Gardening with Rocks – How Rock Gardening Can Improve Your Next Landscaping Project

Rock GardeningGuest Post – Amanda Kidd on Rock Gardening

If your house boasts of yards with steep banks or irregular terrain then, rock gardening is something you should give a try at. Rock gardening is an excellent way to give that unique and fascinating touch to your garden. You just need to be little bit creative to impart a rewarding look to your garden. Apart from enhancing scenic beauty this new kind of horticulture artwork minimizes the soil erosion. But first take a walk to a place with rocks and get an idea of the natural placing. Once you know the amount of stone you need to bury and the rock placement then get started with your rock gardening.

The best design and location

There is no hard and fast rule to follow a particular design in rock gardening. Be simple and the more you are informal the better it would be. Remember not to go overboard with extensive rock detailing if the area is small. Moreover you have to consider yourself lucky if your garden is located at a steep bank. Also while formulating the design keep in mind to keep it maintenance effective. You wouldn’t prefer spending half of your time in keeping the garden organized rather than enjoying the wonderful landscape. Now once you have got your ideal location start placing rocks. But before that make sure that only 10 percent of the total rock’s volume can be seen. This is important in rock gardening. The most weathered side of the rock should be kept facing in the front. For that extra appeal a miniature stream or a pool of water can be good option. If your garden has still plenty of space left for some experimentation then how about a path of flat stone with pine needles on the sideways. A creatively done pathway might just endow your garden with a special feature that makes it different from others.

 The construction work

The more irregular is the terrain, the easier it is to work. Begin the work from the base of the slope and then move forward. Place the stones with their tip towards the bank in case you have one. For a firmer placement half bury the large pieces in the ground and ensure proper embedding. The large ones should be used to as a framework with smaller ones fitted in between. This provides planting pockets for the soil and should be done carefully while constructing the garden. Do not forget adding adequate number of large and flat stones to be used later on for standing and walking while carrying on the maintenance work. A well drained soil will be required with at least 18 inches of depth.With rock gardening, plants need good drainage and the quality of the soil shouldn’t be overlooked.

Select the right plants

The main aim here is to keep your garden look as natural as possible. Hence, choose a range of shrubs and varieties of ground cover plants and trees. They get merged with the rocks and appear as if formed by the nature. Keep the trees and the shrubs for the background and over your garden with mostly dwarf sized plants. Plants that are more resistant towards various conditions like wet or dry soil and windy, hot or sunny days are best suited for rock gardening. Make sure you add colour so your garden looks interesting.  Select spring flowers, miniature roses, perennial flowering plants and hardy native ferns. Use annual flowers like aster, marigold and zinninia moderately. You can also use seasonal flowers to give a contrasting feature to the woods. Perhaps grow herbs  if the garden receives good amount of sunlight.

Paying a visit to the local nursery and getting a few tips from them will always add to ones advantage and would also avoid any form of confusion respectively.

Some quick tips for rock gardening

  1. Don’t be too dramatic while selecting the rocks. Painted and pottery stuff will just defeat the purpose of giving a natural look to your garden.
  2. For making the soil more organic add compost and shredded peat moss to it. But be careful while adding manure a too much of it can lead to vegetative overgrowth. A combination of 2 parts loam soil, 1 part shredded peat moss and ½ part dried manure would be perfect.
  3. The flowers and plants should be complementary to the rocks and not withdraw attention from them. Plants that are too dwarfed or too big can either get suppressed by the rocks or overshadow them.
  4. For a better and close look place the dwarf plants near the walking area.

Always remember, your garden reflects your creative ability. It just need a little bit of time and effort to make your present garden unique and awe-inspiring.


About the author: By profession, Amanda Kidd is a writer and blogger.  Being an eco friendly enthusiast, she prefers to use eco friendly detergent, just to advocate the idea of its being non-toxic, bio-based, earth friendly and biodegradable in nature.