Together rock and water were old established garden features way before someone thought of having lawns, flower beds or borders. 1000s of years ago the very first Japanese garden was nothing exceeding an stretch of white stone chippings with a single Cleyera tree in the centre and the Ancient Persian 'paradise' had an extended canal and fountains at its heart.

The attraction was very easy to understand, these two elements bring a natural feel to any sort of surroundings. Until fairly recently however, they were primarily only for the rich. Before the final part of the 19th century, rocks were used to form very bold structures in large estates and it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century that water gardens and fountain construction became straightforward enough and economical enough for the everyday landscape gardener.

It has taken a long time, but both rock and water gardening have at last come of age. There is now massive interest in all areas of the water garden. Rock garden plants are grown in great numbers, the variety available today in both rockeries and rock-free circumstances is immense. I find it interesting that both these natural elements have several features in common.

They may extend for a few square feet or in excess of 1 / 4 of an acre and both provide the chance to grow a vast range of plants not found in your ordinary, every-day garden. The drawbacks they share are that careful preparation is required and a substantial quantity of labour and money is required for their creation.

By the latter part of the 19th century the age of the larger rock garden was all but over. In 1772 the 2nd period of rock gardens began, a garden of rubble and Icelandic basaltic lava was fashioned inside a greenhouse at Chelsea Physic Garden for the cultivation of plants collected from the Swiss Alps. Here the rocks were used as a home for plants rather than to produce just an ornamental feature. This second period got off to a sluggish start, although rock gardens were created at various sites in Britain and the idea of laying stones to give the look of a natural outcrop was developed. Things changed in the 1860's and the rock garden ultimately took its place as an important part of the British garden. Rockeries were built at Kew Gardens in 1867 and in Edinburgh in 1871.

In 1870 William Robinson's Alpine Flowers for English Gardens was published. During this period and into the early 20th century Pulhamite Stone was manufactured in Broxbourne in Hertfordshire and used to make public and private rock gardens throughout the country. The three decades from 1900 to 1939 were the glory days of the rock garden. Reginald Farrer was the principal figure and his 'My Rock Garden' book became the very first bible on the subject.

Plant hunters scoured the mountains of the world looking for new alpine plants and the rock garden at Wisley was started in 1911. In the years prior to World War II interest in the rock garden plumeted. Only recently has there been a resurgence.

During the 1920's and 1930's the concept of growing alpines in non-rock situations took root, this together with the appearance of the garden centre in the second half of the 20th century brought about the third period in this history. People began to see the full range of flowers which were available together with all types of easy and cheaper methods for cultivating alpines without having to make a rockery. So, interest switched to the plants and away from the rock structures, and this is the key feature of this third period in the history of rock gardening.

A great deal of my time is spent in my garden. I have been searching for help on how to develop an ideal pond habitat for the fish which I intend to stock it with without much luck. To get the help I will want I have decided to use a company called Landscape Gardener London. So far they have given me all the help and advice that I have asked for, as and when I ask them for it.

Author's Bio: 

I have been heavily involved in the property business for over twenty years. My work ranges from gardening, electrics and diy. Gasically I can turn my hand to pretty much anything.