If you want to improve the look and feel of your home’s exterior, you may be wondering about how you can use landscaping to your advantage. While there are a few different ways that you can rearrange your various outdoor elements, we suggest that a rock garden is one of the best options out there.
For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, a rock garden is a landscaping process where you utilize rocks to create the visual and functional aspects of your space. Rather than living elements such as plants and bushes—while greenery can be integral to your rock garden, it’s not the primary focus.
Today we’re going to be looking at the various types of rock gardens you can have in your yard and how they can transform the appearance and utility of your exterior areas.
Table of Contents
Why a Rock Garden is a Smart Choice
When you’re used to seeing landscaping projects that use living elements to create a unique tapestry, you might be wondering if a rock garden is a right approach. Here are some of the primary advantages that these installations can offer.
- Low Maintenance – since rocks don’t need to be trimmed, watered, or pruned, you can have a beautiful and elegant space without much work.
- Drought Tolerant – if you live in an area with little water, rocks can be an excellent way to keep your utility bills down. Also, you don’t have to worry about stones dying because of the heat.
- Dynamic – having different rocks and boulders in your garden can create a much better look for your yard than a row of flowers or bushes. While you may be more limited in your color options, you can get a lot of variety with the right rock garden.
Types of Rock Gardens
To help you make the right choice for your rock garden, we want to cover some of the most common varieties out there. At B&D Rockeries, we can help you pick out the best rocks for your installation so that it’s both captivating and functional at the same time. We can also help you blend different styles so that they can be unique to your home.
Japanese Rock Garden
One of the most popular themes for many rock gardens uses influences from the Far East. Japanese installations usually focus on creating a natural landscape, utilizing rocks as stand-ins for various natural pieces, such as mountains and rivers.
Typically, Japanese rockeries have large boulders that serve as the focal point of the garden, acting as rugged mountain peaks or ridges. Separating them and the other primary elements of the garden are smaller gravel stones. In many cases, these stones can be lighter in color and have a smooth texture.
Rocks forming natural pathways through the rock garden are also common. If the gravel stones are small enough, they may allow for raking so that you can create designs as you see fit. Stone and sand raking is a therapeutic activity, which can make these gardens both relaxing and beautiful.
Plants are usually hearty evergreens, meaning that annuals are rarely used. The purpose of evergreen trees and bushes helps illustrate the beauty of nature all year long.
English Rock Gardens
If you want to utilize plants in your garden, then you may try the English approach. Typically speaking, these gardens use alpine plants because they are hearty and can withstand a wide variety of temperatures and weather patterns.
One of the primary strategies in an English rock garden is planning and careful integration of both rocks and plants. Both of them are installed simultaneously to have the best effect. Usually, the plants are given deep crevices between the stones to establish roots. In many cases, you will have alpine flowers and shrubs fill in the gaps, creating a vibrant and layered tapestry for your garden.
American Rock Gardens
Although the early adopters in the US tried to utilize the steps created by the English, they quickly discovered that alpine plants weren’t necessarily suited for the varied climates you can find in North America.
Thus, the primary strategy for an American rock garden is to utilize local plants that look like they belong. For example, if you live in the Southwestern part of the US, you may use desert plants that don’t need a lot of water. This will not only make the garden look more natural, but it will help reduce your maintenance costs. Overall, it has a more loose style that changes based on your location more than anything else.
Functional Rock Gardens
If you want to create a space that merges both form and function, you may decide to implement various rock structures into your garden. These pieces can include walkways, walls, archways, and fountains. Since you can use rocks to create all kinds of installations, there are no limitations as to what you can achieve. For example, you can use stones to form a barrier for a pond, or they can be piled up to make a bench seat in the middle of the garden.
In this case, you will put your primary pieces in first and then add any plants around them. We suggest using local varieties as well as hearty strains that won’t have much trouble living in your garden. Consider both the color and density of the plants when putting them in as well.
Contact B&D Rockeries Today
If you’re ready to get started on your rock garden, give us a call today or visit us online. We can help you create the best space for your home, and we’ll make sure that you’re more than satisfied with the results.