Outdoor Stone Wall Gardens

What exposure for a wall garden?

Eastern, except for shade-loving plants such as ramonda, haberlea, Saxifraga sarmentosa, English ivies, and certain ferns. For these a northern exposure.

What is the best type of rock for a wall garden?

For an informal effect, any natural, porous rock with a good facing surface; squarish pieces, such as one might use for an ordinary dry wall, are best. A good wall garden can be made of bricks as well.

How does one make a wall garden?

Much like a dry retaining wall, but the joints are packed with prepared soil and the stones are tilted backward to keep the soil from washing out and to direct rain water toward the plant roots. To prevent squashing of roots, chink the horizontal joints with small pieces of stone. Place plants in position as the laying up proceeds, and firm the soil well at the back of the wall.

What special upkeep does a wall garden need?

Upkeep is reduced by using suitably compact, small, rock-hugging plants. Remove all old flower stalks. Pull out weeds and excess seedlings. Prune and thing so as to maintain a balanced distribution of planting effect. On top of the wall, provide a watering trench or trough, and use it freely to prevent drying out in summer.

How are plants planted in a wall?

In a wall garden, building and planting are done at the same time. If the plants are located at the joints, the soil is packed in, the plant set, a little extra soil added, and then the stones are placed. Chips placed between the stones near the plants prevent them from sinking and squeezing the plants. If planting has to be done after building, the job is more difficult. The roots must somehow be spread out in a narrow space, and the soil rammed in with a piece of stick. Don’t plant fast-growing plants near slow-growing ones or the latter will be smothered.

What summer upkeep is necessary for a rock wall?

Keep plants well watered and weeded. Spray if necessary.

Can you tell me what spring care should be given a rockery made in an old stone wall?

Trim dead pieces off plants; fill washed-out cracks with new soil. Push heaved-out plants into soil or take them out altogether and replant.

What winter cover for a wall garden?

Stick a row of pine boughs into the ground thickly enough to provide shade form the brightest sun of winter. Or place a row of two-by-fours, slanting against the wall, and over them stretch a burlap cover. The pine boughs will be better looking.

Which plants are particularly suitable for use in a rock wall?

All the sempervivums, Sedum hybridum, coccineum, nevii, and sieboldii, Nepeta hederacea, Campanula carpatica, cochlearifolia, and rotundifolia, Silene caroliniana, Phlox stolonifera, Achillea ageratifolia, and Mazus reptans.

Are wall gardens easy to maintain?

They are at their best in moist climates (England) where there are not long drought periods. If left unwatered in long summer droughts many of the plants will die. They require more attention than other types of gardens, especially care in watering.