Bob feels a great place to start rock gardening is with a trough garden. They're small and easy to build. By starting at this level you can see if you like it. It's a rock garden in minature, the same principles that apply to a trough garden also apply to a larger rock garden. Bob takes us through the whole process from raw materials to the finished product. This can easily be done at home. Bob has started with a hypertufa trough (use the link below for directions). It is made from Portland cement, peat moss and Pearlite and formed over a box. The rocks in this container are not hypertufa, instead real tufa. It was a fairly recent rock formation, actually a limestone rock formation. Tufa is the prime choice for rock gardens and troughs, but difficult to find. Rhyolite can also be utilized and comes out of a topaz mine in Utah, with it you will see little sparkly topaz in the sunlight. Also nice in a rock garden is chunks of driftstone from Mexico or California. Aviod fieldstone cobbles, they never look right in a rock garden. Pick some nice rocks and scale them. Make any size trough but the same design principles apply. It should have stuff that softens the edge, it should have stuff creeping into the crevices between the rocks. It is really a nice garden adventure. Bob has a little dwarf Elm tree that's in scale. There's a Fisa Plexus which is an extremely rare rock plant. This container was done 2 years ago by Bob's 11 year old son, who put in, maybe, 2 hours putting this together. It doesn't take a lot of time but looks great. It can be placed on a patio, set it alongside a driveway or next to a sidewalk. They're easy to use, they're moveable and they're fun.
By Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Wholesale Tree Growers
Photographs courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
The joy of flowering trees needn’t end with April showers and May flowers. By choosing trees that reserve their flowers for the long days of summer you can enjoy tree blooms in summer. To learn more click here for an interesting and informative article written by our friend Nancy.
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