Stepping stones in the rock garden provide visual interest as well as functionality.
Visual interest in a rock garden is often provided by contrasts in color and texture in both the foliage and stone.
A variety of stonecrops (Sedum spp.) in bloom.
Species tulips grow well in rock gardens.
This tiny Silene flourishes in a gravel bed.
Corydalis hirsuta is at home in a shady rock garden.
The smaller stonecrops (Sedum spp.) are at their best filling in between rocks.
Wind anemones (Anemone blanda) stand out against the gravel. The glossy leaves belong to creeping phlox (Phlox subulata).
Hens-and-chickens (Sempervivum tectorum) are originally from Europe. One may find them growing on house roofs in the Italian Alps. "tectorum" means "of-the-roofs" in Latin.
An exquisite little Campanula.
The cascading habit of these plants mostly hides the short stonewall along which they are planted. Many herbs can be used ornamentally in this fashion. Here are planted woolly thyme and golden oregano, as well as snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum).
Many common garden perennials have shorter varieties that do well in the rock garden. Here a dwarf aster provides late season color in the rock garden.
A jewel-like pink Dianthus at home in a gravel bed.
A drainage problem is solved with a rock garden evoking a dry stream bed. Only a few choice plantings will be required to complement this garden.
The use of local materials ensures that color and texture harmonize with the natural surroundings.
Many of the bellflowers (Campanula spp.) are especially suited for the rock garden.
An old wall made attractive by rock garden plants.
Another miniature bellflower, Campanula poscharskyana.