A trough garden recreates, in miniature, a dazzling natural landscape. The trough raises the small plants and acts as a frame, highlighting the beauty and skill of the gardener's work. The ideas and photos below illustrate how this rock garden delight can be created in your own garden.
The role of a trough garden is unique among rock garden ideas. Trough gardens isolate and raise miniature plants to make them more readily visible; the trough frames the plants, displaying these tiny landscapes to best advantage. Succulents such as sedum and sempervivum are combined here with miniature evergreens, creating an attractive year-round planting. Covering the soil with gravel helps the plants show up well and discourages weeds; larger stones are often added as well, to further the illusion of scale.
Brilliant, lush hydrangeas and lively wildflowers welcome visitors along the path to a stone statue in this trough garden idea. Unlike traditional trough gardens, the plants in this example do not exist in miniature -- they abundantly overflow their rock frame, instilling a sense of bounty and beauty.
A wall rock garden serves functional and decorative purposes in a garden. Plants can grow on or in between rock wall stones, creating a unique and lovely look for your garden. Take a look at the next section for photos and ideas about wall rock gardens.