Moss rock

Do images of lush, green leaves and vibrant veggies fill your head upon reading the word “garden”? Did any pictures of rocks seep into that mental picture? No? Well, If you’re a natural landscape buff, rocks may very well be a part of your perfect garden. Rock-heavy gardens have natural aesthetics, and are calming, too. And if you’ve yet to discover why rock gardens “rock,” read on…

Natural rock gardens

Mother nature has already done the work for you if you live near a slopping area or terrace with natural rocks. Embrace the natural landscape and add rock-loving plants to the landscape if you desire. If you don’t live near rocky terrain, fret not – rock gardens are easy to build.

Rock garden with plants

Start by looking for or buying native rocks. Local rocks will look best against the natural terrain in your yard. Begin building at the lowest part of the garden and work upwards. Shovel soil around rocks to make certain each rock is firmly secured. Cover 1/3 to half of each rock with soil. Let the soil stand for a few days. Provide good drainage for the garden, and make certain to keep the size of the garden manageable.

Plants that thrive in rock gardens include:

  • Low growing perennials (wallflower, forget-me-not, etc.)
  • Heaths
  • Heathers
  • Herbs
  • Annuals (blue eyed grass, strawflower, etc.)
  • Moss
  • Lichens

Rock garden care is simple. Just make certain you loosen soil occasionally, weed around plants and add compost or manure to plants as needed (luckily, most rock garden plants do well in poor soil).

Rock garden benefits

Rock gardens are relatively easy to build. Rock gardens look incredibly natural and can easily cover areas in your yard where grass doesn’t grow. Rocks protect planted shrubs, flowers, and grass from the wind and sun. Rock gardens also are perfect for showcasing native, local rocks. Weathered rocks with natural chips and crevices are beautiful, and are the most natural (and cheapest) form of yard art! Also: rock gardens are known to evoke internal peace.

Zen rock garden

Zen garden

Zen rock gardens, also known as Japanese rock gardens, are incredibly simple to create. Zen rock gardens only require sand (to symbolize water) and stones (to symbolize mountains). Mosses on rocks represent islands. Zen rock gardens typically don’t contain plants or water.

Zen rock garden benefits

Zen gardens can be small or as large as a lot:

“One of the best benefits of a Zen garden is that it doesn’t require a large piece of land. There are Zen gardens so small that they fit on an office desk. It’s the elements making up the garden that are significant and not the size of the land plot. Another benefit is that a Zen garden can serve as a quiet refuge for meditation and relaxation. This is why most Japanese rock gardens are found within Buddhist monasteries. Also, this garden doesn’t need specific daily care like flower beds.”

Resources:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07401.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/Foundation-means-everything-in-a-rock-garden-AP-11232009.aspx?page=2

Image: madmolecule, jimg944