How to Make a Rock Garden: Tips & Ideas

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A rock garden in your front yard can be a focal point in your landscape. They’re perfect for slopes and spots with poor soil conditions, and they’re nearly maintenance-free. At Epic Stoneworks, we have a wide range of natural stones to create a one-of-a-kind rock garden in your yard. Our experts have created this guide to show you how to make a rock garden, what stones to choose, and how to arrange them in your current landscape.

How to Prepare Your Space for a Rock Garden

Once you’ve chosen the perfect spot for your rock garden, you have to clear the space. Use either a shovel or a sod cutter to remove the grass and make room for rocks. If you don’t want to dig, you can opt for the lasagna method.

This method takes more time, but it’s much less labor-intensive.

Simply lay newspaper or cardboard over the grass where you plan to put your rock garden.

Then, add a layer of soil to keep the paper in place. Over time, the grass will die and decompose, allowing nutrients to soak into the soil below.

Rock gardens can be designed and built right over your lasagna method, and nobody will be the wiser that there was paper underneath your lovely landscape!

Modern Rock Garden Ideas

Are you looking for modern rock garden ideas for inspiration? Here are a few common trends that look great in most South Florida landscapes:

  • Alpine rock gardens: An alpine rock garden exhibits plants, coarse gravel, large slabs, and boulders to create a natural mountain landscape. Plants used in these rock gardens are low and drought-tolerant, and most don’t require any soil to thrive. Alpine gardens look fabulous near prairie style homes and for people who want to achieve a modern aesthetic.
  • Japanese rock gardens: These gardens are also called “zen gardens” because they add a relaxing element to your outdoor space. They follow specific design elements that reflect traditional Japanese beliefs to create a simple and serene look. Most Japanese-style gardens don’t incorporate any plants, and they serve as a place for quiet meditation. They’re perfect for homes with a modern aesthetic.
  • Traditional rock gardens – This style poses a more natural look with much more freedom in design. Natural stones are collected and featured in a garden with existing plants to create a cohesive, natural look. A traditional garden looks great in any landscape because you can customize it to match your home’s style and landscaping needs.
  • Xeriscape rock garden: Xeriscaping uses rocks and gravel to create dry landscapes like you’d naturally find in the desert. They’re especially popular in areas that experience arid climates in the Southwest, Great Basin region, along the West Coast. These rock gardens are incredibly easy to maintain and cover sparse areas where it’s difficult to grow plants.

How to Make a Rock Garden

How to Make a Rock Garden

Here’s how to make a rock garden. It is easy once you’ve got a solid design and high-quality materials. Start by selecting a supplier like Epic Stoneworks, who sources high-quality natural stones from quarries around the world. Once you have your supplies and have removed the grass, you may want to lay down a weed barrier. Gravel and landscaping fabric both work to keep weeds from popping up between stones over time.

If you plan on adding plants to your rock garden, make sure the soil conditions are right for the plants you plant to incorporate.

Finding the Right Stones For Your Rock Garden

If you’re interested in creating a rock garden in your landscape, contact Epic Stoneworks today. Our business prides itself on sourcing the best quality natural stones in the world for clients throughout South Florida. We’re happy to answer questions about how to make a rock garden and what stones would look best in your landscaping design.

Image Credits: Aleksandr Kondratov / athryn Roach / Shutterstock