One of the easiest and maybe the cheapest ways to enhance the landscape around your home is to build a rock garden. Rock gardens can be planted with a few complimentary plants, or many plants. The rocks are the featured pieces of these gardens, and will require very little maintenance to stay in top condition.
Rock gardens are very useful to place in your landscaping where mowing may be a problem, or trees may cast excessive shade.
First you should clear the area of unwanted plants. Be sure to dig out the roots, or you may find your rock garden invaded at some later time by an unwanted fern or intrusive perennials.
This would be a great time to add some soil enhancements like sand or compost. You may need to sweeten your soil with some limestone if your plants like an alkali soil.
After you have soil has been taken care of it is time to place your rocks. It is important not to place your rocks in a pattern but to place them randomly in odd number groupings, like 3 or 5 rocks placed together. Place some small rocks with larger rocks and dark colored rocks with light colored rocks. Use variety in your rocks and plants in your new garden. Try to make the design look as natural as possible.
When placing the rocks in a garden that is sloped, it is best to start at the bottom of the slope and work up. Slope the top of the rocks back toward the slope so that gravity doesn’t move the rocks sown the slope. The goal is to create a feeling of stability. Set each rock so that its widest side is the base.
If you are placing the rocks on flat ground, work from the inside toward the outer edges of the garden. It will create a better look on a flat site, to build up small mounds in different places to give the rock garden an interesting appearance.
After your rocks are in place it is time to place your plants, early spring or fall are the best times for planting. Make sure you choose plants that are suited for rugged terrain and adapted to your climate.
The end result should be a beautiful garden that requires little upkeep.