The Rocks in the Rockery (and the Tuesday View)

If you have seen summery pictures of my rockery in this year’s ‘Tuesday View’, you may be forgiven for wondering why I call it a rockery… Apart from the large rock in the foreground on the right there is hardly a rock in sight.


The rockery in early August

But when you see this view in December it is quite a different story, and the rocks become a focus when the plants are no longer able to provide interest.


Shapes, shadows, moss and wintergreen ground cover create a very different feel to the summer abundance of flora… especially on a frosty day like today.


When I first cleared this area, which was covered in thick layers of ivy, I remember smiling as each rock was revealed. I particularly like this one with the little ‘window’, and try to keep it free of growth for most of the year.


And this one too…


Others vanish completely in summer, and in the shade of the perennials moss gains a grip, becoming more and more visible in the autumn as the surrounding plants die back.

Even on a grey day I can take pleasure in the rocks themselves. But when the sun shines on them they are even more attractive.

If we get snow in winter it can turn the rockery into a moon-like landscape for weeks. However, in a snowless winter I often look at it despairingly, convinced everything has died and it will never be green again! Do you get that feeling too?

And then I need to look at some of the photos taken in summer, to remind me on a dreary winter’s day of what it will feel like to step outside, barefoot, and walk across the warm patio paving to the steps – those steps from which photos of the Tuesday View are always taken – and sit down with a cup of coffee and look and dream and listen to the sounds of nature.


The rockery in June

To finish off, a short video from June last year at the bottom of the rockery…

Both summer and winter views are lovely in their different ways. But I know which view I prefer… 😉

What is your favourite feature in your garden on a dreary grey winter’s day?

25 thoughts on “The Rocks in the Rockery (and the Tuesday View)

  1. Cathy, I think the rockery looks just as lovely today as in summer. There is still lots of form and texture and the rocks themselves are beautiful. I can relate to how you feel though, I feel just like that in August when the garden feels like it is dying day by day. Love the video of the bees and butterfly – that really is what the garden is about in early summer isn’t it?

    • That is a lovely comment Christina, thank you. 🙂 Yes, early summer is the best time of year for the garden here, but every season has its own special moments too.

    • Although we have lots of birds in the garden in winter I do miss the buzzing of insects. But winter will give me a chance to look at some gardening books and magazines that have accumulated, so it’s not all bad!

  2. I love winter landscapes and yours is especially nice. Since Monday vases took hold, I have been planting for more flowers but it is always the foliage and the conifers that really speak to me.

    • Hi Ricki. That is a good point – having flowers for vases is lovely, but we shouldn’t forget the foliage! Although I have planted more grasses as well as a couple of conifers in the past year there is certainly space for more. 😉

  3. Oh, that little video was delightful! I miss the bees and butterflies, so it did my heart good.
    Your garden is beautiful in all seasons – you’ve created a winner there!
    In winter, I like to gaze out at the evergreens and birch, esp. after a dusting of snow when everything is lined in white.

    • The rocks were probably dug out of the ground when the house was built and placed in the slope to create a rockery. The garden had clearly been designed nicely then, but was high-maintenance and was thus completely neglected when we arrived!

  4. very nice as I sit here cold (because baby it is cold outside) I yearn for spring again, all the plants are dormant now and I am starting to miss them thank goodness I havealot of house plants.

  5. Your winter garden is just beautiful as its exuberant summer self, Cathy. The rocks are very charming indeed. I agree that the way moss (or lichens) colour up in the winter adds lots a natural patina and character to gardens. I never understand why people are so keen to scrub things (like the exterior pots) ‘clean’.

  6. Those rocks are wonderful – they have so much character 🙂 And I’m sure they give some excellent protection to the plants, summer and winter. One of my very favorite cold-winter gardening books was a little volume ‘Flowers in the Winter Garden’ (Graff), in which the author used her rockery to urge early bulbs and such into even earlier bloom. Not possible when you have a heavy layer of snow, but a godsend otherwise… I never made enough of it, but I did love finding my snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii, supposedly earlier blooming than G. nivalis) and aconite long before anything else could flower. Please pardon the reminiscent ramble… 😉

    • Hi Amy. The rockery really catches the sun in summer, but it does get pretty cold in winter as it is very exposed and shady in winter too, as we have tall evergreens that stop the low sun reaching it. The thought of snowdrops is a nice one! Have a good weekend Amy!

  7. What character those rocks have. Hard to believe they were just dug up and placed and not selected from across the countryside to get the best!
    I was looking outside today and although my rock work looks a little out of place (I just plop them down here and there) I just love their solid shapes.
    Amazing how any bees and butterflies you caught on that video. I love the calm of winter, but the buzzing of summer is so much more fun!

    • Hi Frank. The whole region around us is limestone, and rather rocky too, so I am glad some of the rocks were saved and put to good use when the foundations for the house were dug out.. Some of the smaller ones have worked loose over the years, so I have to be careful with my footing when I work in there! LOL!

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