The rock garden is nothing new in garden art. More than two centuries have passed since the first rocky landscape was laid out in London’s Chelsea Physic Garden in 1773, but the popularity of this particular garden design continues to grow. Modern man is more and more attracted by the sturdiness of stones and the richness of color of certain rock garden plants. But what speaks to him most is the full harmony and serenity in the rock garden.
The rocky landscape in your outdoor space must be a lifelike imitation of the mountainous landscape and bring a little bit of it into your garden. Since robust and drought-resistant plants thrive particularly well in nature, they also fit into the rock garden. Among these species, however, there are some that appear as spots of color between the stones. They introduce lots of color and cheerfulness into a rocky garden design. Today we want to draw our attention to such rock garden plants and present our 6 favorites from their list.
Evergreen cacti are a welcome addition to any rock garden
The most creative part of designing a rock garden is its planting. Here you can give free rein to your ingenuity and express your skill in selecting and arranging suitable plant species. Our tip is: choose warmth-loving, hardy and easy-care plants. In the spaces between the stones, evergreen plants thrive, which determine the basic green color throughout the rock garden. This dominant color can be perfectly combined with the gray of the weathered rock to create a unique sight. Thick-leaved cacti and other succulents, which should not be missing in any rocky landscape, show a saturated green. For example, the houseleek can thrive anywhere and in principle requires almost no care.
The thick fleshy leaves of the various Sedum species store water and can easily withstand the drought
The sedum is definitely the best known sedum and the most popular rock garden plant. Of all 500 Sedum species, some are particularly popular with us nationwide and can be seen in every rock garden. Hot stonecrop (Sedum acre) is often called “devil in the garden” and is considered to be insensitive. Sedum cyaneum “Sakhalin”, also known as rose carpet Sedum, is also very drought tolerant. These succulent plants store water in their leaves and can withstand long periods of drought. That’s why they fit in every rock garden. But now let’s see which plants grow well between rocks and gravel and add a lot of color to this garden landscape. In the following, we present undemanding garden plants, which, however, bring their flowers to the fore in dry soil.
Primroses (Primula) – colorful rock garden flowers
The primrose is undoubtedly a very popular garden plant in German-speaking countries. It can grow just as well in pots, balcony boxes and tubs as it does in the garden. The flower is one of the first heralds of spring and shows us its wonderful blaze of color from March onwards – the primroses bloom in various enchanting colors from white to pink, yellow and violet to orange and red. They prefer a sunny location but need regular watering. Its flowers are delicate but sturdy, growing 8-10 cm tall. These are all characteristics that make primroses just perfect for a rock garden. Their rich colors bring a new color to the rocky landscape. In addition, these garden beauties are easy to care for. Remove only the faded flowers and the primroses will delight your eyes with their variety of colors all summer long.
The variety of colors of primroses is a treat for the eyes
Lavender (Lavandula) – a total eye-catcher in violet paired with a fresh scent
Your rock garden can also smell nice, thanks to the lavender! It likes a dry location, lots of sun and is extremely easy to care for, robust and hardy. Stones and gravel in the subsoil cannot disturb its growth. Well, the lavender is just ideal for the rock garden. In addition to its soothing scent, it delights us with its flowers in a delicate bluish-purple hue. And don’t forget, lavender is one of the must-have medicinal plants in your garden!
Do you know the soothing scent of lavender?
Carnation (Dianthus sylvestris) – this undemanding perennial belongs in the rock garden
The stone carnation is also known under the names cushion carnation or heather carnation. In the wild, the plant is best found in the heathlands of Europe and Asia. It is hardy and drought tolerant. The stone carnation is one of the fast-growing perennials. It prefers sunny locations and is also suitable as ground cover in the rock garden. Its pink flowers spread quickly and show their splendor from July to September. It is totally undemanding, but successfully serves as a real eye-catcher in the garden.
Ideas for colorful garden design
Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) – small balls that soon turn into balloons
Our next favorite is also a typical perennial plant. The balloon flower bears this name because of the balloon-like shape of its flower buds. These are usually colored in violet-blue and introduce a fresh note into every garden. The balloon flower likes sunny locations with nutrient-rich soil and grows up to 50 cm high. The perennial is easy to care for, but regular watering is good for it. Avoid any waterlogging, this can be deadly for the roots of the balloon flower. Its flowering period lasts from late July to late autumn and during these months this rock garden plant will make an attractive change in your rocky garden landscape.
Typical rock garden plant – the balloon flower shows its small balls
Red vetch (Anthyllis) – the most popular rock garden flower
Another perennial that will add color to your rock garden is the Red Vendula. He is again easy to care for, hardy and persistent. The red kidney vetch prefers a sunny site and calcareous soil. The perennial easily adapts to drought and therefore fits perfectly in the rock garden. Its flowering period is from late June to early September. The whitish, yellow or red colored flowers attract everyone’s attention.
Red vetch is always eye-catching in the rock garden
Carpet phlox (Phlox subulata) – the perfect groundcover in the rock garden
Last but not least, we want to introduce you to the best groundcover among the flowering rock garden plants – the carpet phlox. This perennial is also known as the cushion phlox. The plant offers a distinctive planting in the garden, because it spreads quickly and looks like a colorful carpet on the garden area. The cushion phlox is the ideal rock garden plant because it needs a lot of sun and little water. Its flowers appear in spring and enchant us with their variety of colors – they are colored in delicate snow-white, sweet pink or bright red tones and the color palette extends to blue and violet. This is a real eye-catcher that you shouldn’t do without in your own rock garden.
With the carpet phlox you achieve a distinctive planting in your own rock garden
Which of our favorites do you like best? Or do you want all 6 in your rocky landscape? All of these blooming rock garden flowers add lots of color to your rocky garden design and are good for the eyes and senses!
Bring some color to your rock garden!
Choose colorful and long-flowering rock garden plants!