Lime stone consists of weathered surfaces, smoothened with the help of water and is rich in algae. So, many plants thrive when growing near it.
Limestone is usually quarried i.e., the individual pieces are sharply angular and raw. If limestone extractions are carried around your town and the supplier is local, color and consistency of rock is appealing then pick the individual stones from pile.
The soft silvery-grey color limestone suits for rock gardening.
Select soft grey rock which is hard enough to with stand tough weather conditions.
Lime stone should have some degree of weathering, with some erosion of strata and smoothened sharp edges.
Tufa mostly suits for small gardens. Roots are drilled into the porous holes of the tufa and plants are allowed to thrive. Some plants grows on the surface by penetrating their roots into the inner layers of tufa.
Tufa is formed by petrifying action of water which contains large amounts of lime. The evaporation of lime rich water leaves the deposits of calcium carbonate and magnesium on leaves, twigs, mosses and on other organic matter.
Tufa is light, porous, moisture retentive and provides free drainage which makes mosses to grow on it. Mostly small amount of mosses are seen on tufa and is tolerable.
But if we use tufa to grow plants in shade and moisture, we observe very serious problems.
Recently quarried tufa has soft surface and hardens when it is exposed to air. Tufa is observed in different grey shades. Sometimes we may observe golden color tufa with several grades.
Hard grade tufa is durable, tough and is used for constructing rock gardens.
Soft grade is used for direct planting when they are resistant to cold weather conditions without flaking and deteriorating.
Sandstones are quarried and are usually sold as blocks and slabs. Visit quarry, meet the supplier and explain him your requirements, expectations and what you wish to build. In accordance with your requirements, supplier provides stones.
Many people prefer gardening rocks that are angular, jagged and pointy but they are hard to join and not preferable to build the rock gardens.
Sandstone is mellow looking stone and its color ranges from light brown to reddish brown and some times gray.
Sand stone encompasses with wide range of sedimentary rocks from very soft ones to hard ones. The strata lines on sand stones are evidence of deposition of many sediments.
Sandstone may not be visually striking as limestone but we can work easily with them.
Sandstones are fretted and smoothend with the help of water. Freshly quarried sand stone is soft and hardens when exposed to air.
Some sand stones splits when exposed to heavy rains and frosts so, buy high quality sand stones to over come many problems.
Strata lines should be horizontal and must be parallel while building the rock gardens thereby rain water cannot penetrate easily.
Some people think granite is unfriendly, inhospitable and is not suited for rock garden. But granite is most obtainable and only option for rock gardening in many regions.
If granite is selected carefully, it will blend with all the climatic conditions and supports plant growth.
Granite is obtained by blasting in quarries but these blasted rocks have many facets and sharp angles. These stones are popular with masons who builds stone walls and rock facings with the help of mortar to hold the rocks.
Selected gardening rocks should have at least one flat surface which acts as base for the rock and one decent face that will be prominently exposed once the rock garden is constructed.
Keenly observe the granite rocks even the hardest granite will show some cracks, fracture and bands of slightly different color or texture. These indications helps you placing the rock.
Rocks with cracks or lines should be placed in a way that these cracks or lines are parallel to the ground.
Other Gardening Rocks Ideas:
Featherock and Pumice is the volcanic product and is very popular in landscaping. Many landscapers use them in constructing carved fountains, waterfalls and sculptures.
Featherock is durable, water resistant and light weight quarried material. It is available in different sizes and color ranging between silvery gray to darker grey and sometimes even observed in black color.
Carefully examine the stones before purchasing because similar to other gardening rocks featherock varies in texture. Some stones have finer grain surface and some other stones have coarse grain structure.
Sometimes we observe darker strata lines on the lumps of featherock. When we use such rocks for building gardens, we will observe different and attractive look.
Generally featherocks have flat base and tops which is most important characteristic in building rock garden.
Smooth the remaining edges of individual stones because featherock is harsh and abrasive. Use strong gloves and googles while working with featherock.
Pumice is light weight, porous and available in wide range of colors.
- It is easy to handle
- Drill holes for plantation.
- Sometimes we observe moss growth on the pumice. So, avoid placing pumice growing plants in shades.
- Don’t use pumice which is found in desert for growing plants.
It is specially formulated liquid concrete. Under pressure it is sprayed onto a rigid frame work of metal covered with wire netting which is shaped to resemble rocks and then it is allowed to dry to make it harden. In next stage it is hand tooled and painted in accordance with your requirement.
Gunite is primarily developed for lining the inside of swimming pools.
It is often sprayed on unstable slopes to prevent erosion. It is used in zoos and aquariums to create natural looking animal habitats with rocks, pools and waterfalls.