Rock Garden Design

Oct

13

Rock Garden Design

Rocks can bring a natural, rugged beauty to any garden, including those with steep hillsides or other difficult growing conditions.  There are hundreds of different types of rock, but the right choice must work properly with both the details of your house and your landscape.  The rocks you choose will help set the tone for the rest of your garden.  Because rock last indefinitely, it’s important to choose a look you’ll be happy with for many years.

If natural rock is already present at or around in your garden,  bringing in a contrasting coloured boulder is not advisable. Not only will it fail to look natural, the difference will be vaguely disturbing.  Boulders should resemble what’s there so that the new and existing blend together seamlessly.  rock-garden-500x375

It is rare to find just one boulder all by itself in nature.  They tend to exist in groups of varying shapes and sizes linked by the same parent material.  This is where the rules of the Japanese garden come into play to help you create successful constellations of boulders that resemble natural rock outcroppings.  A boulder worked into a group of smaller sized “helping stones” always results in a more beautiful composition.

Boulders don’t sit on top of the ground – they are planted into it.  Each boulder will have one aspect that is most attractive, which is often discovered after one studies it for awhile.  The stone’s face should be positioned for high visibility.  The remainder gets planted into the ground to anchor it both physically and visually.

To help you avoid the most common mistakes, here is a list to follow:rock-garden

  • Don’t just place rocks on top of the ground. No matter how nice a rock you have, it will look fake and out of place if you just let it sit on top of the soil.
  • Bury the rock at least 1/4 to 1/2 way into the ground. It’s more natural this way. If you look out in nature, big massive rocks look as though they are peeking out of the ground, and it’s because they are. Time has washed off the soil level to reveal the rocks underneath. So do the same with yours.
  • Rocks have sides. Put the flat part facing upwards, it makes it look old, sturdy, and weather beaten this way.
  • Unless the rock is huge and can stand alone on its own, group rocks and boulders in odd numbers: 3, 5, 7, etc. Nature seldom happens in even pairs, so again, pay attention to how nature does it.

If you follow these four simple steps, any rock or boulder you decide to put into your garden design is going to look like it is a natural part of the landscape and not just an adding that was thrown on top at the last minute looking out of place.

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