Rock landscaping can be a little bit intimidating. I am sure everyone has a story of looking at someone else's eye-catching layout and dreamed of having their own rock garden at home.
With that said, here are some tips on landscaping with rocks to get you off on a great foot:
1. Prepare the foundation with care.
Unless you are starting by carving your garden out of a rocky hillside, you will be clearing some existing space to serve as your rock garden.
If the area has had some vegetation, you can prepare your garden space by covering the desired area with newspapers, and then covering the paper with dirt. This will block both light and nutrients, and the vegetation will soon die out.
2. Decide what size your garden will be.
It is important to decide how large or small your rock garden will be. You can get some great insights for your rock garden right here.
A small location will make the construction job more manageable. A larger location will require a lot more rocks to be transported to the site.
If you are uncertain as to which choice to make, start with a small rock garden on one side of the area you are considering. If the garden is a success, you can add to it over time.
3. Pick the color of your rocks.
Rocks and stones come in many different colors. You should be able to find a wide range of colors at a specialty rock store. Another part of this choice is knowing the size of the rocks, as well as their appearance if they are broken into smaller pieces.
Mix and match as you see fit to support the color scheme and layout you are planning for.
4. Plants or no plants?
Rock gardens often have a number of plants which complement the rock arrangement.
You need to account for the varying amounts of soil amongst the rocks, as well as pathways for roots to penetrate to get water and nutrients.
To this end, I suggest consulting a seasonal plant guide to see what works well in your area.
5. Use small rocks as a mulch or filler material.
When you begin placing plants around your rock garden, there will be gaps in the overall appearance of the garden. You can use small rocks or even pebbles to fill in these spaces.
Try to match the surrounding colors to allow the pebbles to blend into the landscape.
Have a look at this video for some great rock landscaping ideas:
As you can see, rock landscaping does not need to be overwhelming. Use your sense of color and form to guide you in selecting your materials.
With the tips presented here, you have a great head start on preparing your own rock garden. Best of luck to you.