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Create rock garden
The rock garden is an excellent choreographic solution to be included in a larger terrain or as an "only child" in not too large plots. Its origin is still unclear and quite controversial, but by now all the main theories are in agreement in attributing its birth to the passion for the collection of rare or bizarre rocks typical of the Renaissance and the progressive infiltration into our garden culture Japanese Zen. From the union of these two strands, even though so far and opposite, an increasing refinement has developed in the creation of rocky gardens gradually more elaborate that, probably, have reached the peak of their extravagance and diffusion with the "rococo" "which owes its own name to the ever more rampant fashion to pile rocks of different shapes and colors. In an age closer to ours, the rock garden for a certain period, has lost its decorative function to take on one linked only to its usefulness. In fact, the structure of the rock garden makes it possible to work even on land that is not perfectly flat or even steep and highly irregular. Today, alongside the sole purpose of ornamentation, the rock gardens are also chosen in cases where the conformation of the soil presents areas that are scarcely usable with other solutions because they generate an unusual and "rustic" effect of easy and immediate maintenance.
Stones and structure
The design of a rock garden varies from the temperament and the goals of its creator. We can find extremely simple ones, which draw their own beauty from the minimal impact they have on the surrounding land and on the constant search for spontaneity, or they are particularly elaborate, the result of a real design aimed at creating something absolutely unusual and original also through the use of very precious raw materials.
Whatever your personal taste, it should be kept in mind that the rock garden is a place of flowers and rocks, where it is necessary to always consider the final balance between the two elements with a finite composition. They must therefore not prevail neither one nor the other, but everything must aim to constitute a harmonious and well integrated whole.
We can briefly review the constituent elements of the project, to facilitate the final result according to taste. As far as rocks are concerned, the choice may fall, depending on the effort you are willing to put us and the availability of your finances, on stones purchased in specialized nurseries rather than on the careful search for local stones. For the first option, the tuff is surely the most popular solution due to the low weight of the material, the ease of its layout and the fairly competitive cost. It is clear that the necessary quantities increase the costs also because the golden proportion to build a good rock garden is the one according to which its height must be a quarter of its width. So the more we want to develop it in altitude, the more we will have to expand its base to make it stable and well proportioned. For this reason, although the laboriousness is physical and of choice is unparalleled, our predilection goes however to the careful search for local stones which, in addition to being much more resistant (the tuff with time tends to crumble and corrode with the weather) , creating a real melting effect), they also give the garden a sense of greater naturalness. The tuff brick, in fact, especially when just cleaned, has a much more regular shape and, therefore, also very unnatural, which is only diluted with time and the washing of rains. Because like all the non-flat and irregular areas, even the rock garden risks generating stagnation of water in its most excavated parts, it will be necessary, before moving on to cover the rocks, to create good layers of gravel, sandstone and soil that allow the water not to stop in the ravines but to flow and be absorbed for a greater yield of the green.
Create rock garden: The choice of plants and themes
As for the most suitable plants for the rock garden, we can opt for evergreens or annual plants depending on our time availability or the rigidity of the climate in which we live but, one of the fundamental aspects to create homogeneous and harmonious spots, is to avoid tall trees to prefer shrubs with small dimensions and creeping or falling climbing, an effect that is particularly suitable to give the impression of the plants being placed on the rocks. In case monochrome gardens are preferred, we can opt for green seedlings, generally particularly resistant and often even perennials, therefore able to overcome winters to reinvigorate in the following springs. If the weather conditions support us, the rock gardens of succulent plants are of great yield because of their small size, their very slow growth and their ability to withstand particularly uneven and poor soils, they guarantee small but still ordered jewels. For those who do not want to give up color, the rock garden offers the possibility of creating highly suggestive spots. Our very special advice is to always combine, where possible, business with pleasure, perhaps by setting up our rock garden on aromatic and medicinal plants, which are generally very resistant and suitable for steep and not very regular banks. For this purpose, small plants of oregano with tiny flowers ranging from pink to fuchsia, rosemary for white flowering spots, borage for a light blue graft, lavender lilac, mustard yellow and red chilli pepper .