How to Cascade Flowering Plants for a Rock Wall

Overview

Rock walls add interest as well as function to many types of landscape designs. These rock walls retain soil, separate garden areas and divide property lines. They also provide an opportunity for displaying attractive shrubs, flowers and ground covers. A balanced wall garden includes a variety of plants to form a cascade of greenery and blossoms along the rock wall. Various plant selections and planting techniques ensure an attractive focal point along the surface of retaining walls and decorative stone walls.

Step 1

Test a sample of soil from your planting site. Areas of recent construction, such as rock walls, often suffer from inadequate amounts of healthy topsoil. Purchase a test kit at your local garden center and follow all instructions for completing the sample. Read the test results to determine whether your soil lacks important nutrients. Apply all recommended additives to create a healthy blend of ingredients for your cascading plants.

Step 2

Prepare a flat area near the top of your rock wall to set your plants. Remove existing weeds and other vegetation from your planting site. Add some soil to level out dips and fill in holes. Remove twigs and hard dirt clumps to provide a smooth area.

Step 3

Select plant varieties to include upright ones for backdrops and cascading varieties for the foreground. Choose some compact evergreens to plant at the back of your wall garden. These small shrubs provide color throughout the year and create contrast between flowering plants. Choose common rock garden plants, such as groundcovers and perennial flowers to place in front of the evergreens. Place medium-sized flowers in the middle section on the top of your rock wall and plant creeping ground covers just above the lip of the wall. Set these plants in their pots along the top of the wall to determine an attractive pattern before placing in the soil.

Step 4

Dig holes large enough to allow adequate space for each plant's roots. Backfill the holes with soil and press near the base of each plant to remove air pockets. Water your new plants.

Step 5

Place emerging plant tendrils along the rock wall to encourage cascading. Allow some to travel sideways over the rocks and others to spill downward, toward the bottom of the rock wall. Continue training plants in this manner throughout the growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure your rock wall is sturdy enough to support plant growth and water weight.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Soil additives
  • Evergreen plants
  • Perennial flowers
  • Ground-cover plants
  • Shovel

References

  • Colorado State University: Ground Covers and Rock Garden Plants for Mountain Communities
  • Colorado State University: Building a Living Retaining Wall
  • University of Nevada: Visit Lake Tahoe's Demonstration Gardens
Keywords: garden wall, rock wall, rock garden

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.