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Rock Gardens for Beauty and Low Maintenance
A rock garden adds infinite interest to the landscape. With the help of your local nursery team, you can set in large rocks and boulders to create just the right background for your area. Rock gardens can be the main focal point of a yard or they can lend beauty to a tiny side yard off the master bedroom and bath.
Rock garden features require little garden space. For instance, place a low, protruding rock and tuck in a few mounds of alyssum in the foreground, with a compact, feathery Heavenly Bamboo planted behind the rock as you view it. Complete the scene with Potentilla, a bright green carpet like ground cover with yellow blossoms. Wahlah! A nugget of natural beauty.
To capture the effect of a natural scene as you would expect to find it in a meadow or the foothills, choose interestingly shaped rocks. For any one grouping of stones, stick to one type of stone so that its appearance in the garden will not seem out of place. To make the rock appear as a natural outcropping, you might try burying a third to half of the rock. This will give a permanent look.
When you pile some rocks loosely together, you also create tiny habitat spaces for small wildlife such as ground squirrels, chipmonks, toads, and even some birds who need ground shelter.
Plants with unique characteristics and focal interst include Japanese Maple, Lily of the Valley, Azaleas and Bergonia.
To bring your rock garden to life, add some annual color. Lobelia is an excellent choice in shades of blue, white and nauve. Portulaca or Moss Rose, makes an outstanding rock garden flower with its south of the border brilliant shades of rose, pink, yellow, white and orange.