How to Create a Rock Garden

If you’re looking for a way to create a low maintenance garden in a small space, consider creating a rock garden.

Despite its name a rock garden contains more than just rocks and it’s the type of garden that anyone can create successfully. Even if you don’t have the right climate for some of the plants you want to include, consider creating a rock garden indoors or in a greenhouse.

Check Out Your Space

The first place to start with creating your garden is deciding what space you have available and what shape you want it to be. Some people have circular or oval gardens while others prefer a rectangular shape.

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You may decide to have it all on one level or create mini terraces with your rocks. It doesn’t really matter what shape you choose as long as it is in harmony with the rest of your garden.

Plant Choice

Another key choice is the plants you want to grow. In cooler climates many people use alpines and hardy perennials for the rock garden. The great thing about alpines is that there are lots of different colours and they will grow practically anywhere, as they are used to clinging to rocks up in the mountains.

You can easily find starter alpine plants at your local garden centre and it doesn’t take long to plant them out and start your garden.

If you’re in a warm climate or growing your rock garden indoors or in a greenhouse then you have more plant options. Cacti make a great addition to a rock garden. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from and the only issue is how tall you want them to grow.

Other plants which look great in a rock garden are succulents. The advantage of both cacti and succulents is that they don’t need a lot of water or looking after.

Preparing Your Rock Garden

Let’s assume that you are creating your garden outside and have already allocated the space for it. After turning over the earth it’s a good idea to put down a protective membrane to prevent weed growth, but allow water through.

Place larger rocks where you want them, either near the back or at strategic intervals throughout. Then cut little holes in the membrane and plant out the plants you have chosen.

Pay attention to the expected height of the plants so that you will be able to see all of them when your rock garden is mature. Once that’s done, it’s time to cover the rest of the membrane with smaller pebbles and stones.

Add water and wait for your garden to grow!

Need more rock garden tips?
Jen Byiers writes for Gardens Galore landscaping Glasgow.

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