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Old 11-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default Native Rock Garden Ideas?

I love rocks and the rugged plants that create communities among them in nature. I'd love to create something similar on our property.

I already have some ideas...and have even started on a small scale, but I welcome more ideas. My father had a rock garden. He and my mother were members of the rock garden society...but I think of it being more of my dad's thing. After he retired, he devoted a lot more of his time to his dream and I helped moving rocks and stuff for him...so maybe it is in my blood.

He did not restrict himself to native plants, although he and my mother both had a love of woodland wildflowers. I would be using plants native to my area (NE PA).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:42 AM   #2
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You might want to take a look at my article in the Feature Articles forum: Rock Gardening with Native Plants. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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NATIVE PLANTS FOR ROCK GARDENS
Sedum ternatum
Iris cristata
Iris lacustris
Silene virginiana
Liatris microcephela
Penstemon canescens
Heuchera villosa
Zizia aptera
Salvia lyrata
Phlox stolonifera
Phlox ovata
Allium cernuum
Antennaria neglecta
Antennaria virginica
Asarum canadense
Liatris squarrosa
Scutellaria ovata
Scutellaria parviflora
Ruellia humilis
Campanula rotundifolia
Aster linarifolius
Sedum glaucophyllum
Sedum telephoides
Krigia biflora
Krigia montana
Silene caroliniana
Eriogonum allenii
Taenidia integerrima
Draba ramissimosa
Arenaria stricta
Anemonella thalictroides
Saxifraga virginiensis
Oxalis violacea
Hepatica americana
Hepatica acuminata
Hypericum muticum
Hypoxis hirsutus
Viola pedata
Hexastylis arifolia
Hexastylis heterophylla
Talinum teretifolium
Houstonia longifolium
Claytonia virginiana
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:56 AM   #4
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The North American Rock Garden Society has a Delaware Valley Chapter. Their website may provide you with inspiration-
Delaware Valley Chapter - North American Rock Garden Society
Please know their members. like your father, use both native and non-native plants when rock gardening. You will need to be on your toes when considering plants used by their members.

Where is your rock garden on your property? What amount of sun does it receive? Is it above or below grade?
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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Porterbrook, I'll definitely read your article. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Also, thank you for the list. Some of the botanical names I recognize already, and they are some that I intend to include. I'll look into the others and likely realize I know quite a few more.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLorax View Post
The North American Rock Garden Society has a Delaware Valley Chapter. Their website may provide you with inspiration-
Delaware Valley Chapter - North American Rock Garden Society
Please know their members. like your father, use both native and non-native plants when rock gardening. You will need to be on your toes when considering plants used by their members.

Where is your rock garden on your property? What amount of sun does it receive? Is it above or below grade?
Thanks, TheLorax. I'll check out the site...and don't worry, I pretty much stay on my toes when it comes to making sure I'm planting natives. As a matter of fact, I find myself hesitant with anything I've not seen in nature--however there are *many* natives that I've just never encountered in nature--how sad is that?

As for the location, hmmm...I have two spots that I'm thinking about with the possiblility of another spot or two. One is out toward the middle of the property (mostly full sun, but probably shaded in the morning) the second is between my soon-to-be stone patio and the house (mostly full sun, with one area that gets some shade from the sun porch). The other two possiblities are around a huge boulder/slanted slab of rock and/or around a rocky edge that I'd like to add to a future stream bed that I plan to install.

All receive a lot of sun for most of the day--many would be full sun. I'll try to add some photos for you all to give you a better idea.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #7
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Ohhh.... you've got a couple spots to play with!!! I saw a rock garden out east that was way cool that showcased Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, PLANTS Profile for Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) | USDA PLANTS. I like bearberry because its fruits last waaaaaaaay into winter… birds love the fruits and…. bears can sustain themselves on the fruits when they emerge from hibernation in spring when there’s slim pickins. You could toss in other natives from a natural plant community if you like the looks of Bearberry. Maybe try a few native ferns and Gaultheria procumbens and Morella pensylvanica??? This is an awesome project.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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Oh oh oh… if you like the looks of bearberry only buy a couple plants since they propagate easily from seed. Check this out for some more ideas for part shade and a little bit acidic, http://www.delawareestuary.org/NVCS/29_AtlCPPtchPnBrn.pdf.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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I planted a bearberry in the spring, but it doesn't like my yard very much, despite shade and acidic soil. It is not any larger than when I planted it. Maybe it will grow over the winter and spring (in NC, things do; summer is what is hard on our plants).
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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For some reason when I read the title to this topic I thought you wanted rocks that are native to North America. In thinking about it I can't imagen anyone importing rocks but then again the horticultural and landscaping industry has done stupider things. This makes me wonder the origin of certain stones we commonly see in nurseries. Not that it's that important though, it was just an odd thought I had.
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