A rock garden, above all else, is not artificial; at least, so far as appearance goes. It is a garden with rocks. The rocks may be few or many, they may have been disposed by nature or the hand of man; but always the effect is naturalistic, if not actually natural. The rock garden's one and only creed is nature.
Rock gardens are of so many legitimate—in other words, natural—types, that[Pg 3] there is not the slightest excuse for a rockery. Even that commonest of excuses, finding a use for stray stones, falls to the ground. Any close observer of nature is familiar with these types. The natural rock gardens range from the patches of alpine plants above the timber line in high mountains down the lower slopes and through defiles to fields on or near sea level. Not infrequently they come down to the very sea, while sweet waters commonly define and, what is better, are now and then incorporated in, them—here a pool, there a brook. The bog, too, the heath and the desert, they take unto themselves, though perhaps only the nearer edge. And does man, by ponderous effort, raise up massive masonry in orderly fashion; one day disorder comes and nature makes things look natural by another kind of rock garden. Rome's Coliseum and the ruins of Kenilworth Castle are only two of the unnumbered examples of this. - H. S. ADAMS
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