What Is A Rock Garden?

What is a rock garden? Learn what a rock garden consists of. Get ideas on building your own rock garden. "A rock garden is an environment or an atmosphere that is specifically (from my client's perspective)...

"A rock garden is an environment or an atmosphere that is specifically (from my client's perspective) created for themselves," says Laddie Flock, owner of Natural Rock Formations, a company that has been in business for 17 years and has experience in all different styles and themes of rock gardens. Natural Rock Formations is one of the largest distributors of natural stone products on the Pacific coast and has been featured in many publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Landscape and Irrigation magazine. Their website can be found at www.natrok.com.

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia.com, describes a rock garden as: "A type of garden that features extensive use of rocks or stones, along with plants native to rocky or alpine environments...The usual form of a rock garden is a pile of rocks, large and small, aesthetically arranged, and with small gaps between, where the plants will be rooted... Some rock gardens are designed and built to look like natural outcrops of bedrock. Stones are aligned to suggest a bedding plane and plants are often used to conceal the joints between the stones. This type of rockery was popular in Victorian times, often designed and built by professional landscape architects. The same approach is sometimes used in modern campus or commercial landscaping, but can also be applied in smaller private gardens

This definition, however, is rather limiting in all that a rock garden can be.

Flock says, "The environment is useful in many ways. It is a visual component usually from the windows of their home. And when they wish to be within that atmosphere, their enjoyment is walking through the garden."
Rock gardens can take on many different designs and functions, with the only limit being the builders imagination or wishes.

Flock says, "It can be any theme or it can be eclectic, it is however how they would like to have it. Usually, there is a theme involved and a function involved. The function is first aligned through pathways, bridges, meditation areas, patios, barbecues, fireplaces, or fire pits. This functions as the outdoors that are close to their home and then the theme is developed. That comes from the history of the clients and usually it is a husband and wife and questions are asked like where they have spent their time, where they have traveled, what the area has really evoked, the feeling that they would like to have while they are in this space."

A rock garden can serve as a private area for meditating or relaxing, or as a back drop for parties and get togethers. It can function as a way to commune with nature, or serve as a haven of food and shelter for local wildlife. It's only main requirement is that it of course contain some type of rocks thereby putting it into the category of a rock garden.

Flock says when he begins working with a client on their rock garden design, "I ask them to tell me about it and we start going through those processes and all of sudden we are talking about textures, colors, ribbons and horizons and all of these detail elements that all go together as a result of building the project as one composite."

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