How To Build A Rockery

How To Build A Rockery

Are you wondering how to build a rockery? Here we are going to consider what you need to build one!

slate rockery

Late winter through to early spring is the best time to build a rockery. This is because the ground is usually wet. However, you can do this at any time of year, but is better after a few days of rain. The wet ground makes it easier to move the soil and place the rocks.

Before you build a rockery, it’s important to think about its location along with the plants you want to include. If you are using alpine plants, they often require a lot of light. Therefore make sure that you build your rockery away from trees, as these will cast shadows throughout the day.

If your space is mostly shaded then do not worry, there are plants that are well suited to those conditions. However you are not just restricted to alpine planting for your rockery. There are many beautiful varieties that can suit all sorts of growing conditions and will add interest to your feature year round.

Some stunning choices for rockery stone include the very popular Slate, which has many different colour tones to choose from. There is also Yorkstone which will blend well within a natural environment. Red Sandstone to brighten up your garden or Cotswold rockery stone which is a firm favourite. We even supply Nordic Rockery that sparkles in the light, offering something a bit special to any rockery.

rockery with pebbles

So How Do I Build My Rockery?

Now that you have thought about what you want to plant, where you are going to build it and what rockery stone you are going to use, you are going to put the whole thing together!

Start by clearing the area that will become your rockery of all weeds and stones. Lay weed membrane down with a layer of gravel on the top. Together these will help prevent weeds growing and give good drainage to your rockery.

Begin by placing the largest rocks first and build up gradually using smaller stones towards the top to create a peak. Use good quality topsoil to place into the natural spaces created by the rocks. If you want to keep your rockery weed free for as long as possible, you must use a quality, pre-prepared, bagged topsoil. Remember if you use your own, it may contain small weed seeds that you will find extremely difficult to remove. Make sure that you place the rockery stone at different angles to add interest and to offer different facing directions for your plants.

Rockery using plum slate and polar ice chippings with pink flowers.

Finally, it’s time to plant! The easiest thing to do at first is to lay out the plants (still in their containers) where you think you would like them ultimately to be. That way you can move them round easily and with the least mess until you’ve got it right. Once you’ve worked out the placement, gently tease out the plants roots and place them in the topsoil. Make sure to cover the roots with some more topsoil and then layer over a handful of horticultural grit or other small chipping to help keep weeds at bay.

Your Rockery should now be complete and ready to enjoy.

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