Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Rock Garden Design

Rock garden designs are a low-maintenance way to embellish your landscape with a delicate balance of hard and soft. Fill a rock garden with low-growing plants nestled in an outcropping of rocks.

Choosing Rock Garden Rocks

rock-gardenAlthough the prettiest rock gardens use several different sizes of rocks, be sure to choose rocks that easily can be moved by just a couple of people or consider hiring a contractor to place large boulders and rocks. However, be sure that the size of your rocks doesn't overwhelm the size of your rock garden!

Rock gardens created with similar types of rock look more natural than those designed using several types. Place rocks weathered side up to give your garden a natural look. Be sure to include porous rocks to let lichens and mosses easily take root in your rock garden.

Because they best emulate the look of natural hills and mountainsides, a sloping landscape is the ideal place for your rock garden. Add earth to elevate part of the grade of a level area and produce a hillside effect.

Plants for Your Rock Garden

Choose plants for your rock garden according to the climate and growing conditions of your area. Many perennials, low-lying shrubs, bulb plants, and annuals thrive in a rock garden setting. Some plants to consider include crassula, sedum, stonecrop, hen & chicks, lambs ears, prickly pear cactus, rose moss, spirea, coneflower and oat grass.

Enclose tender, smaller plants in rock formations to protect them from wind and harsh weather conditions. A rock garden also gives you the opportunity to create a mix of both shade-loving and sun-loving plants in the same garden space. Large rocks provide shade lovers with shelter and sun and heat loving plants enjoy the radiant heat generated at the south side of large rocks.

Completing Your Rock Garden Design

Garden design magazines are great for finding rock garden pictures and layouts. Using garden design software makes planning easy and helps you ensure a successful rock garden. When you find an idea you like, consider using garden design software to see your idea "go live" even before you begin planting your rock garden!