?? Container Rock Garden

Submitted by hydrophyte on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 23:44


Apparently the original poster had second thoughts.  Unfortunately, it's not possible on this site to completely delete a comment.  

I do hope you'll come back, hydrophyte, and repost your question or whatever it was.

Submitted by hydrophyte on Fri, 02/19/2016 - 10:15

Sorry that my first post was empty. I think that the browser I was using did not like the forum software and the display was pretty screwed up. My first comment just evaporated. I'll write again a bit later with an explanation of my question.

Submitted by hydrophyte on Fri, 02/19/2016 - 12:54

OK. I am planning a project for this spring. I don't really have space for a regular rock garden here, but there is some room on our sunny patio where I would like to set up a container rock garden. I have looked around a little bit, but haven't found many examples of this kind of thing.

I intend to use a pretty good-sized trough planter. I like this one built with steel panels...


A cedar box is another possibility.

I am in Zone 5 and we (still) have cold winters here. I know that hardiness for plants growing in containers is often less than for gardens in the ground, but I hope that I can get good results with the right plant selection and a pretty big planter.

I wonder about a planting medium(?). Container gardens are often filled with pro mix and planted for just a single season, but I want this thing to be semi-permanent and last for at least several years. Most of the plants I have in mind are from sandy soils. I think that for some water retention and good drainage I should make a blend with sand and a few other components, rather than pure sand. That trough is 16" tall. Here are some of the materials that I have in mind.

  • pool filter sand
  • Soil Mender expanded shale
  • Red Flint gravel
  • sphagnum peat


I'll be interested to hear any thoughts on this idea. If anybody might have pictures to share I would also like to see successful rock gardens in containers. Thanks for considering this.



Submitted by hydrophyte on Fri, 02/19/2016 - 13:56

Oh yes of course I am familiar with hypertufa troughs. The ones that I have seen have all been set into the ground. I suppose my question is more specifically about a taller raised trough and especially the best kinds of soil mix to use.

They are not all hypertufa and many of them are not set in the ground! I use an old kitchen sink myself stood on a couple of bricks. Soil depends of course on what you want to grow but you can't go wrong with a gritty/ sandy mix with or without Lime  depending on what you want to grow. They look better if you build up the trough with rock-again there are many pictures.