Tuesday 21 May 2019

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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Plants that rock our world

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:33pm

Rock garden plants grow at very high altitudes, which means they need to tolerate being exposed to the elements.

On these mountainous landscapes, the ground is generally shale rock, with very little actual soil. As this is the natural habitat of rock garden plants, we know that stony, well-drained soil is best.

The conditions typically seen in this habitat can be a far cry from the wet and sodden soil of Cork and Kerry.

Rock garden plants are very useful for harsh climates and exposed gardens, and once you invest in a few bags of grit, you're on your way to adding an amazing feature in your garden.

These are ideal for stony borders and can give a great welcome into your driveway.

What is a rockery?

In simple terms, it is an arrangement of rocks and alpine plants. Rockeries are focal points in the landscape, often created to take advantage of a naturally sloped or terraced area.

Even if you don't have a naturally rocky site, you can easily create one. A stone wall offers an ideal foundation and border for a variety of low-growing alpine classics.

Or you can source a few large rocks and create a rockery.

Add a few low growing shrubs like the azalea Mothers Day and a selection of Alpine plants.

Lithodora Heavenly Blue

This is well known for its vibrant colour and good ground cover spread. This award winning plant which is evergreen and flowers from April to September will brighten up any rockery or container. It thrives in full sun and but will take partial sun.


This is a fool-proof choice of plant for any beginner gardener.

Arabis is a widely planted rock garden or edging perennial, used for a bright spring display.

This selection forms a mounding cushion of grey-green leaves, bearing masses of sweetly fragrant, small snow-white flowers. It is drought tolerant once established. It requires good drainage, particularly in the winter months. Shear plants lightly after blooming in order to maintain a bushy, compact habit.

Alpine Dianthus

This is a must for any cottage garden or herbaceous border - the alpine pinks add a mass of colour to rockeries and alpine gardens. Grow in full sun in free drained soil. Removing the faded blooms helps to prolong both flower season and the health of the plant.


Griffins will host several free talks this weekend.

On Saturday at 12pm - learn about growing your own vegetables. On Saturday at 2pm - create your own spring/summer colourful creations. On Sunday at 12pm - purify the air with houseplants. On Sunday at 2pm - biodiversity gardening.

If you have any gardening questions, phone Griffins on 021-7334286 or email info@griffinsgardencentre.ie.

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