Choosing the right stones for an alpine slide: which rocks to give preference to?

Choosing the right stones for an alpine slide: which rocks to give preference to?

To create a rock garden is a very real idea. Some summer residents, without much hesitation, plant any plants and flowers they like, surrounded by stones of all varieties and sizes. But if you approach the matter thoroughly, familiarize yourself with the art of creating this wonderful garden composition and find out which flowers are more suitable for creating a rock garden, which stones for an alpine slide can be used, the rock garden will be created much more professionally. The creator of the composition is faced with the following task - a man-made slide should look natural, resemble a picturesque area lost in the mountains. It is better not to use artificial decor when decorating it - the effect of naturalness in this case will disappear, and the composition may look fake.

All components in a rock garden should form a harmonious combination: stones and plants should be well combined in size and color. Groups of stones and individual boulders should be positioned so that the composition looks as less artificial as possible.

The best stones for decorating a rock garden

Stones for an alpine slide, first of all, perform a decorative function, but different breeds have different degrees of fragility, different degrees of moisture absorption, so it is better to have an idea about some properties of stones in order to make the right choice. Most often today, limestone, sandstone and granite are used to create alpine slides. Let's consider in more detail the properties of these stones.

Option # 1 - granite

It is a dense stone that does not absorb moisture well. Granite comes in different shades - reddish, greenish, gray and almost black. Working with a dark stone requires taste and experience, otherwise the composition may turn out to be gloomy. Granite is heavy and difficult to process, but such a stone looks very good in a rock garden. This stone affects the acidity of the soil, therefore, it is recommended to plant conifers, heathers in the granite rock garden. Granite boulders are large, in their company, fragile flowers look especially delicate and graceful (for example, small varietal tulips).

This composition with large granite boulders does not look too bright, but very natural, like a corner created by nature itself

Option # 2 - sandstone

This stone is most often used to create alpine slides, because has excellent decorative qualities. It is a smooth stone with a coarse-grained structure and a rich range of shades. Sandstone can be beige, pinkish, brown, cream, reddish. It is a good basis for planting plants, forms a spectacular combination with any of their types. When creating a slide using sandstone, you do not need to select flowers on purpose, plant whatever you like on the slide.

Sandstone is also good because it forms an expressive combination with other stones. For example, in this case, in the water rock garden, sandstone and pebbles, used for laying the walls of the stream, are well combined

Option # 3 - limestone (tuff, dolomite)

Dolomite and tuff are used in the decoration of the slides. They pass moisture and air well, help to normalize the composition of the soil, and are optimal for growing alpine plants. Over time, lichens and moss begin to grow on the limestone, giving the boulders an even more picturesque look.

Limestone is a soft stone, time makes its lines smoother, and you can process it yourself without effort. The color range of limestones is also wide - you can choose stones with an amazing bluish tint, golden, beige. The use of these stones opens up scope for the implementation of creative ideas. Limestone should not be combined with plants that grow in acidic soils. Dolomite is a strong and durable material, it can be white, black, gray and brown. On the slide, translucent white dolomite looks especially beautiful.

Dolomite in a soft brown-beige shade is a suitable stone for creating a composition. Moreover, high-altitude plants in such a company will feel good

Tuff comes in beautiful shades - from white to dark pink, is easily processed, allows moisture and air to pass through. Good material for creating an original beautiful rock garden

Option # 4 - clinker brick

Sometimes clinker bricks are also used to decorate the rock garden, but not rectangular, but oval or irregular. Bricks are laid out in layers, using shades of different colors. Such a slide looks good if the house is also finished with clinker bricks.

In addition to these stones, you can also use slate rocks, stones with a layered structure - they look very beautiful on a hill.
Boulders for a rock garden can be purchased in special stores or picked up on your own, sometimes on the side of the road you can find a suitable specimen for an alpine slide, on pebble beaches, especially with large boulders, you can also find wonderful material. The pebbles on the slide can be of different sizes - add accents using large stones, and the zones can be delineated with small and medium stones.

Clinker brick is an atypical material for creating an alpine slide, but it is quite possible to use it, especially if it was used to decorate a house and garden buildings

To create an alpine slide, both plants and stones have been successfully selected. Small pebbles, shale and limestone are beautifully set off by conifers, hosts, young trees and flowering plants

A rock garden can be made up of stones of one or several types. In the second case, the combination should look organic, so that the dissimilarity of the stones to each other is not striking, such chaos scatters attention. Large boulders can be slightly buried in the ground, creating the effect of rock emerging to the surface.

How to choose the right stones?

If you want to plant bright flowers, it is better to choose a stone in a neutral color - it will act as a background. When using not particularly expressive plants, pick up bright stones - against their background the plants will look more expressive, more contrasting.
When piling up stones of different breeds, there is a risk that the slide will turn into a pile of cobblestones, use stones of similar shapes and similar colors.

An example of an unsuccessfully created composition - both stones and plants are located too chaotically and in a large number, accents are not set

In this case, a rock garden with a small pond looks very harmonious - areas with large boulders in the distance, a pond decorated with pebbles, groups of ferns and hosts form a single whole

Successful rock garden of boulders - plants bloom on the upper and lower terraces, horizontally and vertically between stones, as a result, the composition looks natural and bright

The height of the hill is also important - stones with sharp corners are more appropriate for a high embankment, and rounded stones are more suitable for a flat composition.

In a water rock garden, sandstone laid out in layers looks good. The slide on your site should look harmonious without breaking the uniform style.

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Plant selection criteria for an alpine slide

Ornamental plants for the slide are selected according to certain rules, they are not difficult, you can master this simple science on your own. Above you see a photo - making an alpine slide with your own hands. The traditional classical approach provides for the presence of perennial plants on the hill, which grow wild in high mountain areas. These are undersized specimens, which have a small and compact bush, undemanding to the soil and the presence of moisture. As a rule, these types are winter-hardy, they are resistant to gusts of wind. Examples include plants such as dryad, awl-leaved phlox, thyme (both creeping and common, and alpine shrimp. You will also see some flowers for the alpine slide later in the article).

Almost always on the hills there are stunted conifers, sometimes deciduous low shrubs, among which it is better to choose slow-growing varieties. Among the deciduous alpine slides, they look good:

  • a low-growing variety of barberry, whose fruits and colorful bright leaves adorn the hill until late autumn
  • Japanese low-growing quince
  • some varieties of cotoneaster.

Together with decorative stones, they form the basis of the entire composition. However, recently on the alpine hill you can also meet annuals, which have a long flowering period, steppe grasses and bulbs. The latter really enliven the slides in the spring and delight flower growers. These can be crocuses, snowdrops and lilies of the valley, ornamental onions and daffodils, undersized tulips and cyclamens.


DIY Alpine slide: photo for beginners

In order for the alpine slide to constantly have a beautiful view, you need to create a base so that the structure does not sag. And the drainage system helps with this. So, we pull out the foundation pit. The pit can be up to two meters deep. We use sand, gravel or crushed stone for drainage. But sawdust cannot be used. Ultimately, we spread the earth and tamp it.

The stones for the alpine slide are laid out in tiers. Below we put the largest boulders, below - small stones. The smaller the alpine slide, the smaller the stones should be. Proportions are observed in everything.

It is noteworthy that there is no specific scheme for placing stones on an alpine slide. The main thing is to do everything so that you like it. The rest is a trifle. Any design will be considered correct. It is best to use homogeneous natural stones to make the alpine slide appear natural. An alpine slide should be beautiful even without plants. The stones are laid out so that plants will be planted on the hill. Use fertile soil.

The soil on the alpine slide is prepared independently. You can use peat, black soil, clay, organic fertilizers, sand and more.

It is important to choose the right plants for the alpine slide. An important condition is unpretentiousness. In addition, only plants that are found in the wild should be used. So the alpine slide will look as natural as possible. You can even buy evergreen bushes that will delight you all year round.

DIY alpine slide for beginners

The alpine slide can be up to three meters high. It can be very difficult to build it. Alpine slides have existed in Eastern culture for more than three millennia. The construction came to Western countries not so long ago from China and Japan.

Finally, an important condition for the step-by-step creation of an alpine slide is the maximum proximity to natural nature. Only natural stones are used, which are not laid out strictly, as in the construction of a house, but more chaotically.

Rock garden: the best device diagrams and an example of how to create it yourself, video

Today on the Internet you can find many schemes of alpine slides for different areas. There are the simplest designs, as well as complex slides that a professional can clearly create.

You can always hire specialists who will create on your site a masterpiece called "alpine slide". The design, first of all, should please not only you, but also guests who may come to the country house or country house. Keeping a small slide will be easy. As a rule, the same work is performed as on ordinary flower beds. Plants are fertilized, watered, transplanted on time.


Which plants to choose?

Coniferous crops for a stone slide

Evergreen conifers always give the rock garden some naturalness, imitating forests at the foot of the alpine mountains, surrounding it with lush greenery and emphasizing the beauty of flowering species. Alpine slide with coniferous plants looks harmonious and beautiful. At the same time, trees and shrubs retain the attractiveness and style of the slide even in cold season, making it a green island against the backdrop of an empty garden. Thus, the design the bottom of the rock garden undersized conifers are always very advantageous.

In rock gardens practically never use deciduous plants, because the foliage falling down in the fall pollutes the hill, and it is almost impossible to clean it out of the space between the stones. Moreover, such a situation contributes to the processes of decay and the development of various diseases in the humid microclimate at the bottom of the hill, which will lead to the death of other "inhabitants" of the rock garden. Proceeding from this, coniferous crops are always in priority, besides receiving favorable growing conditions.

Today there is a huge variety of different conifers, for any size and illumination of a rock garden from dwarf sun-loving pines, spruces, larches and junipers to shade-loving fir, cypress and thuja. And for very shaded areas, you can choose hem and yew.

Another important feature of evergreen conifers is the variety of different forms of the crown, its color and appearance. They can be in the form of narrow pyramids or balls, they can creep along the ground, have an arrow-shaped shape or similar to candles, and color shades from dark green to blue and yellow provide a landscape designer with a huge field for creative flight of imagination.

In rock gardens they use undersized and dwarf species of conifers, often with twisted trunks, close to the species native to the natural Alps:

  • Juniper medium - the owner of a dense light green spreading (up to 0.8 m) crown, slightly "gilded" at the ends. Depending on the season, the juniper changes color from lemon in the spring to lime in the summer. Loves sunny areas. Perfectly refreshes dark layered stones.
  • Thuja western - a winter-hardy shade-tolerant plant with an irregular narrow crown, which can take on a spiral shape, be in the form of a pyramid or column. It often has several tops. Loves loamy soil and grows about 5 cm per year.
  • Menzies' Pseudo-Slip - in appearance it is very similar to prickly spruce. However, due to the waxy bloom, it has a bluish tint and softer needles are located somewhat chaotically, which gives the plant a unique "shaggy" appearance. Grows well in both sunny and shaded areas. He loves loamy soils and grows by 4-6 cm per year. Requires regular prophylaxis against fungal diseases.
  • For decoration rock garden are also good varieties of spruce (Serbian, eastern, prickly, ordinary), mountain pine, dwarf cedar, Korean fir, larch, microbiota, hemlock, tuevik and many others.

Creeping and ground cover species

Creeping and ground cover plants are excellent decorators for alpine slides, perfectly decorating the gaps between stones, giving the slide an unimaginably picturesque look. Another plus in favor of these low, but amazingly beautiful plants is the protection of the composition from drying out and weeds.

Among these cultures are:

  • Zvezdovka - ornamental beautiful plant with bright jagged leaves and umbrella-shaped small flowers forming a yellow-green carpet.Each flower is framed with a star of five green leaves, which gives the plant a surprisingly attractive look.
  • Dryad - a beautiful alpine woody plant. It has small (2-3 cm) dark green leathery above and covered with light gray villi below the leaves on low petioles, which gives it a particularly decorative look. The dryad's stems are creeping, and this allows her to penetrate the most inaccessible places and decorate them with her presence.
  • Diastia - a magnificent creeping plant, which is very popular among gardeners due to its green foliage, creating a dense juicy carpet decorated with an abundance of arched bright orange open small flowers collected in inflorescences.

The variety of creeping and ground cover plants for rock gardens is so great that just to list them will require several volumes. Among them are such plants as brunner, rezuha (arabis), succession, daisy, tenacious, cat's paw (antennae), anaphalis, cuff, ethionema (krylotychinnik), arundinaria (bamboo), acene, badan, periwinkle, euonymus, budra (glekhoma ), bukharnik (holkus), viola, pansies, gentian, gentian, ramond, saxifrage, yaskolka, soapwort, styloid phlox, iberis and many others.

Perennial plants for rock gardens

In rock gardens, perennials are most often grown, which makes it easier to care for them and allows you to enjoy the beautiful alpine landscape almost all year round, and flowering from early spring to late autumn.

The selection of perennial plants is very large. One can note such masterpieces of nature as:

  • Ramonda - incredibly similar to a violet. Delicate and delicately scented, it will perfectly revive any rock garden. It is very unpretentious, loves slightly shaded areas, therefore it is preferable on the north-western slopes, painting them from May to early July in a light lilac color.
  • Alyssum (rocky beetroot) - during the flowering period, it fills the air with a sweet honey smell and turns its place of growth into a bright yellow carpet. It goes well with other colors and allows you to create the most picturesque paintings in the rock garden.
  • Orieta - evergreen perennial blooming with magnificent flowers of lilac, purple and pale pink color. This is a rather capricious culture and requires a special attitude and care. Loves a temperate hot climate and fertile land.

Among the perennials for the rock garden, one can also list the spring adonis, aquilegia (catchment), armeria, alpine aster, prostrate veronica, thyme-leaved veronica, wolfberry, or daphne, carnations, Dalmatian and Dalmatian geraniums, creeping gypsophila, gentians, dwarfs cat's paw, cotoneaster, cypress, crocuses, spurge, forget-me-not, various types of ferns, wormwood, primrose, and many others.

Thus, correctly chosen flowers, planted in a rock garden, will bring a feeling of special comfort, peace and beauty to your garden.


DIY slide creation

This is a complex event that includes three main stages. First, you need to choose the optimal site in terms of resource allocation and the possibility of growing healthy plants. Then the stone base is created, which is the "body" of the slide, and, finally, the final stage is the flora itself.

Site selection and preparation

Although, with some experience, an alpine slide can be organized on any site, it is better to choose a place on a small hill in order to spend less effort on landscape reconstruction. It must meet the following criteria:

  • upland or stepped slope
  • not washed away by groundwater (while the presence of a reservoir nearby is not an obstacle)
  • sunny side (if you choose the shady side, this will create restrictions on the choice of plants)
  • no trees or shrubs nearby that can create shade.

If the surface of the site is flat, then stones, sand or soil can be used to create artificial unevenness. It is permissible to form a structure adjacent to the wall, fence.

Site preparation begins with clearing it (although the very first step should be drawing up at least the simplest scheme so that the result is consistent with expectations). Weeds, old roots, large stones should be completely removed (they can be used to form a slide). Then the most important task has to be completed - to prepare a high-quality drainage system, which determines how strong the slide will be and what water and air supply the plants will receive. The drainage system is a multi-layer structure that must function for a long time and be resistant to shrinkage, temperature changes and increased stress (during snowfalls).

Selection and laying of stones

The alpine slide itself is made up of stones and boulders; to create a special shape, you can use wooden structures, for example, for a stepped slide. You can use stones of any type, you just need to take into account that the stones do not oxidize the soil and do not collapse under the influence of moisture and contact with the soil. It is worth considering right away that a lot of stones will be needed, depending on the size of the site - up to several tons. The larger the slide, the larger the boulders can be used.

In addition to stones, you will need peat or compost, gravel, sand and turf for laying. The structure of the slide should look like this:

  • the soil (base of the site) with a layer removed of at least 30 cm
  • drainage layer from fine gravel, sand, removed soil layer, evenly crushed and mixed. It is important to know - if the soil is clayey or very wet, drainage should be created by pouring rubble and sand on top
  • is laid on top of the slide planting layer.

All layers, except for the top one, should be tamped and rinsed. The layer for planting is prepared like the layer for planting in beds, ordinary flower beds.

The remaining stones can be used to decorate a decorative fence, make a decorative stream, or simply lay them beautifully on the hill itself. If you do not plan to use evergreens on the site, which will cover the ground in early spring and late autumn, then try to create a decor from stones so that the slide does not look "empty". You can add various details to them - for example, shards of glass or porcelain, cones, branches, etc.

A hill is formed according to the principle "from larger to smaller" - first large boulders are laid, then smaller ones, evergreen and long-flowering plants are also planted closer to the base, and seasonal plants closer to the edges. Fertilizers are applied as needed, taking into account plant varieties.

Selection and planting of plants

One of the main advantages of this type of landscape decoration is the ability to use a wide variety of plants. Contraindications can only be:

  • fast growing plants
  • shrubs and tree seedlings
  • conflicting types of herbs and plants
  • it is not recommended to use heavy boulders that can change the structure of the slide
  • Also, do not use decorative waterfalls that can blur drainage.

It is recommended to plant the rock garden with plants of seasonal flowering and those that remain green from early spring to late autumn. This will allow you to see the transformed slide beautiful for a long time.

Among the most popular plants for rock garden are evergreen small shrubs, small shrubs - heather, lavender, cranberry, if the soil allows. Climbing plants and creepers always look spectacular. You can also use some vegetables (for example, onions), herbs of practical use - basil, parsley and others. If the climate permits, you can plant cacti or other exotic plants.

To decorate the slide, you can use:

  • shrubs
  • flowers
  • herbs
  • moss
  • stones
  • lamps, garden figurines and other decorative elements.

If desired, the slide can be framed with a decorative stream, fountain or pond, the main thing is to ensure that they do not erode the base.

There is such a variety as a stone slide, where the plants are given a minimum of attention, and the flower bed consists mainly of stones. This is a good option for the lazy, as well as for those who would like to disguise an unsightly part of the garden where it is impossible to equip a full-fledged rock garden. With a large number of stones, terraces can also be formed - dry masonry with small plots of land for planting.

Arranging an alpine slide in winter is also an interesting activity. With the first snowfalls, such a megaclomb does not lose its relevance. It can be decorated with evergreens (or just branches of pine, spruce, fir), stones, and a small New Year's composition can be arranged, which will be very relevant at this time. And even a simple snow slide with garden refreshment and a small amount of pine needles and stones can look very attractive.

In terms of decor, there is one controversial issue that interests many novice gardeners - symmetry or asymmetry? As a rule, gardeners choose "natural clutter" as an imitation of natural vegetation, but using symmetrical plantings is also not a crime. It is only important that the slide is in harmony with the overall design, and also does not have "bald" spots at the end of the flowering season.

As you can see, creating an alpine slide with your own hands on any site is a feasible task for both an experienced gardener and a beginner. The efforts put into it will pay off annually, since it is a perennial composition, created in such a way as to last several seasons. If you are not confident in your abilities, try starting with a small slide, and you will find that this is a fairly simple and fun activity that gives an effective result.


Watch the video: How to Use Sakrete Mortar to Install Stone Veneer. The Home Depot