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Most Viewed Rock Garden

The Rock Garden
The Choice Of A Site
Plants For A Rock Garden
The Wall Garden
Planting The Garden
Water And Bog Gardens
The Work Of Construction


Least Viewed Rock Garden

The Rock Garden
The Choice Of A Site
Plants For A Rock Garden
The Wall Garden
Planting The Garden
Water And Bog Gardens
The Work Of Construction



The Rock Garden








In Europe, particularly in England, the rock garden is an established
institution with a distinct following. The English works on the subject
alone form a considerable bibliography.

On this side of the Atlantic, the rock garden is so little understood
that it is an almost unconsidered factor in the beautifying of the home
grounds. There are a few notable rock gardens in this country, all on
large estates, and in more instances some excellent work has been done
on a smaller and less complicated scale either by actual creation or by
taking advantage of natural opportunities. But for the most part
America has confined its rock garden vision principally to the so-called
"rockery."

Now a rockery, with all the good intentions lying behind it, is not a
rock garden. It is no more a rock garden than a line of cedars planted
in an exact circle would be a wood. A rockery is generally a lot of
stones stuck in a pile of soil or, worse yet, a circular array of stones
filled in with soil.

A rock garden, above all else, is not artificial; at least, so far as
appearance goes. It is a garden with rocks. The rocks may be few or
many, they may have been disposed by nature or the hand of man; but
always the effect is naturalistic, if not actually natural. The rock
garden's one and only creed is nature.

Rock gardens are of so many legitimate--in other words, natural--types,
that there is not the slightest excuse for a rockery. Even that
commonest of excuses, finding a use for stray stones, falls to the
ground. Any close observer of nature is familiar with these types. The
natural rock gardens range from the patches of alpine plants above the
timber line in high mountains down the lower slopes and through defiles
to fields on or near sea level. Not infrequently they come down to the
very sea, while sweet waters commonly define and, what is better, are
now and then incorporated in, them--here a pool, there a brook. The bog,
too, the heath and the desert, they take unto themselves, though perhaps
only the nearer edge. And does man, by ponderous effort, raise up
massive masonry in orderly fashion; one day disorder comes and nature
makes things look natural by another kind of rock garden. Rome's
Coliseum and the ruins of Kenilworth Castle are only two of the
unnumbered examples of this.

Here, in a nutshell, are not only the natural variations of the rock
garden, but the inspiration. No rock garden worthy of the name has ever
been created by man that did not depend upon a study of those that
nature has given the world in prodigal abundance. There were the why and
the how of it all, and man simply saw and made use of his observations.

The advantages of a rock garden are, primarily, an element of
picturesqueness that nothing else can provide, and the possession of a
place in which can be grown some of the loveliest flowers on earth that,
if they flourish at all, will never do as well in the ordinary garden as
in conditions more or less approximating their natural habitat. Also it may
be made a pleasance of extraordinary attractiveness. Occasionally--and
here is one of the most important things to be learned about the rock
garden--it is the veritable key to the garden situation; there are small
places where no other kind is worth while, if indeed it is possible.





Next: The Choice Of A Site




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