Identify Your Goals
Before you start building your decorative rock garden, it’s essential to know how you’re going to use it. Do you want a calm, quiet space for meditation? Are you envisioning a peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book? Or are you more interested in enhancing your yard’s aesthetic appeal by adding visual interest around a patio or livening up a lackluster flower bed? Understanding your goal before you begin will guide your choices when you start to plan and design your decorative rock garden.
If your goal is to save water and have a decorative rock garden that’s as low-maintenance as possible, xeriscaping is the answer. Xeriscaping reduces or completely eliminates the need to irrigate, and your decorative rock garden will require little or no water other than what it gets from nature.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a peaceful space for relaxation, consider building a garden with aquatic features that will make it the perfect retreat. A koi pond or fountain can transform your decorative rock garden into a tranquil oasis.
Select Your Spot
Now it’s time to select the perfect spot for your decorative rock garden. Do you want to place it in the backyard to create a private, cozy place to relax, or do you want it in the front of your home to enhance its aesthetic appeal? Expansive river rock gardens work best in large spaces, while smaller structures such as raised garden beds are ideal for smaller yards. When you’ve decided where your decorative rock garden will be placed, you’re ready to begin the design process.
Create a Detailed Design Plan
It’s crucial to have a design plan before you select your plants, decorative rocks, and other features you’ll have in your decorative rock garden. Your design plan will serve as your guide when you’re ready to shop for the materials you’ll need. Make sure to consider your color palette, the textures you prefer, and the space you’ll have to work with. If you aren’t sure how to begin your design, a quick online search can give you plenty of ideas that will inspire your creativity. You’ll be amazed at the variety of designs you can create, from a natural-looking rockscape featuring muted grey tones to intricate eye-catching patterns using polished gold, green, black, and white pebbles.
Remove Grass & Place the First Layer
Decorative rock gardens with grass sprouting through the cracks are definitely not low-maintenance, so it’s essential to remove any grass from the area before you build your garden. Next, it’s time to lay down your first layer of decorative rocks. Use the largest river rocks first to provide support for the layers you’ll be adding as you go along. Place these larger river rocks in your preferred design shape, positioning them to guide the placement of the remaining layers as you continue building.
Now it’s time to add your soil. Sandy soil is ideal for decorative rock gardens because they require adequate drainage. If you’re building a raised garden bed, use a shovel to fill the space in the center. If your river rock garden is going to be much larger, use the soil to fill in the spaces between the decorative rocks.
Place the Second Layer
This is where you can get really creative. The second layer is usually composed of smaller stones, and it’s typically where you’ll want to use your favorite decorative rocks, such as Mexican beach pebble. If you’re building a raised decorative rock garden bed, make a second circle within the first one. In addition to space within the inner circle, leave room between the circles to place plants. If your decorative rock garden is going to be expansive, place the second layer of decorative rocks in spaces on top of the soil where their beauty can best be seen.
Add the Plants
Your design plan will serve as your guide when you’re placing your plants. Elements such as size, height, texture, and color will determine the best placement for each plant, and don’t be afraid to deviate from your design plan if you need to. You may discover some plants look better next to each other, large plants may work best on the first layer, and smaller ones should be placed strategically to optimize the overall aesthetic appeal of your decorative rock garden.
Decorative rock gardens can be a fantastic way to add beauty, texture, and a natural look to any landscape. If you need advice on designing a river rock garden of your own, call on the experts at RS&P Rock Stones & Pebbles, your premier choice when you’re looking for a supplier of landscape rock, river rock, and stones to create the perfect look in your yard. We specialize in drought-tolerant landscaping materials, including a variety of colored beach pebbles and river rock. To learn how we can help you enhance the exterior of your home, call us today at (866) 380-0580.