Today we will talk about one of the richest traditions in gardening and landscape design. Alpine hill or rock garden is a beautiful composition of plants and stones in the garden. As it is easy to guess from the title, this composition is created to simulate the picturesque slopes of the Alps - the central position is occupied by the rock, but it is almost completely hidden by various tall and low plants (unlike rockeries, where the stones come to the fore).
In this article, you will learn how the Alpine hill can be made by yourself and which plants are best for it. To your attention - a step-by-step instruction and 35 photos!
Beautiful Alpine hill in the country or in the garden
The creation of Alpine slides today is expressed in a variety of styles and forms, including slides with artificial ponds and waterfalls. But the main secret of their attractiveness is the combination of different plants, which contrast with each other in height, color and texture of the leaves. Quite often for a more expressive effect in the center of the hill placed dwarf trees and shrubs, especially conifers. In general, flowers and plants are chosen unpretentious, often found in the mountains. They like rocky soil and sunny places, they need good drainage, but are not afraid of drought.
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A small alpine slide with its own hands is created in several stages:
- Selection of plants and stones (actually thinking over the design of the slide);
- Selection of ideal drainage and soil;
- Directly creating an alpine slide at the cottage or site of a private house.
The best time to start this business is just the middle of autumn. Install stones, fill drainage and soil is now, so that during the winter they manage to "settle down" and be ready to plant plants in the spring.
Plants for the Alpine hill: photos and names
As we said above, plants for the Alpine hill must contrast and emphasize the beauty of each other. But that your garden composition does not turn out to be larky and inharmonious, you should limit to 3-5 species of plants and flowers.
Here is an example of a popular combination of 5 alpine plants that are widely used in horticulture around the world:
- Molodilo - perennial mountain plant with a pinkish-violet hue;
- Purification "Weihenstephaner Gold" - a plant with spectacular reddish stems, which is covered with golden flowers at the end of summer;
- The saxifrage is fluffy low bushes with violet flowers (in the spring);
- Alpine lumbago - has attractively textured leaves and white flowers in spring with subsequent pinnate ovaries;
- Onions hawthorn - relatively high flowers for an alpine hill with white, yellow or pink-violet petals.
If you want the alpine hill to change the whole season from spring to winter, then you can plant flowers on it, which blossom at different times of the year.
Common spring-flowering plants for the alpine hill:
- The tender is tender;
- Shafran Zibaera;
- The hawl is dense;
- Cyclamen of the Caucasus;
- Onions are hawking;
- Colchicum and others.
Flowers for the Alpine hill, which bloom in summer and autumn:
- Agrippa's crocodile;
- Autumn crocuses;
- Cervical transplantation;
- Carnation and thyme;
All of them are rather unpretentious in care and easily get accustomed to almost any soil. But, as elsewhere, the choice of soil and drainage for these plants has its own nuances, on which we will dwell further.
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How to make an alpine slide (step by step instruction)
With the main features of slides and plants for them you are already familiar, now it's time to learn how you can make an alpine hill with your own hands.
Important point: most high-altitude plants hate an excess of moisture. Summer heat they carry much better than the May thunderstorms. Therefore, you need to choose in advance a suitable place and drainage for the Alpine hill. Ideally, such a place may be the southern slope of the earth embankment near your house or dacha.
High drainage will allow the water to flow faster on the slope, and also give the roots of plants a good aeration and a sufficient amount of nutrients. The best drainage for your alpine slide can be gravel, pumice, coarse sand or perlite. Note that drainage and decorative stones should be at least 50% of your rock garden, and even 90%.
As for the soil, where you plant plants, everything here is without wisdom. Use the same soil that is in your dacha or plot, mixing it as much as possible with peat moss, rotted leaves, bark, compost or other organic additive.
What you need to do an alpine slide with your own hands:
- Container under the hill (if necessary);
- A large shovel for filling the soil;
- A spatula or a small spatula for planting plants;
- Scrap for maneuvering heavy stones (if necessary);
- Stones of all sizes;
- Plants for the alpine hill.
Following the step-by-step instructions, you can make a beautiful alpine hill at your dacha or near a private house with your own hands.
Step 1: choice of a place for rock garden
The rock garden can be built on a flat surface or on a slope. In the first case, you will either artificially create a small hill, or dig a slope down, as in the photo below.
In addition, you can equip a miniature alpine slide in a stone chute, pot, garden vase or other container that has drainage holes. So that they do not become clogged with time, they are laid with shards from old broken pots.
Step 2: soil cleaning from weeds
The item must be completed if you use the land from your own site, rather than buying separately.
Step 3: laying of foundation and stones
Dig a pit no less than 30 cm deep and lay a foundation of rubble or large stones in it. For reliability, the perimeter of the pit can be laid with brick (if you do not use large stones).
Fill it up, going from the largest "ingredients" to the smallest. On the rubble lay a layer of gravel, then the soil with compost. Small pebbles or mulch can also decorate the upper layer of the Alpine hill.
The use of several large stones as a basis for the alpine slide will allow you to use less gravel and other components in the future.
Step 4: backfill
When filling the alpine hill with soil, use some of the small stones to create "pockets" for plants. They should resemble a horseshoe that will hold a mixture of soil and compost. If possible, immediately mark these places with flags, since the upper layer of the alpine slide - small pebbles or mulch - can hide them from your eyes.
Step 5: planting of plants
Pour the plant while it is still in its pot. Then remove it and gently release some of the roots - especially if they are wound around the earth's coma. Place the plant in the landing pocket and cover the roots with soil. As a finishing touch - sprinkle on top small stones or sand, which will protect your alpine hill created by yourself, from falling leaves and weeds.
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Alpine hills (photo) - landscape design with their own hands
Finally, we suggest you take a look at some beautiful Alpine hills in the photo. Who does not need a portion of inspiration to tackle the landscape design with their own hands? Thank you for reading Dekorin!
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