It is more than a garden with rocks; it was supposed to be gardening with plants that are best suitable for rocky conditions.
It is also referred to as alpine gardening, and it has now advanced into a new trend of gardening where a rock garden can be created by anybody in their landscape.
You can make use of plants that are not automatically seen in mountainous regions but are small enough to grow between rocks, and rocks and the plants are nicely complemented by each other.
Image source: Jeni Lee
Now you are thinking of a reason why you should cultivate a rock garden? There is actually a variety of reasons you should grow a rock garden; they are not expensive to maintain. They’re in season all year round. They add variety to the landscape.
Recently, rock gardens have become a new trend as they are capable of bringing contemporary factor to landscaping and be used in different situations. Be it bidding farewell to the turf in favor of pebbles or you would love to form a small rock garden in a modern large grower, these rock garden ideas may be ideal for your desires.
Image source: Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
How to make a rock garden
Making rock gardens is always fun as it is one of the most imaginative type of gardening. On your first attempt, it is advised that you shouldn’t think too big as small rock gardens are ideal for beginners. A massive hillside might be a little over the top and outrageous. If you want to enjoy yourself and keep a cool head, it is recommended that your new garden be treated gently and with a lot of care.
Planning Your Rock Garden
The first thing you should do before embarking on your rock garden venture is to first create an image in your head of how the finished product would look like. Ask yourself series of questions and make a decision if the garden will take up a huge part of your yard, or it will be limited to a flower bed. It is also recommended to make a consultation with your local nursery, or check out online for rock garden images or tutorials such as this piece from MyNorth.com.
Image source: koolbeanzzzz
Maybe you have the flexibility to select your garden’s precise placement or shape. In the yard below, the space is defined by a nonexistence of grass, stones of different kinds and qualities. Take note of how a number of plants and the planned use of empty space are included in the garden.
Map it out
Sketch out your desired placements of your stones first of all before you star mobbing them to and fro. By doing this, you will be saved of additional work when you start placing the rocks! Try as much as possible to copy nature when you are setting ups. Instead of adopting a straight row placement, grouping randomly appears a lot more natural.
Image source: Phillips Garden
Clear the Slate
Get rid of any brush, bushes or undergrowth in the area as you wouldn’t like to work with an area of land that is not cleared. You will save a lot of time by using a leaf blower to clear the area of leaves and light vegetation. Dig the bushes out from the roots with the use of a shovel and cut the branches using a powerful set of cutters.
As soon as the larger plant growth is cleared, use a hoe to get rid of the smaller vegetation.
Image source: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
When clearing the slate, shaping it for the addition of stone, plants, and mulch is a very essential step. To divide the lawn from the bed space is the objective, and it can be achieved by forming an edge with the use of an edger. You should make a deep edge, so that as time passes any mulch or stone that does wash out goes into the edge and not onto the lawn.
Vary the size of your landscaping rocks
Logically, you want your rocks to be in all different sizes. Leave holes between that are big enough to contain your plants—some small some bigger. Seek for advice from your local nursery to get information about the best place to obtain landscaping stones.
Image source: Hufft
Choose a Rock Garden Design
Rock gardening designs are numerous and you should start thinking about one that you would like to go for. Use inverted marking paint to mark out the design as this assists you to have a sense of how well the space flows. Your markings can always be redone, so should try as much as possible to be creative with the features of the design.
Pick the right plants for your rock garden
The best plants for rock gardens are likely to be on the small side, frequently alpine in source and drought-tolerant. Good drainage is extremely required – particularly if you reside in a place where it rains a lot every year. You shouldn’t think big when it comes to your rock garden plants. Smaller bulbs are fine option— particularly small daffodils, wild tulip species, blue eyed grass or brodiaea.
Image source: Nature’s Realm
It is also exciting to use creeping plants, as the hard edges of the rocks are made to be soft by them and assist blend your plantings as time goes on. Succulents are also a common rock garden plants and are cool to put in the most unlikely of spots—coupled with the fact that they are hard in most weathers.
Install the Boulders
It is advised to start with the hardest parts when working with stones and that would mean setting the boulders first. Spin the heavy stones into place with the use of crowbars and stone shims. Make a grip to set the boulders so both of them stay in place and appear innate.
So instead of sitting on the top of level ground, the boulders will sit inside the footing, and that gives the rock garden a more natural appearance.
Image source: GFDS Engineers
Select the Stone
Select a number of different stones to work with. Choices comprise of large boulders, small boulders, colored river bed stones, flat stones for the walkway, colored river bed stones and flagstone.
You can have the stones conveyed and unloaded to your site by the quarry, but provided you decide to unload them yourself, you should start with the smaller ones and then the larger ones afterwards.
Be cautious when you work as small stones can weigh as much as 100 pounds, while the larger stones can go up to 500, and also make sure to get some assistance for this step.
Image source: Motionspace Architecture + Design
Improve the drainage
They have a natural propensity of having a quiet good drainage since they are normally found high up the mountains. The best soil for this type of garden is sandy soil if, and on the flip side, if you have to work with a clay soil, you will have to loosen it up.
For this reason, you will blend it with sand – then, you will include some fertilizer to the mixture, because sand is not a fertile medium.
Image source: Red Leaf Developments, Inc.
After the installation of your rock garden, it is required of you to water it often as much as possible until it becomes established. Maintenance is fairly simple once it starts flourishing, and you will definitely have to weed it once in a while.
Add coarse texture
Put the finishing touch by spreading some fine gravel or pebbles around, a replication of what happens in nature – somewhat like remains or fragments collecting in the bottom of a valley. The gravel will have the extra benefit of restricting weeds from growing and making it easier for you when you want to remove them.
Make it sentimental
We have created a habit of incorporating carved stones in our garden as to honor pets, friends and family that we have lost. The name of the loved one is carved on every little stone. They are placed around as welcoming reminders of those we love who have passed on.
Image source: Mary-Liz Campbell Landscape Design
This idea is usually loved by children. There are a lot of companies who offer rock and stone carvings. It a very special touch to include to your garden and also a nice conversation piece.
Rock garden ideas
If you own a garden but you don’t want to spend a lot of money for its decoration, rocks and stones may be a perfect idea for you. You don’t need to spend money getting them as rock and stones are natural. They can be found everywhere and you will find them effortlessly at that.
But you will be amazed by the beauty they can add to your garden, and so with little or no maintenance at all. All you have to do is to gather them and make them beautify your garden according to our ideas given below.
Image source: Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
Regular rock garden plants grow naturally on high mountains, where they would have to endure harsh conditions such as severe sun, high winds, and water deficiency. To produce a flawless landscape, try out wildflowers in a range of corresponding hues; use a combination of mounded plants and groundcovers for a coated appearance and general color, coupled with various-size shrubs that give upright importance.
A mixture of large and small stones
Outlining and dividing different areas of your yard is one of the most important usefulness of a rock garden. You can create divisions between different garden beds and paths. To provide fascinating textures and visual appeal, a combination of large and small stones may be ideal.
Image source: Lee’s Oriental Landscape Art
A textural display
Try different textures and vary the scale of plants and rocks for utmost visual appeal in your rock garden. A combination of conifers, shrubs, and perennials works wonderfully to produce a flourishing landscape that mixes unique plants and vibrant blooms. Boulders, Mexican pebbles in a dry creek bed, and bricks in the winding walkway provide natural texture and extra excitement.
Interesting and texture look with a fantastic visual appeal can be created with stacked rocks. Being around bodies of water like ponds and pools, this style looks magnificent. This is design is an inspiration from Asian and it is both fascinating and relaxing.
Image source: Princeton Scapes Inc
Cottage Garden Abundance
Take pleasure in a flourishing appearance in your garden with a bevy of blossoming plants that scramble in and over a grouping of rocks. This rock garden has a warm color scheme of pink, red, and yellow blooms for a solid appearance. The bed is firmly placed to realize the carefree abundance usual with cottage gardens.
Rock gardens and succulent plants are easily connected as they are a symbol of natural environment of the dry region. Big rocks can be used and changed to snuggle these fragile unbelievable durable plants, located purposefully around the garden. As time passes, greenery will overwhelm naturally and fill up every space as life goes on each day.
Image source: Tellurian Gardens
Trough Rock Garden Ideas
A dazzling natural landscape is recreated by a trough garden. The small plants are raised by the trough and the trough also and work as a frame, stressing the magnificence and dexterity of the gardener’s effort.
The role trough garden takes is exceptional among rock landscaping ideas. Miniature plants are isolated by trough gardens to make them look more outstanding and more readily noticeable; the plants are framed by the trough, ensuring the tiny landscapes are put on view to the greatest benefit.
Image source: Christian Duvernois Landscape/Studio
Miniature evergreens are mixed with succulents such as sedum and sempervivum, resulting in the creation of a gorgeous perennial planting. The plants are assisted to show up well by covering the soil with gravel and it also put off weeds.
Large stones have been adopted to build an interesting waterfall and construct it cave for this lush swimming pool. Lush vegetation comes into the picture to complement the fountain and ensure the imagery is completed.
Traditional Rock and Alpine Garden Ideas
Traditional rock and alpine gardens are surprises of garden. Both of them rock with compilations of miniature plants from alpine regions, of which a lot of them are usually rare and also valued plants.
Alpine gardens, which is a subtype of rock garden, include collections of miniature plants from alpine areas, and they are often planted on a slope composed of rocky scree.
Image source: Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer
Only a scanty number of people are able to disagree with the appeal that rock gardens possess. Create landscape with rocks easily by lining the edge of the space with a variety of rocks. To line the flowers and plants, you can adopt natural garden stones, artificial rocks, or landscaping bricks and a tidy and well thought-out look is sure to be created.
Planning a garden with landscaping boulders or rocks is an easy task, you just select a design that you take pleasure in. If you are lucky to have a gentle slope in your yard that gets abundant sun, this is the ideal place to build a natural looking rock garden. But if you aren’t so lucky, nevertheless, there are still numerous alternatives for you.
Image source: Amy Martin Landscape Design
Keep note that sometimes different rules apply to different climates and soils. There are several small rock gardens ideas you can choose from and I hope these ideas above will help you a great deal on how to build a rock garden of your own and you can check online for rock garden pictures for consulation.