ok, im baffled puzzled and all the rest of that stuff. What exactly ARE rock gardens supposed to be like? Like pond gardens are supposed to be like ponds and stuff?
I can't speak for anyone else but my rock garden is whatever I want it to be:-)
I started out to support a hillside in my backyard. I have a horse pasture above it that was eroding over the years and the water was running into my backyard. So I went down to a quarry by Mt Rainier and picked out about 30 tons of rock. I started by creating a boulder slide to support the hill and then I moved from there just placing rocks in a pattern to create planting spaces. Then I made a horshoe shape about 10x8 and built a deck and pergola into the rocks. Then I decided I wanted a pond, so I dug a pond 10x6x5' deep at the base of the hill and made 5 waterfalls above it. Then I planted all kinds of different plants. That's what I call my rock garden, even though some may beg to differ :-) perhaps rocky water garden would be more accurate.
this is part of mine
UtahJulia, what a stunning rock garden!! I would love to see pic from the front.
Very nice UtahJulia.
Sage - here in the UK a "rock garden" is often seen as the same as an alpine garden (wrongly in my view). The rock garden as the name implies incorporates an interpretation of natural rock outcrop, usually showing a natural strata formation. The planting may be of low or high altitude plants that are predominantly low growing and may include some true alpine subjects (plants form alpine regions).
The true alpine garden will also include rock formations and screes running down from the high levels; it will be planted up predominantly with plants from true alpine regions. If extensive it will also include a low level alpine meadow area.
In our Victorian and Edwardian eras the 'rock garden' was home to anything but true alpines and also little note was taken of the natural strata of rocky outcrops - the making or breaking of an attractive and natural looking rock garden. Education in garden techniques has since greatly improved the situation.
Peter said it in a nutshell.
When the North American Rock Garden Society(NARGS) was formed, there was much discussion as to which word to use in their name. Should they say "alpine" or "rock"? Ultimately, "rock" won out. The Society is devoted to alpine plants and smaller plants(annuals, perennials and woody materials) whose growth is amenable.
I agree also that besides the inclusion of alpine gardens, it is the diminished plant size, along with the placement of rocks that differentiates this forum from the perennial forum. Still, I myself welcome all views, and even the occasional off topic discussion.