Rock garden plants tend to be small because many of the species are naturally small. And so as not to cover up the rocks, they may be grown in containers, or in the ground. The kinds of plants usually are types that prefer well-drained soil and less water.
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 incorporate bonsai.
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.
The Japanese rock garden, in the west often referred to as a Zen garden, is a special kind of rock garden with barely any plants.
Rock gardens have become increasingly popular as landscape features in tropical countries such as Thailand. The combination of wet weather and heavy shade trees, along with the use of heavy plastic liners to stop unwanted plant growth, has made this type of arrangement ideal for both residential and commercial gardens due to its easier maintenance and drainage.
Kew Rock garden, Kew Gardens
- Garden design
- Rock Garden, Chandigarh in Chandigarh, India
- Nek Chand, creator of the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India.
- Reginald Farrer, field botanist and author of My Rock Garden.
- Warren, William (1996). Thai Garden Style. Singapore: Asia Books Co., Ltd.
- "Thai Rock Gardens". Thai Garden Design. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Plant Maintenance a Pain? Stone Gardens Are the Way To Go!". Thai Garden Design. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
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