There is something quite magical about a well-designed rock garden whether it’s a miniature landscape of mountains and valleys filled with alpine flowers or a rugged dessert-scape overflowing with cacti and succulents. The Japanese have been creating them since the Middle Ages and you too can build one without a great deal of effort or expense.
It’s also a great way to turn grassy areas that you don’t want to water or awkward, difficult-to-mow slopes into a low-maintenance landscape. And the best part is, when you’re finished, you can just step back and enjoy your garden with no harder labor required other than the occasional light watering or the removal of a weed or two.
If you’re seriously interested in creating a rock garden, and if you want to do it yourself and not hire a landscape designer like me, there are a number of terrific websites that will give you all the information you could possibly want, and then some. The one I particularly like that provides step by step instructions is from “howstuffworks” How To Build A Rock Garden by Jan McGrath.
Now, while you go about the heavy lifting, I’ll show you some pretty pictures of a variety of rock gardens.
Berm Rock Garden
A berm is a type of raised garden with informal edges. This style of rock garden is often used on a relatively level site and it works particularly well with a water feature, enhancing the naturalistic feel of the garden.
This long, raised berm, situated on the north side of a row of trees, is perfect for creating a woodland shade garden. A variety of native and non-native perennials are used.
Rock Accented Garden
A rock accented garden is usually a garden that uses one or more larger rocks as focal points to draw the eye. Here, a colorful rock accented garden is used at the edge of a perennial garden.
Succulents have a wonderful “other world” appearance that makes them really stand out. Although revered for their bright, showy flowers, their handsome architectural foliage alone is enough to build a rock garden around. And as many succulents are tiny and demand a spot in the garden where they can be noticed, rock gardens are perfect for those little exhibitionists.