How to Build a Rock Garden and Revive Arid Land

When thinking about rocks and pebbles, you might see them as a decorative tool for your home or garden.

And you’re right.

But did you know that rocks and pebbles have many additional benefits like preventing soil erosion, preserving your plants roots and helping to retain the water in the soil that would otherwise be evaporated from direct sunlight ? This is why they are such a valuable tool for gardeners, landscapers and even homeowners, alike.

As such, rocks and pebbles and all their benefits, have become a popular addition to gardens of all shapes and sizes – all the way from small backyards to front yards and even large scale commercial properties.

So if you’re looking to renovate your front or back yard, today’s article will explore a simple seven step process you can utilise rocks and pebbles in your design.

1. Building a rock garden

Building a rock garden is very easy, even if you’re a beginner gardener!

Before you start, consider which area you’d like to dedicate to your stone garden as this will affect the quantity of pebbles you’ll need to source or purchase. When you choose the area, you want to account for its depth, width and height. We know this sounds like an obvious part of the process, however we have seen time and again, many purchase the pebbles before taking the measurements of the space, only to find out they haven’t accounted for enough products.

Once you’ve decided on the area and measured it, you want to determine 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? Each idea requires a different amount of product. Additionally, since stones and pebbles come in all sorts of colours and textures, choosing the most appropriate colour scheme is another important consideration. For example, you might want to create intricate designs and patterns, or just stick to one colour. Again, decide this before getting the pebbles so that you have all the materials to work with soon as you start your project. Also, think about how your rock garden design will fit with the overall aesthetic of your garden. For example, if you have a sleek modern design, too many bright colour garden pebbles might be quite jarring. Here you would want to opt for white and black pebbles. On the other hand, if you have a traditional garden design with lots of sandstone and limestone pavers, earthy coloured garden pebbles would suit the space much better.

Polished Garden Pebbles Footer 1
These garden pebbles give this patio a textured border.

2. Clear the block

Once you’ve decided which part of your garden will display the pebbles/rocks/stone, you need to clear the area of any obstructive items like weeds and bush growth. When doing this, make sure you remove all growth from the roots so that they do not sprout again. Once you’ve cleared the space, consider edging the rest of your garden so that the rocks/pebbles do not get washed away or blown into the adjoining garden areas. Edging your garden keeps the spaces neat and tidy.

3. Lay a template

If you’re feeling creative and want to lay the garden pebbles in a particular design, you can simplify your life by using paint to mark up the design or line up some pebbles in the chosen shape before you pour them all out. Outlining your design will help you install the rocks and pebbles appropriately and quickly.

4. Install the rocks

When working with larger rocks or stones, it’s important that they lay flush with the ground so that no one trips over them. As such, it’s important to create an indent or footing in the surface where you intend to fit the stone. Taking this extra step in the installation process will ensure that the stone/rock is well planted and not simply sitting atop a flat surface. This will create an integrated look and ensure the entire area is safe and stable.

5. Add plants

Choosing which plants to complement your rocks and pebbles is just as important as picking the stones themselves. According to landscapers, textured plants that flower work well in rock gardens. We strongly recommend creating a channel (using landscaping fabric or some gravel or pebbles) to allow water to flow freely and reach all the plants.

6. Set a walkway

As we mentioned in point four, when working with larger stones and installing something like a walkway, it is very important to prepare the area prior to laying the stones. Do this by tracing the stone outlines where you wish to install them and then create a deeper footing in the ground where you intend to place the stone. Once you’ve created the outline of the path, it will be easier to see the design and make any changes prior to placing the stones in their allocated spots.

Siri Marble Stepping StonesThese Siri Marble Stepping Stones have been laid flush with the ground to ensure the safety of all those who use the path.

7. Finish off with mulch

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of measuring the space, choosing the rocks, stones or pebbles to fill the space and everything is installed correctly, the final step is to fill the space with mulch! You can either use bark or small pebbles to fill any gaps in the space. This will help keep the growth of weeds at bay and give the space a very complete look.

And there you have it!

A simple seven-step guide to creating a rock garden and adding a natural and calm element to (what otherwise would be) a stock-standard backyard. A huge advantage of rock gardens is that once installed, they require bare minimum maintenance and instantly enrich any arid and dark corner/areas that might not experience much growth.

If you need any assistance with choosing natural stone pavers for a pathway, or selecting the correct amount of garden pebbles for your rock garden, reach out to our natural stone experts at Armstone online or 1300 560 560. We have a unique calculator that can help you choose the right amount of pebbles for your garden and would love to help you bring your rock garden to life!

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