Alpine slides

Section: Alpine Slides

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Alpine slide Is a wonderful design element for your garden plot. Really, alpine slide made do it yourself transforms the territory and makes it gorgeous. Of course, such an element of decor should last for several seasons. Therefore, first of all, at the very first stage of arranging an alpine slide, everything should be done according to the rules. Or, the beauty that you want to create can turn into a simple pile of stones.

Yellow goes well with purple, lilac and lavender. So why not use this property in your flower garden design?

Near the front entrance to the house, among large monochromatic stones, alternate plants with yellow and purple flowers and leaves. Ground cover aubriets (with yellow and purple small flowers), grains, lavender, viola, etc. look great here. And in the background you can place several evergreen plants with golden or dark green needles.

DIY alpine slide

This amazing alpine slide

Alpine slide (rock garden) - one of the most popular decorations for the site... Landscape designers around the world are building this beautiful piece of decoration.

To you don't have to be a professional landscape designer to create the perfect alpine slide or a landscape architect, it is enough to be the owner of the site and have a great desire to decorate it. And, of course, have the necessary knowledge.

General principles for creating an alpine slide

In order to create an alpine slide with your own hands should observe special principles and also rely on your feelings, your taste and sense of style.

A slide, for that it is a slide, should be, no matter how corny it may sound, a slide. It is impossible to name the ideal size of a rock garden, since it depends on many factors: this is the size of the site, location, climatic conditions, etc. But usually an alpine slide is not higher than one meter.

Another principle, not even a principle, but a condition is the obligatory presence of a symbol of mountains - a natural stone. The stone must necessarily be natural, since it is he who will convey the entire flavor of the mountainous area and create the feeling of being in the mountains.

Alpine slide is a unique project and it is simply impossible to imagine without plants. It is not very difficult to choose the ideal plants for a rock garden, the main thing is that they are drought-resistant and withstand a huge amount of ultraviolet radiation. All these characteristics are possessed by mountain plants, planting which, you will create a complete feeling of real mountains.

All these are just general principles that we will describe in detail in this article.

How did the rock garden appear?

Alpine slide will decorate any site

The Japanese first began to use the rock garden as an object of garden decoration. in their world-famous stone gardens or stone gardens a thousand years ago. The alpine slide combines the roughness and hardness of the stone and the tenderness and freshness of flowers and shrubs. This combination creates an amazing duet, symbolizing the real beauty and unity of two principles - male and female, or, according to the teachings of Feng Shui - yin and yang.

In Europe, rock gardens began to be erected in the 16th century. At that time, special and outlandish plants were grown on them, which were specially brought from natural mountain conditions.

In the 18th century, the fashion for alpine slides reached Russia. Such a wonderful decoration could only be afforded by wealthy people. The gardeners of the imperial court erected these magnificent structures in the imperial gardens. And to this day, these rock gardens can be seen in the gardens of St. Petersburg and Peterhof (the summer residence of the imperial family).

And now, centuries later, the alpine slide does not go out of fashion and excites the minds of professional landscape designers and ordinary people.

Rock garden or rockery? How do they differ and what to choose for your site?

1) Alpine slide 2) Rockery

Many non-professionals confuse an alpine slide with a rockery. They differ significantly from each other, but they also have some similarities.

Similarities: in both cases, the basis is natural stones. Another similarity is the plants used. They must necessarily be the "indigenous inhabitants" of the mountains, because only such can live and develop well in conditions of lack of water and bright sun without shading.

Differences: rockery, unlike a slide, is flat - this simplifies its creation. Plants are used not as a base (or as a full-fledged addition to stones in a rock garden), but as a background for stones, as an addition.

Plants for an alpine slide

As stated above, plants must withstand a huge amount of bright sunlight and be drought tolerant.

Recommended plants for a rock garden with a description:

Rejuvenated - one of the most popular plants, an inhabitant of the mountains. Its succulent and fleshy leaves and stems store water, making it easy to grow even in the most challenging conditions.

Saxifrage - the name itself speaks for itself. This plant is ideally suited to grow between stones. It blooms in spring with small flowers that create a bright "carpet". The rest of the time, the plant looks just as decorative, as the stems and leaves tighten the stones, penetrate into all the cracks between them, the same "carpet effect" is created, but it will be juicy green in color and very fluffy.

Sedum - the plant is truly graceful and unique. It is not at all afraid of bright sunlight, but on the contrary, under their influence, the casting becomes very juicy green. It blooms in June-July (depending on the species) with bright yellow or pink flowers, collected in wonderful, fluffy inflorescences. The plant is completely unpretentious. Another excellent ability - stonecrop is not afraid of weeds, they are afraid of him, as he easily "creeps", creating a natural barrier.

Edelweiss - a plant that must be on an alpine slide. Edelweiss is the symbol of the Alps. He is not afraid of even the most severe frosts. It blooms from June to July with unusual flowers.

Host. This plant is familiar to many gardeners. She is completely unpretentious, cold-resistant. It is valued for its high decorative foliage: from pale green to dark green with white inclusions (which can be in the form of stripes or spots). It also releases thin stems in the summer, which are literally covered with lilac (in most varieties) or white flowers.

Badan - another decorative deciduous plant that reaches a fairly large size. It grows very quickly, so it is preferable to plant it on the first, lowest tier. Evergreen foliage will delight you all year round. The famous Altai tea is brewed from last year's dried foliage. In early spring, it blooms profusely with large, collected in large inflorescences, pink flowers.

Bloody root - a flower that deserves special attention. In Russia, it is undeservedly distributed poorly, although it is adapted even to harsh conditions. Many amateur gardeners do not even know about the existence of such a flower and in vain, because it blooms with amazing, large, white flowers. It got its name for its peculiarity: if you break the root, then a bright red liquid, very similar to blood, which is used in folk medicine, will begin to run.

Aquilegia Is a popular plant. The bushes are large enough, columnar, less often spreading. It blooms from June to early August (depending on the variety) with large flowers of different colors, which can be monochromatic, but also multi-colored. The flower is very unusual, consisting of peculiar tubes. The people called this plant catchment precisely for this feature. But, in spite of the unofficial name: the catchment, - aquilegia does not need a lot of water at all.

Viola (pansies) - also used for rock gardens. Completely unpretentious. Moreover, the viola can be transplanted from place to place, even in a flowering state.

Juniper - representative of conifers. If you choose creeping species (for example, Cossack), you can plant it on the first tier. Over the years, it grows and a whole curtain of young junipers is formed, which can be planted or left in the same place to create the effect of a soft, terry carpet.

There are many more plants suitable for a rock garden.... You can choose absolutely any, the main thing is to follow the principles described above.

Briefly about the construction of a rock garden

Approximate planting scheme

Initially, you need to choose a place for the future rock garden... The site should be spacious, well lit from all sides. Also, we must not forget about the angle that you will see (it can be some specific side, or it can be in the center and will be viewed from all sides).

The next step is to create drainage. To do this, you need to remove the top layer of soil by 30-40 centimeters and fill the resulting hole with rubble and sand.

The rock garden looks great on the site

Next, we prepare the nutrient soil... The ideal option is soil mixed with humus and sand. Create a slide from this land and lay out stones. The stones must be laid out with aesthetics in mind, but also understand that they must hold the ground, otherwise after the first rain your slide will turn into a blurred heap. And only after you have done all this, you can plant the plants.

As it was written above, only natural materials are used in the rock garden (stone and plants), so do not stir various garden figurines, plastic and glass products on it. But what is desirable to do is to provide your rock garden with lighting in the dark. Even if it is not fully highlighted. If you decide to highlight it pointwise, then stir the lamps near some especially beautiful plant or stones. It is better if you do this when it is dark, then you will see exactly how everything looks and can better place the lighting fixtures.

Be sure to make an alpine slide and then you will see how your site will come to life, will look completely new.

Natural stone in garden design - from alpine slides to garden sculptures

There are many possibilities of using natural stone in its natural form or processed by human hands in landscape design. It is not surprising: the artificially created landscape is still a part of nature or an imitation of it. Therefore, natural materials are great for paths, and for flower beds, and in the construction of other types of structures in the garden.

The use of natural stone in garden design can be divided into three channels:

  • processed stone

It is used as a material for creating architectural elements: for arranging terraces, gazebos, rotundas, stairs, balustrades, garden sculptures, decorative stone vases and other details. This option is most often used for gardens of classic design, as well as areas in modern styles, with polished stone surfaces, glass, chrome.

  • "ruin"

In this case, architectural elements made of stone are used - all the same columns, capitals, vases, but only old, artificially or naturally damaged, chipped, lost, overgrown with moss, eroded. This decor is typical for gardens in the style of romanticism and neo-romanticism.

  • stone in its natural form

Picturesque debris, boulders, boulders, placed on the site in a beautiful, harmonious composition with plants - rocky gardens. Thus, alpine-style gardens, a Japanese garden, a country-style garden are designed.

In this article, I want to touch on the issue of the types and methods of decorating rocky gardens in more detail.

How to make a rock garden in the country

Today, an alpine slide can be found in city squares, summer cottages, areas near social institutions and rich households. If you pick up tasteful stones and a variety of plants, an atmosphere of tranquility and luxury is created in any, even the most modest summer cottage.

Subject to the competent technology of arranging an alpine slide, you can create such a kind of landscape element with your own hands.

Sometimes this is not the easiest process. It all depends on your tastes and preferences. But no matter what type of alpine slide you choose, it must be borne in mind that you should get a decent imitation of natural rocky areas, on which stones are the dominant component. They are complemented by low creeping, as well as a variety of flowering plants. The concept of "hill" defines the general form, which is a hill.

Natural beauty from natural materials in the garden

To complement the image of the terrace, place a composition of stones and evergreens near it.

Preparatory stage

When starting to create an object, they first develop a detailed scheme, which is tied to the area, taking into account the existing landscape.

When the scheme is executed in scale, it will be easier to determine the dimensions and calculate the number of stones that will be needed to create this object.

Alpine slide layout

They choose a place, taking into account several criteria:

  • Sufficient illumination
  • Lack of large buildings and trees nearby
  • Removal from other bright decorative elements - lush flower beds, artificial reservoirs
  • Protection from prevailing strong winds
  • Open location approximately in the center of the territory, providing good visibility.

Step-by-step stage of work

  1. Having selected a site, the developed scheme is transferred to it on a scale. Mark the general configuration with pegs and a cord. You can draw a border by sprinkling a path of chalk, ash or lime powder around the perimeter. After the breakdown, they clear the site of debris, and dig a pit a little more than the allotted area.
  2. Next, remove the top soil layer up to 40 cm, removing the rhizomes of the weeds in parallel. If the predominant soil on the site is heavy loam or clay, then a drainage cushion is arranged, for which slag, crushed stone, and gravel are used. Construction waste, pieces of brick, limestone are suitable. Drainage is essential to keep the roots from rotting. It will not allow waterlogging, provide the necessary aeration. The minimum drainage layer is 30 cm.
  3. If there are different types of material, then you need to fill them in layers, for example, rubble, pebbles, and then sand. Water the drainage and tamp it down.
  4. The soil, which was taken out in the process of digging a pit, is cleared of rhizomes, debris, stones. Add to it in equal volumes: wood shavings, sand, dry peat, crushed pine bark, humus... After mixing, lay on top of the drainage layer. Leave the site for 3 weeks to allow the soil to settle.

Scheme of a simple alpine slide for a summer residence

Selection of stones for an alpine slide

The creation of an original image of an alpine slide depends on the correct selection of stones. It is recommended to use rocky rocks that do not harm the environment due to the heavy metal content and do not oxidize the soil.

The harmony of stone talus will be betrayed by the same type of stones, which have different configurations and sizes. Rocks that have acquired an irregular shape under the influence of water and wind look organically.

For an alpine slide, limestone, noble, granite, sandstone are most often used. You can use travertine, reminiscent of marble, forest boulder, basalt, dolomite. A good option is serpentinite, quartz, jasper.

A very beautiful rock garden is obtained from correctly selected stones.

Unpretentious plants that require a minimum amount of moisture feel well next to the stones.

An artificial stream can be laid out with stones, near which beautiful flowers, such as tulips, are planted

It is impossible to make a beautiful alpine slide on a site without stones. To find worthy specimens, it is advisable to contact the nearest quarry. When transporting, it is taken into account that the weight of the stone can vary from 15 to 100 kg. Natural cobblestones have an interesting structure, among which there are stones with an inhomogeneous surface structure that has grooves, various interesting inclusions.

Stacking stones

After the base shrinks, the most crucial stage begins - the laying of stones. It is being conducted according to a predetermined plan.

  1. At the first stage, it is required to lay out the perimeter of the base from the most massive stones. For reliability, they are buried in the ground by almost 60%. This will then allow the smaller specimens to be positioned so that they will not budge under the influence of even heavy rainfall.
  2. Referring to the diagram, gaps are left where vegetation will subsequently be placed. Soil is laid on each layer, which is then compacted and watered. The top of the hill is the most colorful conical boulder.
  3. In the process of placing stones, constant control is carried out to ensure an aesthetic view from all sides. It is necessary to place cobblestones with defects in the inner layers of the structure, leaving the most advantageous specimens in terms of color and shape in the visible areas.

Laying stones for an alpine slide

The finished structure is assessed from the point of view of acquiring integrity, being perceived visually at any distance as a harmonious natural object. Having finished laying, they leave the slide for three weeks so that the stones are finally fixed in their places.

Beautifully selected decorative flowers for a rock garden

Rock garden made of large stones

Bright flowers will refresh the alpine slide and dilute the overall picture of the backyard landscape

Having a beautiful and harmonious landscape design in your country house is the dream of every housewife.

Plant selection criteria

The choice of vegetation is due to the specifics of the variety of the created alpine slide. This activity is carried out even at the stage of developing a general scheme after studying photographs and descriptions of the created objects.

First of all, a predicted color palette is applied to the diagram, according to which seeds or seedlings of plants belonging to several groups are purchased. If the rocky hill is located in a sunny place, then drought-resistant plant varieties are selected for planting.

Many options for an alpine slide suggest the presence of miniature trees and shrubs, as well as various flower crops and perennial grasses.

Conifers add solemnity and elegance to the design. Among their assortment, undersized varieties are selected.

  • Dwarf spruce - appreciated for its good resistance to dry seasons.
  • Thuja - attracts attention with a beautiful crown, which under the sun's rays takes on a reddish tint.
  • Juniper - has juicy greens, conical compact shape. Differs in unpretentiousness to the surrounding conditions.
  • Cypress - demonstrates high resistance to frost. Decorates any landscape with a crown, the top of which has a golden color, and the base is painted in a dark green color.

Low-growing plants are often used to decorate a personal plot

Beautiful garden in a picturesque location

From deciduous species, such varieties are chosen that do not shed their foliage for a long time.

  • Horizontal cotoneaster - has a dense crown, which by autumn changes its green color to a reddish tint.
  • Iberis - this shrub is attractive in all periods. Its charming flowers are pink, white, purple in color.
  • Dryad - is a miniature shrub, covered from the middle of summer with large white inflorescences. In the fall, fruits appear that resemble fluffy balls.

Pebbles with plants look especially beautiful

As seasoned summer residents say, there are never too many green plants in the garden.

Flowers for an alpine slide

Flowers for an alpine slide are selected from an assortment of creeping low plants. Perennial varieties are preferred. The following varieties are recommended.

  • Short-stemmed carnation - is an unpretentious plant with abundant flowering, preferring sunny places.
  • Rocky beetroot - the leaves of this perennial retain their green color even in the winter season.
  • Rejuvenated - the leaves of this perennial plant have a variety of colors - silver, green, pink, yellow, burgundy.
  • Saxifrage - refers to the plants traditional for alpine slides. Its flowering continues throughout the summer season. The color of the flowers is pink, white or yellow.

Flowers not only decorate your garden, but also fill it with a wonderful scent.

Bulbous flowering plants, which are placed in small groups, miraculously set off the natural restraint of the stones. These include hyacinth, crocus, tulip, hazel grouse. These plants bloom in the spring. Thanks to their bright buds, the colorful rock garden immediately takes on a presentable picturesque look.

When choosing perennial flowering species, it must be borne in mind that they must have different flowering periods. This will allow the alpine slide to look like a bright original object over a long period. The height of each type of vegetation is taken into account.

Great place to relax by the pond

For the arrangement of alpine slides, low shrubs are very often used - blueberries, lingonberries. A good addition is drooping reed, bergenia, daylily. Herbaceous plants act as a decorative background. They allow you to fill the remaining voids after early flowering plants have already wilted.

Waterfall - will add even more beauty to the landscape design


The first to be planted are trees and shrubs. The best option for their placement is a site near large stones, which are laid out along the edge of the slide. A sufficiently long distance is maintained by these plants.

When planting in the designated place, a hole is dripped, suitable in size to the dimensions of the roots, at an angle. A seedling is installed, the roots are carefully straightened, the soil mixture is poured and carefully tamped.

Natural stone goes well with the entire palette of colors

Then flower crops are placed and lawn grass is sown. After finishing planting, watering is carried out. They start pouring water from the top. Flowing down, it permeates the entire surface of the slide.

The irregular shape of the stones gives the composition a special charm.

Alpine slide care

In the first year, you should carefully inspect the alpine slide and, if necessary, add soil that can be washed out after watering or rains. Also strengthens unstable stones.

Further care involves timely watering, pruning dry buds, damaged leaves, broken stems. Top dressing is carried out about once a month.

Do not use nitrogenous fertilizers, so as not to cause a strong formation of green mass. Also, when watering, it is necessary to ensure that the soil is not eroded. For these purposes, it is recommended to use a regular watering can.

To decorate an alpine slide, stunted and creeping plants are perfect

The alpine slide is in perfect harmony with various objects of landscape design. It decorates the territory, makes it attractive and original. It brings the charm of the mountainous landscape and serves as a resting place after difficult days.

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