Make Your Own Rock Garden

Rock gardens are an excellent way to create a more dynamic outdoor living space.

| September/October 2009

  • Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

Rock gardens are an excellent way to create a more dynamic outdoor living space. Varying elevations add dimension, which is particularly suitable for smaller areas. Stone patios with water fountains or fire pits invite gatherings and are more likely to draw you outdoors in all seasons, but rock gardens can be expensive and exhausting if not planned right. Take inspiration from monumental works, but start small with your first rock garden. Need more inspiration? Read about a rock garden in Colorado.

• Install stones between spring and early fall. Frost can cause ground heaving, which disrupts stone placement, and suppliers can’t cut dimensional stone effectively when the weather’s below freezing.

• To etermine what kind of rocks you like, visit a demonstration garden.

• Choose smaller rocks. They don’t need professional delivery and installation.

• Use stones in their existing size and shape, creating a more natural look and eliminating cutting and processing costs.

• Though beautiful, water features and fire pits cost more. Water features also need a plumbing setup that usually requires professional advice. A well-placed stone bench or a single stone sculpture surrounded by herbs can create a less-expensive gathering space.

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