Rock Gardens

Rock Gardens

A rock garden, also known as a rockery or an alpine garden, is a type of garden that features extensive use of rocks or stones, along with plants native to rocky or alpine environments.

Rock garden plants tend to be small, both because many of the species are naturally small, and so as not to cover up the rocks. They can be grown in troughs and containers, or in the ground itself. The plants will usually be types that prefer well-drained soil and less water.

The usual form of a rock garden is a pile of rocks, large and small, aesthetically arranged, and with small gaps between, where the plants are rooted. Some rock gardens may also incorporate bonsai.

Many rock gardens are designed and built to look like natural outcrops of bedrock. Stones are aligned to suggest a bedding plane and plants are often used to conceal the joints between the stones. This type of rockery was popular in Victorian times, and was often designed and built by professional landscape architects.

More information on building a rockery or alpine garden can be found in our section on Rock Gardens. We also have many tips and ideas for planting alpines and other rock garden plants.