Whilst sitting drinking his mug of tea one morning, our customer Malcolm was looking out over his pretty much non-existent lawn. Over the past two summers his grass had been eaten by leather jackets (daddy long legs larvae) and he knew something had to be done. Suddenly Malcolm had a vision. He pictured a beautiful rockery garden made up from a series of small rockeries featuring a variety of plants. He also imagined winding gravel paths weaving through the garden towards his summer house.
At that moment he decided to completely revamp the garden. He wanted an interesting outdoor area with lots of variety. This is so he and his wife could sit outside and enjoy the summer months.
Malcolm took to the Internet to further develop his idea and gain a better knowledge of how to actually build a rockery garden. He decided for his design he wanted to replace the lawn with a series of small rockery areas, alongside a selection of plants.
The design was based around the couples love of travelling, particularly in the mountains of Europe. Due to this, there were existing elements of his garden that had an ’Alpine’ aesthetic such as his summer house and conifer trees. Therefore it seemed a natural progression to add rocks and alpine flowers.
The layout of the garden is such that they already had a small patio area that faces South, East and West. This enables them to sit in the sun at various times in the day and view the garden from a different aspect. Therefore they needed the design of the garden to include various focal points and features.
There was already an area of Golden Gravel 20mm along with paving stones outside the patio doors. The gravel led to the previous lawn, so it made sense to incorporate this area into the design. Malcolm used this gravel to create the paths that wind between the rockeries.
He also chose to use a selection of Scottish Pebbles to edge the paths which add height and texture. The colour tones of the pebbles blend beautifully with the existing gravel and were selected to complement it.
Rounded golden stepping stones were placed to make the gravel easier to walk over. They were intentionally placed close together so their small dog could walk around the garden on them, rather than the gravel which she dislikes. These particular stepping stones were chosen for their golden colour tones which blend seamlessly with the gravel.
Malcolm chose our Rustic Slate Rockery because the orange rustic colour tones are a great match to the golden gravel. The Rustic Slate Rockery Stone is used to create 3 main rockery garden areas. Therefore it was important that the colours blend with the surrounding aggregates.
Rockery plants were sourced from local garden centres and the majority are alpine varieties. They opted for plants that were happy in full sunshine and were drought resistant as East Anglia is a dry part of the world. Some Spring plants such as daffodils and primroses were used to add early season colour.
The plants are housed in a variety of pots. Blue Terracotta ones complement the paving and add a splash of colour to the rockery garden.
The biggest challenge Malcolm faced was deciding to do the job himself. This meant a lot of heavy lifting. Firstly he had to clear all of the old lawn and bag up the soil. This has been stored so it can be safely used again when the leather jackets die. Malcolm then had to move all the gravel, pebbles, new soil and compost as well as the paving slabs, stepping stones and our Rustic Slate Rockery Stone.
He found building the rockeries was a case of trial and error and took to the task like a jigsaw. This meant a lot of lifting and and placing of rocks before deciding on their final resting place. Despite this Malcolm managed to finish the project in under 2 weeks, working between 4-5 hours a day.
Malcolm’s final words on his rockery garden
I found it a very enjoyable project. As I’m someone who has previously only pottered in the garden I am very pleased with the result. My thanks to Stone Warehouse for the prompt delivery of quality materials for my rockery garden.
Get The Look
Rockeries – Rustic Slate Rockery
Pathways – Golden Gravel 20mm, Scottish Pebbles, Scottish Cobbles
Stepping Stones – Apricot Round Stepping Stone
Paving – Bradstone Peak Smooth Paving in Buff
Pots – Denby Imperial Blue Pots