Visual interest in a rock garden is often provided by contrasts in color and texture in both the foliage and stone.
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.
Many of the bellflowers (Campanula spp.) are especially suited for the rock garden.
Wind anemones (Anemone blanda) stand out against the gravel. The glossy leaves belong to creeping phlox (Phlox subulata).
Stepping stones in the rock garden provide visual interest as well as functionality.
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).
Another miniature bellflower, Campanula poscharskyana.
The use of local materials ensures that color and texture harmonize with the natural surroundings.
A jewel-like pink Dianthus at home in a gravel bed.
An exquisite little Campanula.
Species tulips grow well in rock gardens.
Corydalis hirsuta is at home in a shady rock garden.
An old wall made attractive by rock garden plants.
This tiny Silene flourishes in a gravel bed.
The smaller stonecrops (Sedum spp.) are at their best filling in between rocks.
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.
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.