Designing your own rock and gravel garden can be fun, challenging, and even therapeutic. It doesn’t take much to get started with your own DIY rock garden.
1. Decide what type of rock garden you want. Do you want your rock garden to be the main attraction of your garden? What about the size of stones? Do you envision large rocks as the centerpiece of the space, or will your rock garden ideas revolve around small rocks? Answering these questions will help you choose the perfect place to build your garden.
2. Find a source for your stones. You need to buy the stones for your garden and arrange transport. Larger stones that anchor your garden may need to come from a dedicated stone supplier. River bed stones can act as smaller rocks.
3. Design your garden layout. Once you have determined what type of rock is available to you, you are ready to begin creating your rock garden design. In addition to the size of rocks, consider the texture and colors of rocks and how they might integrate with other landscape features, such as water or shrubbery.
4. Choose your rock garden plants carefully. You can anchor your rock garden design around large boulders or plants. Many Japanese rock gardens use bonsai trees as focal points. These trees tend to be precisely manicured, but you can also choose a more natural look for your rock garden plants. Rock gardens are usually best suited with perennials that keep their leaves year-round.
5. Add a water feature. A pond with running water brings instant tranquility to a rock garden. Even in small spaces, a small pond can add character to an otherwise simple rock garden. Line the shore of your pond with smooth stones and consider either gravel or natural stone pavers for the walking area around the pond.
6. Include terracing if possible. A terraced rock garden, or a rock garden with flagstones, adds dimensionality to your garden space. Creating vertical levels requires more planning and work, as well as a little less technique, so only take this on if you have the time, budget and desire to do so.
7. Work with a landscape designer. Some of the best rock garden ideas come from landscape designers who have made a career out of planning outdoor spaces. A good landscape designer will listen carefully to your wishes as a client and then provide the creative and logistical expertise to make your dream garden a reality.