When you think of a beautiful garden plot, probably the last thing you think of is a collection of rocks. However, don’t turn your nose up too quickly. A rock garden can make an incredible addition to any yard. Not only is it an attractive piece of landscaping, but it’s also low maintenance and can be customized to fit your tastes and climate. It’s very affordable, since you can collect a large majority of supplies from the surrounding area, and you’re barely required to lift a finger to maintain it once it’s been excavated and planted.
If you want a successful rock garden plot, it’s important to bring the right components to the table. Every rock garden needs the following elements:
1. The Perfect Location
Begin by finding the best location. This largely depends on the layout of your yard. Many people love to heap a mound of soil next to their driveway. Others like to keep it flat and small in a corner of their backyard. It should be away from the general area of traffic and somewhere it can drain easily. The last thing you want is your rock garden to be a big puddle after a rainstorm.
2. A Plan
Once you have your location, make a plan. You may be reflecting natural scenery with your garden, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have a pattern. Begin by researching rock garden design ideas. Find elements you like and that’ll fit well in your space. Also, try to emulate patterning and layering techniques. You can use a variety of heights and colors to give it the perfect look.
3. The Right Layers
Creating a rock garden that will function and thrive takes a strong framework of layers. To begin with, you’ll want to excavate the soil, digging a plot at least one foot into the earth. Remove all weeds and roots from the loose soil. Then, you can pour your first layer, which will be your drainage layer works to absorb excess moisture. It should include some of the loose soil you dug up, clunky rocks, pieces of concrete or brick, and other sustainable materials that give the plot a foundation that collects excess moisture.
Next, pour a sand layer over the first layer, which will hold up the topsoil and create another layer that’s perfect for drainage. Once that’s spread a few inches thick, add the topsoil, which should be a mixture of soil, leaf mold, and small gravel. This topsoil is very important for the growth of your garden, since it promotes native plant growth and discourages weeds.
4. Native Elements
Now that you’ve laid the framework, it’s time for the fun part: gathering and planting the native elements. You’ll need an assortment of native rocks, plants, and flowers. You might be able to find a selection of these elements around your area. Otherwise, you can visit a flower shop to check out their selection of native components.
Most rock gardens include a variety of wildflowers, as well as some natural herbs and lichen. These plants grow very well in the dryer climate of a rock garden, and when planted in colorful layers, it creates a very attractive look.
5. A Path
Finally, if your rock garden is not situated near a sidewalk or other path, it’s a good idea to create one that leads you near it or through it so that you and your guests can enjoy the natural beauty up close. Have some fun with this one. Make the path out of natural rock pounded into the ground or use pebbles to mark the way. The path will give your garden plot the little extra design it needs.
The best part about your newly formed rock garden is that it requires very little maintenance, and it’s perfect for dry and hot climates. You can enjoy the natural beauty every day of the year, depending on where you live, without putting in a lot of effort to make it that way.