How to Build a Rock Garden and Revive Arid Land

Published by Armstone

Rocks and pebbles are an extremely valuable tool for gardeners and landscapers in more ways than one. Not only do they add a striking decorative element to every garden, but they also help to prevent soil erosion and preserve the roots of your plants. They can also restore the water in the soil that would otherwise be evaporated from direct sunlight.

With all of their benefits, rocks and pebbles have become a popular addition to gardens of all types of sizes, from small back and frontyard gardens to large scale commercial gardens. They’re a great way to repurpose an area that perhaps doesn’t enjoy much growth, or can just be an additional feature of any landscape.

Building a rock garden

Building a rock garden is very easy, even for the beginner gardener! The first step is to determine the area that you’d like to allocate to your stone garden as this will affect the quantity of pebbles you’ll need to source or purchase. It sounds obvious, but many people purchase the pebbles first only to find they haven’t accounted for the space enough.

The next step is to plan how you’ll use the stones or pebbles. For example, are you simply going to create a large bed of pebbles, or construct a path or walkway in the middle of some foliage? Colour schemes are also an important consideration, as stones and pebbles come in all sorts of colours and textures. You may wish to create intricate designs and patterns, or just stick to one colour. Think about how it would fit with the overall look of your garden.

Clear the block

If you’ve allocated a portion of your garden, you must first clear it of any bush and growth. Ensure you remove all growth from the roots and create a clean edge with the rest of your garden. When edging  it’s also a good idea to create a deep edge so that the rocks or pebbles do not get washed or blown into the adjoining garden areas.

Lay a template

If you have a specific design in mind you can create a template using marking paint, or simply line up some pebbles (depending on the intricacy of your design). This will help you install the rocks and pebbles appropriately and ensures you perfect the design before you get started.

Install the rocks

When installing larger rocks or stones you should create an indent or footing in the surface in which the stone will sit. This will ensure that it is well planted and not simply sitting atop a flat surface. Not only will it look more integrated but it will also be more safer and stable.

Add plants

Selecting appropriate plants to complement your rocks and pebbles is just as important as picking the stones themselves. Flowered and textured plants work well in rock gardens. Ideally you should have a channel that will allow the water flow to reach all of the plants. This can be created using landscaping fabric and some gravel or pebbles.

Set a walkway

If you’re installing a walkway through your rock garden you should first lay the stones as you would like them before placing them in the ground. You can then trace their outlines and create a deeper footing before placing them in the ground finally. This ensures again that you maintain the correct shape and design as intended.

Finish off with mulch

Once all of your components have been laid and set, the final step is to add mulch to fill in the space. Bark and small pebbles can help the growth of weeds and will tie everything in together nicely.

A rock garden provides an element of calm and a point of differentiation amongst the standard backyard landscapes. It’s a great way to mix things up and make better use of potentially arid areas or darker corners of gardens that don’t enjoy much growth. Once installed, maintenance is minimal, and this is yet another reason why these formations are becoming more and more popular in modern gardening.

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Arman Minas

Arman Minas

Director at Armstone
A committed and enthusiastic expert, Arman has more than 10 years experience in the stone industry and 20 years in the design space. Arman’s strong, customer focused passion has seen countless projects come to life. At the head of the Armstone team, Arman oversees all aspects of the business.

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