Table of contents:
Video: How To Create An Alpine Slide - Basic Rules And Steps
Simple secrets of creating an iconic place in the landscape of the site
Alpine slide is a very fashionable "construction" today, which can now be seen in almost every courtyard. Both wealthy respectable gentlemen and simple summer residents decorate their plots with such tricky "flower beds", and sometimes they turn out even more spectacular. But the secret of the alpine slide is simple and consists of three components - desire, skill and patience. If you have it all - go for it!
As you can already hear from the name "alpine slide" - it is something stony and high, because it is the stones that are the main element of the alpine slide. Well, and the function of the alpine slide, in addition to decoration, of course, is, strange as it may seem, only to add and emphasize stones.
The first alpine slides, or as they are also called - stone gardens, appeared several centuries ago in China and Japan. They were always placed only in the southwestern part of the courtyard. In Europe, the alpine slide appeared much later. It all started with England. Well, today there are already dozens of Russian firms offering a full range of services to create an Alpine miracle on your site. Of course, the services of professionals are very expensive, and therefore isn't it better for a gardener to learn a rather simple craft himself and create a piece of the Alps on his site?
× Gardener's handbook Plant nurseries Stores of goods for summer cottages Landscape design studios
All alpine slides are usually divided in shape into mountain slopes, terraced hills, mountain cliffs, forest gorges and mountain plateaus. On average, all these miracles will take away 4-5 square meters of dear land from you.
It all starts with the selection of stones, they, ideally, should emphasize the beauty and grace of the grass and nearby bushes. The principle of choosing a suitable stone is simple - the dimmer the stone, the components surrounding it should be brighter and, on the contrary, if you have "nondescript" plants, then the stones should be bright. However, you should not show excessive zeal in the selection of stones, for example, you should not have stones of different origin on the hill. And limestone, granite, sandy and quartz stones are not at all suitable. The simplest solution is to "get" the material from a nearby quarry. For the first time, 300-350 kilograms of stones will be enough.
But stones alone are not enough, one might even say not enough. To create a full-fledged alpine slide, special techniques are needed, they will extend the life of your slide, and will preserve freshness and beauty throughout the season. And it is at the alpine hill for a long time - from early spring to the very frosts.
One should start with an understandable, but very important matter - the choice of a place. For better plant growth and development, it should be well lit throughout the day. The south and southwest sides of your site are preferred, and for the best care of your pride, the alpine slide should be able to be approached from either side.
Step two - digging a foundation pit, it should be about a meter deep, there is no point in making it deeper, as well as shallower, because a "pillow" must be laid on the bottom of it. Everything is suitable here - pieces of stones, concrete, crushed stone, broken bricks (if not sorry, then whole ones), the main thing is not to turn your future attraction into a trash heap, and therefore you should not lay drainage using wood and plastic waste, paper - all this to the nearby trash heap! The main task of drainage is clear - to remove excess moisture. It will turn out to be something like a flower pot, only slightly larger.
So, we sketched out concrete and stones, the next step is to fill it all with sand (layer no more than 5 cm). After this procedure, at least 30-40 cm should remain to the surface, which are filled with "oily soil" - this is soil with the addition of organic fertilizers, peat and lime flour. You can use the forest land - there is already all this, the land from the river bank is also not bad, especially if this bank was once a river bottom, there are a lot of such banks now, the rivers are shallow …
Of course, when choosing a soil, it is important to ensure that it is free of weeds, and for greater confidence in this it is best to sift it.
With the soil sorted out, we proceed to laying stones. First - the largest, then the smaller and finally the smallest. It will be good if a large stone ends up strictly in the center of the alpine slide - and settles down tightly, without moving in any direction. There may be more large stones, but you should not go too far here, 2-3 is quite enough. Skillful placement of stones can only be hindered by the lack of imagination or, more often than not, desire. Stones, placed, for example, in tiers look great. Their number determines the size of the slide itself, so, for example, a five-tiered slide will occupy an area of at least 3x5 meters.
Such laying is good, but it also requires a number of rules to be followed: the stones should be laid strictly from the foot to the top, in which case the lower ones will serve as a support for those placed above. Stones are laid on their natural base, and if it has an irregular shape, then it is better not to use them in the first row.
Remember that this is not the foundation of a house and not part of a system for protecting the population from warring neighbors. It is an art, so correct shapes should be avoided. And the further you get from squares, rectangles and triangles, the more charming your design will be. But you shouldn't be too uncomfortable with your imagination, you don't need to make memorable mounds from the time of Genghis Khan out of an alpine hill - the stones should be located "correctly", look natural, even completely devoid of vegetation.
It should not be forgotten that this is not a part of the Japanese rock garden, but an alpine slide, on which there should be a place for plants, so there must be a sufficient distance between the stones for their growth. If you are a passionate admirer of stone art and decided to build the Tower of Babel on your site, overdoing it with the number of stones - remember: flowers grow on the rocks only in songs, and for a normal existence, the plants on your boulders certainly need nutritious soil. So try to give it to them by sprinkling your structure and watering it abundantly. Watering is imperative as it allows the earth to fill in any voids between stones.
And, finally, we proceed to the final stage - planting plants. The surface of an alpine slide is usually covered with either saxifrage, or juniper, and sometimes heather. Planting your little ones should be done very carefully, trying to inflict as little injury to the plants as possible. Planting begins from the very top of the slide. Shrubs or small trees are planted there. Naturally, these plants will need to be purchased in advance.
Thuja, dogwood, juniper and pine are very suitable for decorating the top. These plants are therefore planted on top - they should receive as much sunlight as possible. It is strongly discouraged to plant dogwood or pine on top. They do not take root very well, and, growing, will then close your entire hill like an umbrella from the sun - a powerful shadow.
Having landed "large-sized plants", we proceed to planting perennial grasses. Remember that plants that grow lower require more moisture. When planting herbs, you need to be careful with their choice, because most of them are, in fact, malicious weeds. So, for example, chickweed, thyme and stonecrop can be considered the true aggressors, they need special care. These plants, despite their increased "love of life", can be easily found in natural conditions, without spending money on their purchase. For example, sedum can be easily found in almost any wasteland or river bank, and heather and thyme often and in large quantities cover the forest edges.
× Notice board Kittens for sale Puppies for sale Horses for sale
Each case has its own tricks. The alpine slide did not escape them either. Here are some of them:
- large to large, small to small, this is the motto of any alpine slide, and this applies to plants, that is, the larger the plant, the larger the stone on which it is located, and vice versa. On the slopes, regardless of the size of the stone, stonecrops, sedums or any other plants belonging to the ground cover group will feel great.
- dwarf bulbous plants feel good near ground cover crops, they bloom first, and immediately after them, abrietta, armeria, bell, crumbs, gentian, moricia, saxifrage, alissum and cloves will bloom.
- it is best to place plants directly around the stones, which subsequently form pillows, such as morisia and grains.
- ferns will grow best in the shade often created by rocks.
- when all the plants are planted, and there is still space left, you can fill it with small pebbles.
Special mention should be made of shade-loving and shade-tolerant plants. As a rule, they require a special attitude to themselves, connected, first of all, with the increased soil moisture. Such a moisture-loving group includes some species of primroses, hosts, bergenia, small periwinkle, holostem poppy and creeping tenacious.
To give your slide that special decorative effect, it is best to use evergreens, especially those with variegated leaves. For example, the small periwinkle Variegata variety, which has white-bordered evergreen leaves, looks very beautiful, the creeping variegata variety, which is distinguished by the pink-marble color of the leaves, as well as evergreen berserk and variegated and bordered host varieties, is not bad in this regard.
The next group of plants often used in alpine slides are light-loving and drought-resistant, they are best planted at the very top of the hill, on warmer slopes, that is, turned to the south. Good drainage should also be provided. The best plants of this group: spring adonis, Volga, low iris, shaggy breast, gray keleria, fescue, thyme, almost all types of young, lumbago and feather grass.
Decorative types of bows, such as spherical, deceiving and Pacho, also look great. They are beautiful even when they have faded, and their ripening boxes will attract attention for a very long time. Species with whitish-silvery or bluish pubescence of leaves and stem are especially attractive.
And, finally, there is one more group of plants that are used for transitional zones. This group is very numerous. Muscari, tulips, incarvillea, euonymus, phlox, corolla, stonecrop, cinquefoil, violets, bells and some other plants belong to it. They all differ in flowering time, size and color, so they should be arranged according to your taste. Onions and tradescantia can serve as accents of the hill, and among the variegated forms there is also euonymus, which has a large number of varieties with various leaf colors.