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Gardening Month By Month: January Project – A Rockery
If you have never had a garden of your own, you have missed many wonderful and interesting things – gardening is a wonderful hobby which you can start at any age.
In your own garden or at an allotment you can take care of all sorts of plants and make flower-beds that will be a blaze of colour later. We can have our own little vegetable garden, and today we thought to also make our own rockery.
A Rockery is a great garden project for the winter months, you may not think there is much to do in the cold and often frost-bound days of January, but there are all sorts of preparations to be made in the garden, and one of the best and most interesting things you can do this month is to build a rockery, and get it ready for the plants which are to be put in in March.
A good position for your rockery is at the base of a wall, or any building, or you can make it just a mound raised up in the centre and sloping down to the level of the ground. Whichever way you make a rockery, there is a right and wrong way of doing it.
First of all you have to prepare the base, or drainage, as it is called. This simply consists of a lot of broken up terracotta pots, bricks, and the like; in fact, you can use anything that would make a good porous foundation.
The proper way to insert the rocks, or large stones is for these to slope downwards, and that by far the greater part of each is embedded in the soil.
The spaces between the rocks you will fill later on with plants, and I shall tell you about these when we come to the time that they have to be planted (March). You will see that if the rocks are put in this way, all the water runs down towards the centre of the rockery, whereas if the rocks were put facing up, the water would simply run off and be lost.
In collecting the soil you don’t need be too particular about having it rich. Most plants that grow on rockeries prefer sandy soil, so do not think of manuring your rockery.
For our gardening work during the course of the year we shall want some decent gardening tools. These should include a spade, hoe, rake, large fork, little fork, watering-can, and a trowel. A small wheelbarrow will be very useful, though a basket or box will do if you find a wheelbarrow too expensive or you don’t have enough space to store one. A trug with handles on it, will do just fine as a substitute.
Do not be impatient because your garden is to remain empty of flowers during this month and next, because we are assuming that your rockery garden is a new one, spending time preparing the site now and you’ll be ready to go when the weather warms up.