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Video: Alpine Slide In Your Garden
A rock garden is a special kind of garden in which evergreens are planted
The construction of a rock garden begins with marking the site. The rock garden looks more impressive when it smoothly turns into a flower garden of ground cover plants, which serves as a kind of connecting link between it and any other landscape objects.
First, remove the soil layer to a depth of at least 20-25 cm; under the highest part of the slide, we make packing of crushed stone, gravel, broken brick - this is the basis of the slide and its drainage. After the base is installed, the bottom is compacted, fertile soil is filled up at the ground level, which is rammed and spilled at the same time.
The marking of the contour of the first tier of the slide begins with the laying of stones. To choose the right stones, you need to arrange them separately from each other. We carefully ram the soil under each stone and place from one to three foundation stones. To make these stones sit well, you can add a small layer of sand. When the contour of the first tier is lined with stones, we fill the cavity formed between them with soil to their upper level, compact and spill the structure. Then we outline the outline of the next tier. And all operations are repeated. The number of tiers depends on the size of the structure and the stones used. For a 5x3 m slide, 3-5 tiers are usually created. On the upper tier, a pre-laid, most beautiful stone is installed.
The stones provide the ability to get to any place when weeding and maintaining plants on the slide and in the flower garden without damaging them. For ease of movement, the stones must be flat on top, they must be installed very carefully at a distance of approximately 50-70 cm from each other. Piles of stones should be alternated with group plantings and single plants - this combination always looks natural.
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Rock garden vegetation
Any plant in a rock garden has its own functional purpose. For example, species that form carpets or cushions are effective in large areas and look like a multi-colored fluffy carpet. Plants of these types include: yarrow, tenacious, beetroot, armeria, stonecrop. Bulbous plants are also placed in the rock garden on horizontal sections; they harmoniously fit into the rocky landscape.
In small crevices, hyacinth, undersized forms of barberry, grow well. The soil for them must be permeable, because these plants do not tolerate much moisture.
The central element of the whole composition are conifers, dwarf forms of juniper, spruce, thuja, cypress, mountain pine - all of them give the rock garden a unique charm. In addition, the combination of evergreens with stones has a special charm.
Lawson's cypress Minima Glauca, whose height is 1 m, looks spectacular in groups and has a very small bluish-green or dull blue scaly needles; Juniper Cossack Tamariscifolia (1 m) with open needles of a bluish hue.
Due to the short stature and beautiful color of the needles, the Kobold Virginia juniper with needle-like needles, bluish above and green below, has become very popular; horizontal juniper Vilo Toni with small silvery-bluish needles and Cossack juniper Cupressifiolia with bluish-green needles.
Ground cover forms are often found among junipers:
- juniper horizontal Hughes with silvery-blue needles and branches pressed to the ground,
- juniper horizontal Glauca with bluish steel needles.
It is very important to choose the right place for planting a plant in a rock garden. One group of plants grows under intense lighting conditions, while another grows in partial shade or prefers shady areas.
On the southern slope of the alpine slide, it is recommended to place drought-resistant, light-loving species for which direct sunlight does not pose a threat.
The east side and southeast slopes are suitable for plants that cannot tolerate excessive light
Ferns are planted on the northern slopes. They prefer to grow in humid, shady areas. By placing a large stone in a rock garden or planting a tree, you can create partial shade, necessary for the development of some species.
Planting plants in rock gardens
Plants on a rock garden are planted taking into account the distribution of special zones, differing in the degree of moisture and light. Depending on them, plants with appropriate characteristics and appearance are selected.
The most favorable time for laying a rock garden is autumn. And with planting plants, it is better to wait until spring. During the winter, the earth will be compacted, the stones will settle, all the pits and depressions in which plants can be planted will become more clearly visible.
In the spring, you need to protect the seedlings from the return cold and, if necessary, cover the plantings.
In autumn, planting should not be done too late: the plants take time to take root before the first severe frosts.
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Versatile mix for rock gardens
Do not forget that soil is necessary for the life of all plants, and it must be prepared. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the specifics of plants. Due to the fact that many species coexist on a rock garden in a small area, the soil in different areas can be very different.
The most commonly used universal mixture is sod land, peat, sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.
Evergreens grow in soils that are low in nutrients. For their optimal development, stone chips are added, a mixture of earth, peat, sand and small or crushed stones, taken in equal proportions, is made. If the plant needs soil containing a large amount of humus, then it is necessary to increase the amount of peat and soil in the mixture and reduce the amount of sand. It is desirable that the substrate on which the "Alpines" will grow has a neutral reaction of the medium; for this, a little lime powder is added to the soil mixture.
When the stone base of the rock garden is laid out and the space between the boulders and boulders is filled with the prepared soil mixture, you can start planting plants. The day for planting should be cloudy. When the soil is loose, it is easier to compact it around the plants. Before planting, the plants are given a "water bath" to water the roots. After that, the seedlings are distributed according to a preliminary planned plan. Planting begins with the tallest soloing perennials, then the accompanying undersized species are planted and, last of all, ground cover plants.
The plants should be watered regularly immediately after planting, even if the weather is not too dry. A sign that the plant has taken root will be the appearance of new young leaves. If the plants are planted in the fall, then you need to expect new shoots in the spring.
Plants that have just been planted in the ground require special care. Check each specimen daily, add potting mix if it shrinks, loosen the top layer to prevent crusting, and water the plants abundantly in the first days after planting. Sometimes it becomes necessary to cover them from direct sunlight.
In spring, the Alpines' greatest need for water. In late summer and autumn, the soil around the plants is watered if necessary. Excessive moisture can damage the roots.
The main enemy of the rock garden is weeds, which must be dealt with constantly. The roots of weeds must be removed from the soil at the beginning of a rocky garden, in addition, the mulching layer on the soil surface also prevents them from growing.
It is enough to feed the Alpines twice - in spring and at the end of summer; for calcium-loving plants, you can prepare a mixture of compost with calcium.