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How To Design a Rock Garden

Bring some Zen into your life with a beautiful rock garden. Design a tranquil space that will help you escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


  • Step 1: Select bulbs and annual plants that will add color to your space. Use plants like tulips and poppies to give your garden variations throughout the seasons.
  • TIP: Include a water feature like a small stream or a waterfall to add a soothing sound to your garden space.
  • Step 2: Place your rocks according to your design, burying at least one-third of each rock to keep it from moving out of place. Add a gravel path and plants, and enjoy your new personal haven.
  • FACT: Scientists have carbon dated many of the rocks used to construct Stonehenge and have discovered that the structure was build over a large number of years between 3000 and 1500 B.C.E.
  • TIP: Prune the plants frequently to control their growth and keep them from covering your rocks.
  • Step 3: Find tough, strong perennial plants to add to your rock garden. Select plants that are native to your area and fit in with the rest of your design.
  • Step 4: Develop a concept for how you want your rock garden to look. Choose a design that is practical and in scale with the size of your space and the surrounding buildings and other structures.
  • Step 5: Learn about rocks that are indigenous to your area, and shop around to find a single type that is available in sizes that fit your concept.
  • TIP: Call your local parks department to see if you can collect rocks from public lands at no cost or for a small fee.
  • Step 6: Find gravel mulch that matches the rocks you've chosen. Use gravel that looks like it could be small pieces of the larger rocks.
  • Step 7: Select a spot for your garden that gets frequent sunlight and has quick-draining soil.

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