loose and permeable as possible. If we are talking about planting in a stone trough, then the minimum soil layer is from 10 to 15 cm. If the substrate is filled with cracks and cracks in stones or dry walls, then it is made up of equal parts of peat,compost and sand, or use a ready-made substrate for succulents.
  • Decorative mulching is an indispensable moment in the creation of any miniature rock garden. Stone chips and pebbles help complete compositions and give them a more natural beauty.
Small dry wall with plants in crevices between stones
Small dry wall with plants in crevices between stones
Mini garden with stones of different sizes and a wide variety of plants in a limited area - mini rockery
Mini garden with stones of different sizes and a wide variety of plants in a limited area - mini rockery
Stone trough garden
Stone trough garden

Types of mini-rock gardens

Miniature compositions flirting with mountain landscapes can be anything you like. It all depends only on the scale, location 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 slide.

The most popular types of miniature mountain landscapes include:

  1. A boulder lined with vegetation is the simplest version of a mini-rock garden. A single spectacular boulder, near which the effect of mountain vegetation was created, can become a highlight of the design of the terrace or recreation area. It is positioned as the visual peak of the composition, surrounded by plants that accentuate its beauty, and played with small stones and stone chips for a more natural transition.
  2. Small dry wall with plants in crevices between stones. The flexible and unpretentious mountain plants peeking out of the cracks, planted in a minimal amount of soil, create, together with even a small wall made of stone, the feeling of a mountain landscape. At the foot of this miniature are tiny mountain landscapes or an array of succulents and ground covers, creating a single composition.
  3. Mini-garden with stones of different sizes and a wide range of plants in a limited area - mini-rockery. In the allotted tiny area of soil, the available boulders and large stones are placed, complementing them with spectacular plants so as to create the feeling of a complete composition. Rockery in miniature is a kind of preview of a complete composition.
  4. A garden on a stone - unlike a composition with a garden around any boulder, this version of a mini-rock garden can be created only if you can get the corresponding stone block. Loose, unstable rocks like limestone and sandstone with a huge number of irregularities, cracks, crevices and chips can be an excellent basis for playing with mountain garden motifs. It is in the unevenness on the block that the selected plants are planted in a minimum amount of nutrient soil.
  5. Garden in a stone troughcreate almost like a mobile or potted rock garden. This option can only be realized 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. Troughs made of natural stone are widely represented in the garden centers of Europe as one of the main elements of country style, they are less common here, but you can still find different shapes and sizes. Most often, these troughs are made of sandstone or granite. A dense group of alpine crops and succulents is planted in the nutrient soil, which together will fill the interior space. This is the most "artificial" species of all mini-rock gardens. Stone troughs can be replaced with a constructed square, circle or rectangle made of dry walls, the inner space of which is filled with a dense group of plants.
Rock gardens and their types have long ceased to correspond to the established patterns
Rock gardens and their types have long ceased to correspond to the established patterns

Plants for alpine slides and rockeries in miniature

For compositions of the mini-plant format, recreating mountain landscapes will have to be selected more carefully than for ordinary alpine slides and rockeries. They must have a spectacular appearance, create bright combinations, be distinguished by increased drought resistance and durability. They are selected so that a small rock garden looks attractive all year round - in spring, summer, autumn, and even in winter under snow, and the mass of plants and their growth does not get out of control even after years.

Blooming succulents with their fleshy, juicy leaves and shoots capable of storing water, which will simplify the care of the compositions as much as possible, remain the absolute favorites for the design of mini-rock gardens. Sedum, rosularia, saxifrage, aeonium, Rowley's grasswort, delosperm and rejuvenated - species that allow you to play with a decorative effect, and choose textures, and at the same time not lose money even for the smallest options.

One of the most beautiful shrubs, which is suitable for mini-compositions with minimal landscaping, is the boar wolfberry. As it grows, it forms stunning cushions and cascades, creating a surprisingly spectacular symbiosis with rocks 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.

From herbaceous perennials for mountain compositions of the mini format, it is better to choose time-tested and hardy plants. Look great on small alpine hills in rockeries and just around boulders perennial flax, petroragia saxifrage, Douglas phlox, common lumbago, aubrieta, euphorbia myrtle.

If you need to choose plants that did not change or almost would not change their size and made it possible to predict the development of a mini-rock garden with ease, then you should pay attention to the minarium tiled or dwarf, rock aurinia, sedum, graceful carnation, rock Iberian, saxifrage, rejuvenated, alpine erinus, seaside armeria, scion breakthrough, edelweiss, alpine erinus.

If the task is to create the effect of a flowering carpet, then it is difficult to find better plants for this than the bell of Portenchlag and the basil-leaved soapwort. And for autumn accents in the mini-compositions, you can introduce large sedum or rod-shaped millet, whose lilac-orange-red dressing will help the mini-rock garden to become a participant in the autumn garden show.