They look spectacular in the rock garden in groups and singly: due to the short stature and beautiful color of the needles, it gained great popularity juniper virginiana Kobold with needle-like needles bluish above and green below;juniper horizontal Wiltonii with small needles of a silvery-bluish color. It is a dwarf form up to 10 cm tall, very slowly growing, densely branched. Its needles are in subulate needles, small, silvery-blue. This juniper is propagated by cuttings (87-91%). In 1914, it was bred by the breeder J. Van Heiningen in the United States. Due to its low growth and beautiful color of the needles, it is a very decorative plant. Recommended for green roofs, for growing in containers, for rocky gardens where it is preferable to place it in large groups; juniper Cossack Cupressifiolia with bluish-green needles.
Ground cover forms are often found among junipers: juniper horizontal "Hughes" with silvery-blue needles and branches pressed to the ground. Juniper horizontal, dwarf form. Height 0.4 - 0.5 m, crown diameter 2 m. Creeping crown. The bark is gray-brown. Scaly needles, silver-blue. It grows slowly, this plant is light-loving, tolerates slight shading, frost-resistant. Prefers rather moist, sandy loam soils. Loves single and group landings. Used as a groundcover on rocky hills.
Popular varieties include Glauca (blue with a steel sheen) and Bar Harbo (gray-blue). juniper horizontal Glauca with bluish steel needles.
Planting plants on a rock garden in special zones
Planting plants on rock gardens is done by distributing special zones that differ in the degree of moisture and light. Depending on them, plants with the appropriate ecology and appearance are selected. One group of plants grows under intense lighting conditions, while the other grows in partial shade or prefers shady areas.
- On the southern slope of the alpine hill, it is recommended to place drought-resistant, light-loving species for which direct sunlight does not pose a threat.
- The east side and southeast slopes are suitable for plants that cannot tolerate excessive light.
- Ferns are planted on the northern slopes. They prefer to grow in moist, shady areas. By placing a large stone in a rock garden or planting a tree, you can create partial shade, which is necessary for the development of some species.
The most favorable time for laying a rock garden is autumn. And with planting plants, it is better to wait until spring. During the winter, the earth will be compacted, the stones will settle, all the pits and depressions in which plants can be planted will become more clearly visible. In the spring, you need to protect the seedlings from the return cold and, if necessary, cover the plantings. In the fall, planting should not be carried out too late - the plants take time to settle down before the first severe frosts.
When the stone base of the rock garden is laid out and the space between the boulders and blocks is filled with the prepared soil mixture, you can start planting the plants. The day for planting should be cloudy. When the soil is loose, it is easier to compact it around the plants. Before planting, the plants are given a "water bath" to water the roots. After that, the seedlings are distributed according to a preliminary planned plan. Planting begins with the tallest soloing perennials, then the accompanying undersized species are planted and, last of all, ground cover plants.
The plants should be watered regularly immediately after planting, even if the weather is not too dry. A sign that the plant has taken root will be the appearance of new young leaves. When plants are planted in the fall, then you need to expect new shoots in the spring.
Plants that have just been planted in the ground require special care. Check each specimen daily, add potting mix if it shrinks, loosen the top layer to prevent crusting, and water the plants abundantly in the first days after planting. Sometimes it becomes necessary to cover them from direct sunlight. In spring, the greatest need for alpine plants is for water. In late summer and autumn, the soil around the plants is watered if necessary. Excessive moisture can damage their roots.
The main enemy of the rock garden is weeds, which must be dealt with constantly. The roots of weeds must be removed from the soil at the beginning of the device of a rocky garden, in addition, the mulching layer on the soil surface also prevents them from growing. It is enough to feed alpine plants twice: in spring and at the end of summer; for calcium-loving plants, you can prepare a mixture of compost with calcium.
Soil for plants
Do not forget that soil is necessary for the life of all plants, and it must be prepared. For this, it is necessary to take into account the specifics of plants. Due to the fact that many species coexist on a rock garden in a small area, the soil in different areas can be very different.
The most commonly used universal mixture is sod land, peat, sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1. Evergreens thrive in nutrient-poor soils. For their optimal development, stone chips are added, they make up a mixture of earth, peat, sand and small or crushed stones, taken in equal proportions.
If the plant needs soil containing more humus, then it is necessary to increase the amount of peat and earth in the mixture, and reduce the part of the sand. It is desirable that the substrate on which the "Alpines" will grow has a neutral reaction of the environment; for this, a little lime in the form of a powder is added to the soil mixture.
Sergey Tyunis, designer, Vitebsk