Landscaping with Rock & Stones

Written by Jane at Designer Dirt Landscape Supplies
Rocks and stones can be used in many ways when landscaping, from large stand alone features to more practical purposes, such as drainage and inorganic mulch.
Thinking about your existing home and garden is a good place to start. How does the current situation limit your options?  Are there already a lot of different colours, textures and patterns in the building, garden and surrounds?  What about the existing environment?  Do you already have stones in your yard?   What colours and textures work?  If the garden already has a wide variety, would it be better to use stones, as a common thread, to draw everything together?  It is usually best to keep things simple and use the same type of stone throughout the area.  Variations can be made, if needed, by using different stones from a complimentary range, such as Cobbles, Riverstones, glacial chip and stone fines.  It is a good idea to think about how you want the area to look in a few years time.

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In your Garden

Bonsai time!
Seems the first rains have hit us…so it is time to get prepared.

Find your favourite pot; tall and thin if you are into tormenting a tree with wires downwards for that storm blown look, or short and wide for a contented look. Silver Birch or Japanese Maple are great for beginners, and you will be amazed at just how fast your artistic talents will grow!
Start with the seed… being deciduous every winter dormancy makes it easy to rearrange them, trim their roots and extend your talents by perhaps adding a landscape rock (pebble, remember to keep your artwork in scale). You are only limited by your imagination.
If you are lucky enough to know someone with a mature tree you will find the little feathery seeds everywhere…just have to look for them on the ground underneath. No seed? If not at your nursery just go on-line or mail order…you will have your seed in a week…ready for my article next week on how to prepare your seed for easy germination.
When you are looking for the seed, or cheating and looking for tiny plants, pick up some bonsai planting mix (very small bag..that’s the great thing about bonsai)…grab a few bits of gravel from your road (I am sure you will find a gravel road)…and a bit of old flywire.

But remember, these bonsai are OUTDOOR trees, they need twice daily watering in hot weather (and shade in hot, hot weather), and shelter from wind (and dogs).  And best of all, the left over seedlings of birch, you can plant along anorth or west facing wall, to shelter your house from the summer sun while letting in the winter sunshine.  And the Japanese Maples?   Put them in a pot, and place them in shade next to a water feature and out of the hot wind.  They will thrive.  And before you know it, you will be addicted to the beautiful colours of Japanese Maple Leaves just as I am.

Catch you next week!
Dip Art & Design, DAFF horticulture scholarship winner.
Passionate about plants.

In Angela’s Garden this week

I have received my Japanese Maple seed.  All I need to do with these to get going is to trick them into thinking they are going though a cold northern winter.  This “stratification”  can be achieved by soaking the seed for 24 hours, allowing them to drain well, then placing them in a ziplock bag with some very slightly damp  peatmoss, or sphagnum peatmoss  (you need to squeeze out all the water as tightly as possible with your hands after wetting it).  This you place in the non-freezer section of your refrigerator for a couple of months (be patient!).  If you like tulips, now is the time to look for the new season bulbs, and put those in the fridge too (but never near ripening fruit).
Silver Birch do not need this “chilling” treatment.
I have found some seedlings under a Birch tree, and these I am going to put into my Bonsai pot now. Flywire over the big holes in the bottom of my very shallow bonsai pot, in go two of my little trees with bonsai potting mix.  The mix needs to mounded up out of the pot, and this will remind you to water very, very gently.    When my bonsai grows it’s first leaves, I am going to pull them off (gently), then the next flush of leaves will be smaller and in better proportion to my new miniature landscape.
Until next week