When planning a Rock Garden or rockery, it is important to give a feeling of expanse, colour and boldness by the careful choice selection and placement of all elements and features. A well planned rock garden gives great satisfaction to the gardener who has from the start built the feature from a fully worked out concept.
With each individual plant playing a tiny part in building a defined scheme creation of beautiful garden vistas are possible. Of course there are 100’s of different plants which can be used in a rock garden, but the gardener should try to include only the ones he wants the most rather than letting high;y priced or obscure plants to influence your choices. Often the most widely available and most easy to tend flowers are the most attractive. You should also avoid growing too many different varieties. It is much better to place just a few examples of a family in striking clusters, rather than to obtain perhaps loads of different species, with just one plant of each type.
The “Rock Cresses” (Aubrietia) are brilliant at quickly settling themselves in large clusters covering the edges of the bigger stones. They will grow in most types of soil, and propagate themselves by division or by producing seeds. Aubrieta Purpurea and Aubrieta Deltoidea are the Most well known of this family and have proved to be the most popular.
Aubrieta Groeca, lilac-purple, and Aubrietia.Campbelli, deep violet-blue, give complementing shades amongst the darker purples complimenting these with a group of snowy Arabis would give a visually pleasing affect, and to finish off the display plant a group of golden Alyssum. These particular genus of rock plants prove to be very hardy, and give the gardener a range of combinations for creating striking colour effects, which can prove to be more effective than subtle colour arrangements.
An alternative choice could be put together using a mixture of Iberis sempervirens together with yellow Alpine Wallflower.This grouping can be successfully grown on an almost vertical rock surface, the dark green and bright white curtain of Candy tuft hanging down amongst the flaxen Wallflowers, which thrive well in the earth filled cracks of rock walling to make a stunningly beautiful display.
A captivating effect can be accomplished by grouping some plants of Lithospermum prostratum (Gromwell), together with a cluster of the Pyramidal Saxifrage (Saxifraga Cotyledon). If you have a larger rock above a ledge of earth, try planting the Gromwell so that it can fall, a shower of gentian blue, into the lap of the silver leaved Rock foils. Complementing the charm of blue and silver, tall pyramids of white Saxifrage flowers will rise in symmetrical, clusters before a shield of blue.
Between irregular clumps of the Blue Winter Windflower (Anemonoides blanda), try planting trails of Snowdrops, a base of the white and silver Saxifraga caesia giving an extra dimension to the rosy tufts of the Glacier Pink (Dionconotus neglectus).