I have been reading about creating rockpiles in the habitat garden. Most suggest that collecting rocks and making a pile is easy and does not need to be of any particular shape or size.
As a gardener I have been piling rocks around the garden for years. Lining beds, stabilizing slopes, making a dry creek bed, that sort of thing. Rocks just seem to fit.
Green grows on rocks if they are in shade and if you lift a rock that has been sitting for awhile you are likely to see some insect scurry away. If the sun is shining on the rocks a lizard might be seen sunning and when it rains water will pool in tiny depressions and small birds may sip there.
The Mr and I have uncovered numerous rocks while digging in the garden but never enough. We are always scavaging rocks where builders are digging or farmers are plowing.It seems wrong somehow to just take rocks from the wild since that would disturb wildlife doing perfectly well already. Other gardeners never want to give up the rocks they find but non-gardening friends and family will think of us and save rocks on occasion. Buying rocks is a whole other problem.
The first two pictures are of our hobbit garden but this third picture is taken in a botanic garden. We did not get to see the vine in green leaf but it must be very pretty growing over that wall.Do small birds nest in there in spring?
This last picture of a
mossy rock wall
is something we would love to build if we did not live in an urban setting. Seems pollutions in the air stop this kind of lichen cover from forming. Moss does grow on the ground between the buildings through wet springs and in the fall. It looks like soft green carpet and I like it enough to let it grow in the path but the heat of summer sun keeps it from spreading very far. Irish moss [Sagina Subulata] can be planted to mimic the real thing but in this garden it remains in small patches.
providing cover Reptiles & Amphibians
Song thrush use large stones as anvils to crack open snail shells.
Dig a shallow depression and place some bigger stones over it – this will attract large creatures seeking shelter, such as toads.
Try putting piles in different places around the garden to encourage as many species as possible.
Insects and invertebrates that use a rock pile in a shady, damp spot will be very different from those using one that receives more sun.
lichen & wildlife