Western Rock Gardens design is somewhat different to the Chinese and Japanese garden. Rock gardening in the west, is not always the re-creation of the natural look, as it often is a more symmetrical design with specific colour arrangement being the driving force.
A typical rockery may well be a huge circular mound in the centre of the lawn with a diameter of about four feet. A medium-sized garden may use rocks under 12 inches in any direction with smaller rocks creating a second circle within the inside of the first.
Those that maintain that the design should be more natural, tend to reproduce a Scree or Moraine garden. Scree is a mass of rocks, stones, gravel which is deposited at a base of a rocky hillside. A Moraine is usually on a sunny slope watered from underneath where as the scree is dry. This natural outcropping look is supposed to resemble the foot of a mountain.
Walls or rock outcropping's are also cultivated as a sort of vertical garden by filling the spaces with soil and planting alpine's and small perennials. Recreating alpine landscapes in miniature is done with weathered limestone which is generally considered one of the best, while the round field boulders or river gravel are the less desirable.
Sandstone and Limestone are the traditional materials for design although some rock gardeners use Tufa when trying to encourage moss formations. It makes sense to use native or local rock where possible but imported rock such as granite, marble, bluestone or slate are also available as required.
When constructing the rock design many considerations may be made during the planning stage such as should a rock garden be constructed of rocks with plants in mind, or of plants with rocks in mind and what plants should be used?
Other considerations may include;
Common plants used in rockeries are;
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RCKMBG001 - Sandstone Rockery, Circular Lawn, Plants & Shrubs