A rock garden can have different purposes in your yard. Naturally, it's there to look pretty. However, it also gives you the opportunity to install a garden that doesn't require much upkeep. Indeed, rock gardens were initially developed to mimic alpine slopes with their hardy, low-maintenance plants. However, it's also possible to channel the Mediterranean or a desert-scape in your garden. Install a rock garden that wows visitors with its colors, textures, and overall beauty.
An attractive foundation for any rock garden is an odd number of boulders. You'll want to spend some time choosing exactly the right boulder that matches your overall landscaping as well as your rock-garden theme. As the Landscaping Network points out, all boulders have their most attractive sides. Choose an odd number of different-sized landscape rock to avoid what the site calls the "meteor effect," or looking like a meteor hit your yard. Choose a sunny location for your boulders to create the foundation of your rock garden.
Include Helper Rocks
In that vein, the next step is adding helper rocks so that your garden looks natural. Choose landscaping rocks that look cohesive with your boulders. Likewise, they should vary in size. When you're placing the rocks, start with the largest and work your way down. It's even possible to finish with gravel. Either way, let the borders of the rock garden trail off naturally unless your goal is a more manicured rock garden.
Add Tall Plants
To make your rock garden dynamic, you'll want to plant in varying heights. Just as you worked from large to small with your rocks, you'll do the same with your plants. If you are going for the traditional alpine rock garden, consider starting with narrow evergreens and dwarf conifers. Lavender looks beautiful for a Mediterranean-style garden while Japanese iris complements an Asian garden. Naturally a beautiful cactus or three looks stunning in a desert-scape.
Layer for Texture and Color
The rest of creating your rock garden is all about layering for texture and color. The best plants for rock gardens are often small and compact, but any hardy plant that likes the sun works well. When selecting your plants, look for some that have distinctive foliage, such as lamb's ear and snow-in-summer. Ornamental grasses can also work well. Sedum and other succulents are rock stars for attractive texture in a rock garden.
Additionally, add some pretty colors to your rock garden with perennial flowers. Try to vary the size here too. For instance, match the delicate yellow blooms of poached egg plant with the tiny mounds of purple seaside flora.
Beautify your yard with an easily maintained but dynamic rock garden.