4. Hillside Slope Gardens: Would it not be a gardener’s dream to inherit a piece of property that included a natural surface rock formation? As anyone who has tried it knows, man made large rock outcrops usually require horrific amounts of intense labor. So let’s just imagine that your yard has some form of slope. You would have no problem at all, transforming the area into a hillside alpine garden, providing you developed a few tiers (using natural locally collected rock) into the present system. Any area having a slope to the west, south west, south east or even north would give a comfortable growing environment for numerous alpine species. The slope would dictate the type of alpine able to grow there.
5. Moraine & Scree Gardens: A scree garden is a mass accumulation of broken natural local rock (or Tufa), small stone and pebbles, dispersed with free draining humsy lean or rich soils. As always, the desired area must be permanently free from perennial weeds. The desired effect is to have a growing environment of moist and cool sub-strata for long alpine roots. The surface strata can be quite dry and sun-baked. A moraine garden is a scree garden with a constantly renewed supply of moisture to the root system. The area could be flat or have a slight angle, or several angles. Depending on the type of plants selected, would determine what angle is desired. The area is usually finished with a heavy layer of pebbling or rock chips, once plants have been established. This type is (in the wild) usually found at the base of mountains where over time, combined with environmental fracturing, broken mineral rich rock has accumulated, sometimes to a depth of several feet. This is one of the most desired forms of alpine gardens.
6. Stepping Stone & Meadow Gardens: So you did not want all that grass anyway? Determine an area with the use of a garden hose. Either dig out the offending grass or place a layer of moistened newspaper over the area of choice, after just cutting it down to less than one inch. Immediately cover with a natural rock border and well-draining soil for the base of your area. 8-12” inches of soil should do. Allow the area to settle for several weeks, sprinkling water gently in a rain-like manner or let a good rain do the job for you. Finish off with a generous layer (3- 4”) of rock mulch such as pea gravel, chipped rock or washed coarse sand that cannot be washed away. Once the area has settled further, get down to creating your master piece. Let’s not forget to place a few larger natural flat stones throughout your “meadow” so that you can admire the wee ones up close!