A rock garden is a unique yet luxurious type of garden that is very popular these days. Inspired by Japanese or Zen rock gardens, there are many types of designs and arrangements of rock gardens today. Before we go to that, we want to show you some tips on how to build a rock garden first. Once you know the important components in a rock garden, choosing the look will come later. There are so many rock garden ideas that you can get creative with, and we will discuss this soon. There are 5 solid steps to build a rock garden, let’s get into the detail below.
Step 1: Make Room & Clear Grass
Normally, a rock garden takes a section from the lawn or main garden. The first thing that you have to know about rock gardens is that they have some elevation from the ground. This is how this beautiful garden stands out, so you will have to create your own raised bed. Simply put, you will have to lay a course of rocks and soils first when you start building a rock garden. If the part that you choose is covered with grass, you will have to remove it. A pretty rock garden should have grass growing in and around it, but you need a clear space first. Dig up sod and other plants below the roots if there are any. This is to prevent new shoots from coming up later in your rock garden.
Step 2: Choose Your Rocks
You can choose a wide variety of rocks at landscaping stores or local gardening stores in your area. However, local stores often provide small rocks and stones for minor decoration only. For large boulders or rocks, you will have to contact stone suppliers or purchase them online. In this step, you begin by laying down the first layer of stones and soil. Doing this will create an elevated bed for the rock garden. If you prefer a more sprawling look, you can start with heavy boulders and use them as guidelines. It is also a good idea to use big and unattractive rocks in this first layer. They create elevation while remaining hidden behind so your purchase does not go to waste. At the same time, bigger boulders can be too heavy to lift for the next layers. So it is better to use the big and heavy ones first.
Below are some beautiful rocks you might want to consider adding to your garden:
Step 3: Add Soil
Choose a type of soil that provides good drainage for rock gardens, and the best option is sandy soil. If you cannot find sandy soil, use clay-like soil, and mix it with some sand will also do the job. Fill your first layer with your soil into the bed created by the rocks. Once you fill the soil in the bed, walk on it to help pack it down and let it settle. In this step, you may want to add some plants that prefer high drainage soil. This is to increase the natural look as much as possible with plants from every layer.
Step 4: Second Layer
For the second layer, you need to make a smaller raised bed within the first one. All you need to do is follow the same layout from the first layer but with smaller rocks. No matter if your first bed is circle or oval, just do the same as what you did in the first raised bed. With this smaller layer, you have to make sure that it is small enough it leaves a sufficient perimeter between the two layers. This is to ensure that the space that you leave can accommodate flowers or plants of your choice for the garden.
Step 5: Start Planting
To choose the right flowers and plants for your rock garden, you have to consider the color schemes. Pick the ones with colors that match beautifully with your landscape and rock garden. They will complement each other to create a pleasant sight that you will enjoy every day. Another thing to have in mind is to choose the flowers or plants that are easy to take care of. I recommend tough plants that don’t require much to stay alive and healthy. At the same time, make sure that the plants that you choose grow well in your soil type. This allows them to thrive better in the rock garden with minimum care and watering. So even if you are busy, you won’t have to worry that your rock garden will lose its beauty.
Tip: The Spruce recommends adding rocks around the first few plants that you place. Then it will appear as if the plants grow through the space in the rocks which is quite pretty. This is to give your rock garden a more natural look to create a more beautiful look.