Construct rock garden

rock garden with beautiful bench You can create a miniature rock garden that will require only a few square feet of space with a trough garden. Not only can you display dwarf trees, delicate alpines, and other plants in a trough, this type of garden allows you to escape the heavier weeding and watering tasks that a larger garden requires. Also, for a plant collector, trough gardening offers an embarrassment of riches: A rectangular, 2-by-3-foot garden can accommodate a wealth of fascinating plants, including a few miniature shrubs or trees. The simplest way to make a rectangular trough is to use two cardboard boxes as the form, or mold, for casting the trough. The main advantage of boxes is they're easy to tear away after the hypertufa hardens.

Originally, trough gardens were planted in stone sinks once used for watering livestock. Today, these antique troughs are hard to find and expensive. Fortunately, you can make attractive, inexpensive troughs with hypertufa, a mixture that simulates stone but can be molded into lighter, more portable troughs. Hypertufa containers are also rustic-looking, weatherproof, and relatively easy to make.

The standard mix for a hypertufa planter is 1 part portland cement, !J/2 parts perlite, and 1% parts fine peat moss. Mix the dry materials together first, then slowly add water until the mixture resembles a spreadable paste. Don't prepare the hypertufa until you are ready to begin construction! A 1-cubic-foot bag of portland cement is enough to make at least several large troughs. If you like, you can change the gray color by tinting it with limeproof cement-coloring powders, available at hardware stores.

old jar in the garden made of rocks You can even experiment with this idea and place an old jar or other decorative container and fill it water, or install a water pump in the back so the water can circulate freely between the rcks and the flowers, which will help the irrigation too. It is recommended in warm weather to verify the level of the water regularly because it will vaporize easily. Also it is a nice idea to construct a small fountain , so you will receive and ultimate fresh air during the long summer days, and this will attract a lot of beautiful birds too. In most cases you will need a 5 sq.f. empty space in your back yard where you can build your rock garden, some real decorative stones, flowers or schrubs, grass seeds and ground.

Needed additional materials

  • 1/2" mesh or 1" chicken wire
  • Wire or heavy tape
  • 1/2" wood dowels
  • Sharp knife, trowel, or scraper
  • Rubber gloves