This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
A rockery is a very interesting feature in gardens. We do not mean a pile of rocks fantastically heaped in mounds in the midst of highly kept flower beds, or those perpendicular walls of boulders occasionally met with, set in conspicuous parts of a lawn, having the appearance of miniature forts. Rockeries, we have often been told, are dangerous features in ornamental grounds. This is true, so far as attempting to imitate natural rocky scenery is concerned; but it is no reason why we should abandon the cultivation of alpine and other plants which thrive best in such places, because such features have been misplaced. A small affair of this kind - built in a perfectly secluded and concealed spot, shut in on all sides by evergreens, and approached by a small winding walk or path - does not, we conceive, violate any principles of good taste. A simple mound of soil, held together by a few pieces of rooks, may be made very interesting. More elaborate outlines may be made by the use of cement, leaving spaces for setting the plants. For the cultivation of native wild plants, such a place is very appropriate. Ferns may be largely planted.
It is by the introduction of these and similar ornaments, that small and limited grounds are frequently more interesting than those large pleasure parks and shrubberies more expensively constructed, but without appropriate display of taste.