Rockery from conifers: photo, creation

Rockery from conifers: photo, creation

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Along with the arrangement of rock gardens, a new trend is gaining popularity among landscape designers - the creation of rockeries, which offers great creative freedom. In addition, rockery from conifers, in addition to the obvious aesthetic advantages, is also picky in care, therefore, landscape specialists often prefer this particular type of rocky gardens.

Landscaping with stones and conifers

Rockery is a landscape design element that combines the aesthetics of a traditional flower garden and a rock garden. It is often mistaken for a rock garden, but, unlike it, to create a rockery, the presence of a hill is not necessary: ​​it can be located both on a flat area and on hilly terrain. As a decor for rockeries, not only alpine plants are used, but also any other plants.

The most popular are ephedra rockeries. They look unusually impressive and serve as an excellent decoration for home areas and green areas adjacent to the facade of city buildings located in front of the building facade. In addition, conifers are evergreens that are easy to care for and have a long lifespan. Thanks to this, coniferous rockeries are able to delight with their appearance for many years.

Types of rockeries with conifers

All rockeries, including conifers, are divided into 3 types:

  • temporary;
  • stable;
  • volatile.

A temporary rocky garden means stones and other decorative elements will need to be replaced as the plants grow. It is best to break it in a flat area or in an area with a slight rise. For planting, small seedlings are chosen, which will grow over time.

Rockery of a stable species is chosen on condition if they want to decorate the garden for several years. To create it, large and small stones are used, which are divided into zones with plants. This distinction simplifies the care of conifers and inhibits their growth, which allows you to preserve the composition of rockery.

Lovers of novelty will appreciate the changeable rockery. As its name implies, it allows from year to year to add new, smaller shrubs to the base of several large plants, in order to give a completely new look to the rocky garden.

Names and photos of conifers for an alpine slide

There are a great many conifers for rockeries, and they all differ in shape, size and color. Among a wide assortment of species and varieties, it is not difficult to find specimens that meet the most delicate design taste.


Spruce is a favorite of landscape designers for its undemanding care and high frost resistance. In addition, numerous varieties of spruce have needles of various shades: green, gray-gray, and even golden yellow.

The photo shows the most popular representative of this ephedra - common spruce:

Various columnar varieties of dove-gray spruce are very beautiful, but the scorching sun often burns the needles of these delicate plants, so in the summer they need to be shaded.


Cypress is another very common ephedra in the field of landscape design. The pea variety of the plant is considered the most frost-resistant.

Cypress Filiferai has an unusual appearance. It has long flowing branches that evoke a waterfall.

Plumosa cypress has a spreading crown, but some varieties are quite compact and look good in small rockeries.


For the arrangement of rockeries, it is recommended to choose dwarf varieties of this fragrant ephedra, which have a dense crown and are distinguished by slow growth. So, European juniper will serve as an excellent decorative element for the background.

A horizontal juniper will be an excellent option for a coniferous plant for an alpine slide, if you need to fill the space between the stones.


Firs for rockeries also have dwarf varieties.

The most suitable crown density for rockeries is balsam fir.

Korean fir is frost-resistant, but must be protected from direct sunlight.


Such a well-known ephedra, like pine, is also valuable for landscape designers. This is especially true for plants with a spherical or spread crown, as, for example, in the varieties of some varieties of Scots pine.

Often, when arranging alpine hills from conifers, varieties of undersized pine are planted.


Thuja western captivates with its endurance and appearance, however, it requires sufficient watering, as it does not feel well in dry soil.

There are many more varieties of conifers that amaze the imagination with their color palette and shapes. But no matter what the choice of conifers is based on, they must certainly be combined with each other and create the appearance of an indivisible landscape.

What plants are combined with conifers and stones

In addition to conifers and natural stones, deciduous and herbaceous plants are used when arranging an alpine slide in the garden. They complement the overall picture, mask the empty zones of rockeries and help to dilute the restrained color palette of conifers with bright accents. And if you approach the selection of such plants correctly and choose specimens with different flowering periods, the rocky garden will play with new colors throughout the year.

So, in the spring, you should opt for primroses, primroses and low tulips. In the summer, the assortment becomes much richer: among the proposals for decoration during this period there are tenacious, chickweed, cat's paw and phlox.

Regardless of the season, saxifrage, sedum, ground cover and rejuvenated will be a good acquisition. They can grow on almost any soil and are perfect for mounds.

Rules for creating rockeries with conifers

Making rockeries is akin to art. It requires the designer to have a clear idea of ​​how the rockery will ultimately look like, and therefore, deciding to decorate your summer cottage with such an element of landscape design, you should pay attention to every little thing. Everything - from the color and size of the selected conifers to the shape of the smallest stones - is of great importance when planning a future composition. Here are some guidelines to consider when setting up a rockery:

  1. Since the appearance of rockeries dates back to Japanese culture, a prerequisite for creating an alpine slide from conifers is compatibility with the characteristics of the territory in which it is located. Rockery should not look foreign against the background of the general relief, but organically fit into the setting of a garden or park.
  2. Location plays a key role in the creation of rockeries with conifers. An unsuccessful choice of location for this element of landscape decoration can completely change the appearance of the site, not for the best. When deciding on a place, it is advisable to give preference to uneven surfaces, be it a slope or a small hill: this gives scope for creative thought, allowing you to make miniature mountain valleys using conifers and stones or create a cascade effect. In addition, such a rockery will also have a practical purpose: to prevent soil shedding on the site. In addition, the rockery area should be well lit, since most conifers are light-loving plants. Moderately shaded areas are also acceptable.
  3. Having chosen a suitable place, you should make a sketch of the future rockery and mark the approximate location of stones, conifers and other plants.
  4. With the help of a rope and pegs, it is required to mark the area of ​​the rockery. Then remove 20-25 cm of soil from the designated area and clear it of unnecessary stones, weeds and roots.
  5. For the successful development of conifers and other plants, it will not be superfluous to provide them with a high-quality drainage system. For this, broken brick mixed with crushed stone or gravel in a 1: 1 ratio is suitable. This mixture will serve as a good basis for rockeries, which will prevent waterlogging and, along the way, minimize the appearance of weeds on it. If you additionally cover the soil with geotextile material, you can achieve additional protection against weeds.
  6. After laying the drainage layer, cover it with sand and tamp it. On top of the sand, you need to place a substrate mixed of sand, fine gravel and garden soil. Subsequently, it will be necessary to plant conifers in this substrate, and then install stones.
  7. Stones for rockeries should be chosen in natural shades, focusing on the fact that they emphasize the beauty of the conifers. They can complement the colors prevailing in the environment, or, conversely, contrast with them. At the same time, the stones themselves must be of the same material, and also be combined with each other so that the rockery creates a complete picture. Typically, landscape designers prefer to use sedimentary or igneous rocks such as basalt and sandstone due to their characteristic texture.

    Advice! Stones of the same color, but of different sizes, especially if they have an unusual texture and shape, will help to successfully shade the natural beauty of conifers in rockeries.

  8. The stones must be arranged, starting with large ones and ending with smaller ones, while the first ones look more profitable one by one, and the second ones - in groups. They should be buried in the ground at least 1/3: when the force is applied to them, the stones should not move.
  9. Rockery debris can be formed using gravel, medium-sized perlite or pebbles with a layer of 4 - 5 cm.
  10. For rockery with conifers, plants from nurseries with a closed root system are mainly used. Ornamental trees and medium-tall shrubs are used for landscaping in the background: for example, columnar thuja and gray spruce. At large stones, low conifers, such as mountain pine, are planted, and the area between the stones is set aside for creeping plant species - horizontal juniper or Canadian hemlock.
  11. When creating a landscape composition, it is advisable to foresee in advance the placement of a footpath made of flat stone slabs or cuts of coniferous trees. It will complement the aesthetics of rockery and facilitate access to the conifers for maintenance purposes.

Coniferous rockery care

Naturally, one cannot ignore such an important component of any rockery as plants. By themselves, conifers are considered unpretentious to care for, however, in order for them to please the eye as long as possible, you should still adhere to certain rules for planting and growing them:

  1. The planting of conifers for rockeries should be carried out in a pre-prepared planting pit, which corresponds to the size of the earthen coma. It must be filled with fertile soil in combination with a small amount of sand and watered generously. Before planting, the plant must be carefully examined, get rid of dry or injured roots and free the lower part of the rhizome from an earthen coma. After that, it is necessary to place the ephedra in the planting pit, cover it with soil, tamp it and water thoroughly again. To ensure healthy development of conifers, they should be planted at a distance of 15 - 20 cm from stones. Exceptions are ground cover plants: they can be placed closer.
  2. To prevent the rockery from overgrowing with weeds, it should be weeded periodically.
  3. Despite the fact that the conifers tolerate the dry period well and do not need watering as such, you can additionally water the plants during the growing season.
  4. It is not necessary to feed conifers in rockeries, however, if the soil in the designated area is not fertile, you can periodically apply fertilizers, starting from the 4th year of plant development.

    Important! Do not feed the conifers with fresh organic fertilizers.

  5. In spring and summer, when the sun is most active, it is advisable to cover the conifers with a light canopy, if there is no shade in the rockery.
  6. To preserve the harmonious appearance of rockeries, ephedra should be trimmed from time to time, maintaining their shape and preventing the plants from growing too much.

Photo of landscape design with stones and conifers

The beauty of coniferous rockeries lies in the fact that their appearance is not limited by anything except the imagination of the designer himself. By equipping your alpine slide with conifers, you can create an absolutely unique landscape in three main styles, highlighted by professional landscape designers; they act as a guideline that allows you to direct creative energy in the right direction:

Japanese style. It is characterized by a shift in focus not to plants, but to stones, their shape and size. The number of large boulders and small stones prevails here, and plants play the role of bright accents. The distances between the elements of the landscape can be much greater than when decorating rockeries in other styles. This is a wonderful garden option for those who have a contemplative nature and are looking for inner harmony;

European style. It implies the presence of rocky slopes, slides and cascades and creates the feeling of an island of untouched nature in the middle of a garden. For the design of rockeries in this style, plants growing in the Middle Lane are often used;

English style. Assuming more orderliness than the European style, it resembles a well-kept square. There is still no symmetry here, but the conifers here have a more distinct crown shape, and the composition itself is distinguished by restraint.

However, for arranging coniferous rockeries, it is not necessary to adjust your artistic vision for a specific style. It is enough to remember a few important notes:

  1. Symmetry is undesirable. She can turn an interesting creative vision into a boring and uniform landscape.
  2. It is recommended to arrange decorative elements in such a way that they look attractive both close and in the distance, from different angles.
  3. Conifers and stones with smooth outlines, close to natural ones, look most advantageous.
  4. Plants and boulders should create the impression of a single picture and maintain the overall color scheme.
  5. Conifers that are different in color from the rest, for example, with bright yellow needles, can be interestingly beaten by adding flowers of the same shade to rockeries: this way conifers will not look painful against the general background.


It takes a lot of creativity to create a unique rockery from conifers. But if you follow the simple rules for arranging a rocky garden and your own imagination, the efforts made will not be wasted and will soon delight you with an amazingly beautiful result.

Watch the video: Martha Smith Colorful Conifers (February 2023).

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