The flowery driveway
In this general "roundup" of ours, we cannot neglect such an important element in creating a garden like the one we are going to talk about. This is not the part intended for the actual "rock garden", but rather for a component that almost constitutes its introduction.
In many houses or villas, there is a driveway; it may be more or less long, but it is often wider than is necessary for the passage of the car with which the owners (or their guests) enter the house. One of the two sides is, more often than not, bounded by a wall; and in this case the suggestions given to transform it into a flowery wall will prove invaluable. The other edge, however, will certainly have a green lawn. But in some cases both sides are free: because then do not use them with ingenuity to embellish the avenue leading to the main entrance.
If the avenue is paved with slabs of porphyry, it will be good for those of the external portions (where the wheels do not pass) to rest on good soil and not on the load-bearing concrete slab. Holding the slabs apart from each other by about 3 cm, you can place such fissures in the ground cover plants in the earth, which will expand on the stones themselves in an ornamental way. Any suggestions? Excellent plants will be Phlox subulata or Aubretia or Gypsophila repens. They will bloom magnificently, protected from the heat stored by the slab. Do you want to do even more? In the corners of the joint, dig a small niche and drop a small fist at the right depth; then buried with care, in October or March, a dwarf and precocious tulip bulb: after having spent the winter underground, its flowering will be magnificent and unpredictable. It's worth it, especially as you can leave the bulbs buried for three or four years.
A last though modest warning: every season that passes make the dry leaves fall from the nearby trees, or the autumn wind carries them. The joints between the slabs, where the flowers or grass will have grown, form a small obstacle that gradually holds them back. There they rot and after a few years a sort of continuous "dossetto" is formed, not very aesthetic and even harmful. If possible at the beginning of spring or late autumn, with a rectangular hoe, scrape well to bring the level of the edges of the stones back to the initial height. So we can also extract the weeds and the cracks between the stones will always remain clean and welcoming. Every year have the warning to fill in the gaps: some bulbs will have been eaten by field mice or made to die by stagnant humidity. But then your avenue will look beautiful.
In addition to slabs, the avenue can be made of cement or terracotta bricks; even in this case it can be artistically transformed, with the same expense and a minimum of extra work. A good solution could be, for example, to leave an edge of the avenue without plants and from there to start a green lawn that is always well shaved, almost an English lawn. On the other hand, on the other hand, along its entire length, a border flower bed, all of good soil, 40 cm wide and just as deep, will be the home for a whole series of well-assorted species, from 40 to 60 cm high, with different foliage and scalar blooms.
Rock garden driveway: Plants
Since this is not a "garden among the rocks" but a flowery border, even the plants to choose (usually bushes) require some more specific suggestions. Among the perennial plants, the varied family of Hosta japonica offers us varieties such as H. fortune, with white leaves with green streaks; or H. sieboldiana elegans, with all green leaves; or again the H. crispula, with leaves bordered in white.
It is a beautiful uniform solution. It is good, however, to consider, alternatively, the planting of the Berberis atropurpurea nana, with minute and red leaves; of the Euonymus argenteo marginato; or of the Hypericum calycinum, with large yellow flowers. Bella will also be a double row of Astilbe japonica, in pink or fiery red shades; like the flowers of Caryopteris clandonensis, a bush that reaches 80 cm. If you love the yellow color, Genista lydia can offer it to you, while in the yellow and white colors will be the flowers of Potentilla fruticosa.
Finally, if the soil were rich and deep, they would look very good with sturdy Paeonia plants with double flowers, in red, pink and white.