Rock Garden: Ideas, Maintenance and More

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > Rock Garden: Ideas, Maintenance and More

rock garden

Your flat garden needs some deep and dimension in order to look appealing. A rock garden can add an earthy look to your place.

Your garden is a manmade landscape.

You plant the flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables on a mundane plane.

Thus adding rocks gives it more depth and connects the garden to nature.

Also, you can include them as walkways and beds.

Moreover, these are very low maintenance and can give structure to your place and all the plants.

This article discusses how you can make a rock garden so that your space looks more natural and appealing.

planning rock garden


How To Plan Your Rock Garden?

Before you start placing rocks, you will first have to evaluate your site to see where can you fit them.

You can place rocks in your front yard set them in the sun or shade.

See if the plants around them need more water or are drought resistant and choose the plants accordingly.

Then you should research your fair share of ideas. More on that later!

You need to design in advance or talk to a landscape designer.

Designing beforehand will give you an idea of where to place small and big rocks.

Since the bigger ones are also difficult to place and lift then you may require a professional’s help in setting this up.

Measure your scale to identify whether you will require big or small rocks.

If you do not have enough space then boulders will only overwhelm it but small ones have their cons too.

They can be lost in the overall landscape of plants and flowers.

Hence, you need a reasonable size according to your garden’s size.

What’s more to consider about the rocks is the feel and appeal you are aiming to reach.

Do you want a rugged natural look by using large, rough rocks?

Or do you wish to style with small pebbles to give your garden a formal look?

Assess if you want a random, natural setup or an organized one.

Adding stepping stones, water and randomly placed rocks can align more with nature and complete your garden’s look than those in neat rows.

If you just want to make your garden beautiful then going for white gravel or pebbles may complement otherwise randomly placed rocks look more natural for a garden.

In the end, you should go for something that suits not only your plants but also your overall home style.

set up

Setting Up Your Rock Garden

After you have a design and style for your garden, you can start setting it up with the materials you need.

Diversify your search and check with home improvement stores as well as Craiglist.

Ideally, you should not be using the same type of rocks.

So vary them when you are selecting them.

Their sizes should be big, small, they can be boulders, pebbles, stones and gravel.

This creates a visually interesting and stylish area rather than one which is uniform but not interesting at all.

Your larger rocks should be your focal points.

Place your other rocks and plants around them sparing enough space for the flowering plants.

You can also place them with Hydrangea flower and other outdoor plants varying in colors as well as sizes.

The color of the larger rocks should be lighter otherwise it will make the whole place darker.

Whereas the flowers around it and the smaller rocks can be darker in color to balance contrast.

Moreover, do not select completely random rocks of different shapes rather go for similar shapes even if the sizes and colors differ.

Also before placing the rock, examine this oil for the plants that will look suitable around the rocks.

If you choose drought-resistant plants and rocks that look well with then the soil will be sandy.

Moreover, you need plants that will survive in your climate.

Traditionally such gardens with rocks have alpines.

The plants are usually smaller so that they go well with the rocks.

Rocks add depth and you can add ornamental grasses and perennials such as bellflowers to add the vertical height.

You can also use small shrubs, and ground covers such as ice plants and bulbs like tulips to add color and softness.

Mosses and ferns will also complement in a shade garden.

rock garden ideas

Rock Garden Ideas

Traditional Zen 

This type of rock garden uses green shrubs and pebbles.

The style is inspired by nature and may contain random big rocks too.

In the Front Yard

Some greenery and rocks look great in your front yard, you do not necessarily need flowers all the time.

Right at the entrance, you can use these to make steps in case there is a slope.

This leads us to…

Gravel Steps and Stepping Stones

Rocks and gravel can both make steps that stand out in your garden, so do stepping stones.

Flat rocks and paving stones can also make stepping stones.

So can rock, gravel and slate to make a pathway.

The larger rocks create a railing or border around the path.

The slate acts as a stepping stone and the gravel fills the path.

Small Rock Garden 

If you do not have enough space, no problem!

You can use the minimal space that you have to use different sizes of pebbles and gravel.

Plus plant less in that area too. A little can go a long way in changing the ambiance of your garden completely.

waterfall in rock garden

Waterfall in the Garden 

A small waterfall in your garden can flow through the placement of rocks as a stepping stone.

After all, what’s better than hearing water flowing through your backyard.

Bordering Garden Beds

A garden bed surrounded by rocks looks tidier.

Choose some rocks that are hard-wearing.

Align them along the borders of a garden bed.

Using rocks or even stones protects your plants from weedkillers and stray mowers especially around grass edges.

Big rocks and alpines

If you place big rocks, add some color through alpines.

While big rocks do look natural, place them in an orderly manner surrounding the alpines to look tidier.

ideas for greenry


Other Ideas

  • Planters Placed on Rock

If you do not have enough grass then you can make a small space vibrant by adding planters on rocks.

Use some pebbles, gravel or small rocks as a rock base.

Stones at the bottom act as an alternative to soil.

However, they also help to decrease the chances of attack by weeds.

You do not need a full garden for this rock setting.

Rather it can fit in a small corner of your house.

  • Dry River Bed

Well, you do not always need water for your garden to look beautiful rather you can give an illusion of a waterfall.

Dig a trench, however, fill it up with stones giving it the shape of water flowing through.

Then proceed to add flowers and plants along the edges.

This will save you from the hassle of setting up a water flow and also erosion.

  • White Rocks on Grass

White-colored rocks or pebbles especially stand out on the grass.

Dedicating a small corner to these along with the minimal plants on top of them can brighten up a dark corner in your garden.

  • Modern Zen

The essence of a zen garden lies in nature.

The rocks are of big size because they are a portrayal of the mountains.

Similarly, gravel or sand can represent the sea.

This is around the big rocks with patterns that make it similar looking to water in the sea.

  • Bench of Rock

One way to include rocks within your garden is to add a rock bench.

That alone can give an element of nature and earth.

Moreover, you can six and relax in your garden too.

Also, you can use rocks in a pond, as shapes of flowers or turtles, as well as in an indoor garden using plants that love the shade.

maintaining the set up


You will need to maintain the plants in your garden by using fertilizers and a good supply of water.

This is because rocks can absorb heat.

If you are in a place with generally warmer climates then the plants surrounding the rocks are in dire need of water.

Otherwise, they will dry out because of the heat they are getting in close proximity.

Hence, water your plants enough if the garden is on the sunny side.

Moreover, supply your plants with fertilizers if they need them.

Alpines are popular plants to put in your rock garden however, it does not need supplemental fertilizer.

Though, other plant species may. Hence, search for what your plants require and give them an organic fertilizer.

Also, prune out the dead growth so that your plants always look neat.

One benefit of using small rocks and gravel is that it keeps weeds at bay.

These act as a natural weed suppressant protecting your plants from any damage.

They get their full share of water and nutrients thanks to the rocks acting as a weedkiller.

Combining both rock and plants fills up the space so that there is no room for weeds.

This keeps your garden low maintenance.

Hence, if your garden does not have rocks and you are tired of maintaining it then you can turn it into a rock garden adding more beauty, a sense of nature and protection to your plants.




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