The Alpine slide at the dacha is a mini-copy, an artificial embodiment of the amazingly beautiful and diverse shapes and colors of the stony highlands of the Alps, so beloved by artists and poets. Here, amid a pile of bizarre boulders and cobblestones, small but very attractive multi-colored shrubs, flowers and grasses look especially touching and cute. Stones of various sizes and shapes give a bright unique style to this element of landscape design, and plants that break through among them only complement the image. However, a real alpine hill is not a chaotic pile of stones, but a well-thought-out structure, where each cobblestone and flower is given a certain place, and all of them together create a spectacle pleasing to the eye.
Creating an alpine slide in the garden
Success in building such an element of the landscape depends on the mandatory implementation of certain rules. First of all, you need to determine the place for the slide. It is built on a well-lit and sheltered from the wind open area. The size of the slide is determined by the total size of the garden. The larger the area of the site, the more monumental and significant the construction can be. It is also very important to consider the surrounding landscape. After all, the rock garden must be skillfully integrated into the overall design of the garden, to make it a harmonious and natural continuation of the green composition. So, a successful addition to the rock garden will be a flower garden or an emerald lawn, broken alongside, as well as a small decorative pond or waterfall.
The creation of an alpine hill should begin with the preparation of the land. First, markup is made, and then a pit is excavated, the bottom of which is filled with a drainage consisting of crushed stone, construction waste, expanded clay or broken brick. Then, in a layer-by-layer manner, fertile land is flush with the surface of the pit. Each poured layer is carefully tamped and watered with water so that voids do not form. To prevent shrinkage, which leads to the "creep" of the slide, stones (especially large and heavy) are best installed on special supports made of asbestos pipes filled with gravel or brick supports.
After the base of the slide is prepared, stones begin to be laid. The most common way is to lay in tiers in the direction from the foot of the mountain to its top. As a rule, for slides of average height, from 3 to 5 tiers are enough. They can consist of flat stones, which are laid in layers, and rounded cobblestones, placed one by one or in small groups. Granite, basalt, limestone and sandstone are used as building material. Stones with a porous structure such as tufa and shell rock look very beautiful, but they are fragile and short-lived, so they are used as additional elements.
The design of the alpine hill should not be too correct or, conversely, very chaotic. The stones are laid in such a way as to create a natural natural structure, balanced and very stable. The main criterion is that the slide should look attractive even without ornamental plants and shrubs, but the distance between the stones should be such that the planted plants have enough space for growth and development.
The creation of an alpine hill and its successful functioning involves weed control. Land for planting must be carefully sieved and cleaned of roots and trapped "wild" seeds, then treated with herbicides. Weeds are the main enemy of the rock garden. Over time, they can “crush” ornamental plants, and getting rid of weedy roots that go deep under the stones is almost impossible. In order to protect against them, it is recommended to fill the slide with river pebbles or marble chips.
Successful creation of an alpine hill is the right selection of plants. It is not necessary to use only alpine alpine species of herbs and flowers. In the Russian climate, various mosses, heathers, small-growing conifers, bulbous flowers and herbs develop well in rock gardens. Plants should get along well with each other, and an alpine slide should decorate the garden every season: due to bright flowering in the summer, unusual colors in the fall, and dark coniferous silhouettes in the winter.