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Creating a rock garden

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Choose your plants to create as natural an effect as possible
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Lise Servant)  

The most important thing to bear in mind when creating a rock garden is that you need to choose your plants so as to create an effect that is as natural as possible. Although the possibilities are practically endless given that this group of plants comes in so many shapes and sizes, it is a good idea to remember a few points.

  • It is important to know the size of the plants – both their height and spread – in order to decide how far apart to space them. Otherwise a tiny plant could eventually be hidden by another one you had no idea would spread so much or grow so tall.
  • When planting, it is good to group several plants of the same species together so that they will fill in more quickly. This is especially useful with slow-growing species.
  • Finally, the key to success is to be guided by your own experience and research (by reading books and visiting gardens and exhibitions) in order to decide which species are best for your garden.

Regardless of whether you decide to leave things to chance and go for a natural look or to follow your own inspiration, a rock garden is sure to be a rewarding endeavour, one that lasts for years. And just when you think it is done, browsing through gardening books, magazines or websites is sure to convince you that there is still much to learn.

Based on an article by René Giguère in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 22, No.1.

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