19 Best Rock Garden Ideas That Look Great

They say that nothing good comes on a silver platter. As such, regardless of how rock garden ideas seem simple, there is much more than what meets the eye. Sorry, but a great rock garden is not just about throwing some plants and rocks together.  A lot goes into picking the right plants to grow in a rock garden. Find 19 best rock garden ideas here-under to play with.

rock garden ideas

1. Rock Garden Plants

Rock Garden Plants

In any rock garden, plants are as important as the rocks. Choose varied colors to keep things interesting. Put on a little creativity to have as many heights and textures. Can you spot any chunks of stones or strap pebbles in your surrounding? Pick them and spread them throughout your rock garden

2. Cactus and Air Plants on a Rock

Cactus and Air Plants on a Rock

A large rock in your rock garden can make a great planter. This is so especially when you’re making arrangements with succulents, cactus and air plants. For air plants, attach them to the rock using hot glue but be keen not to cover their leaves with the glue. Fill any crevices on the rock using soil and use moss to prevent soil from tumbling from the crevices.

3. Rocky Details

Rocky Details

If rock diversity matters to you, consider the pebble that you intend to use. Do you have specific preferences in matters size? This isn’t easy as it sounds.  Always remember that rocks are the building blocks of your garden design and be keen in their selection, little difference can make a difference. You may prefer to have pebbles raked in a liner or circular patterns. Arrange your rocks and pebbles with a sense of balance to create rocky works of art. 

4. Level of Pebbles

Level of Pebbles

One-layered rock garden may be okay in itself but these small stones will be a great addition to any garden. Don’t you think a multi-level garden will be a great way of adding diversity? You can add a terraced effect for a more attractive rock garden with the help of pebbles and metal edging. A graveled pathway makes it possible to easily incorporate stairs as well. The pebbles add an appeal to your garden without taking much space. 

5. Succulent Rock Garden

Succulent Rock Garden

Consider having succulents in your rock garden. Why? Succulents thrive in an environment that drains well, rocky soil is good in that. The soft leaves of the succulents and the smooth surfaces of round rocks forms a great contrast to the rough texture of sand.

Read more: 25 Best Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

6. Bedrock Garden

Bedrock Garden

This type of rock garden features large rocks that are inter-planted with brightly colored small plants. The types of flowers normally found in the bedrock garden are irises which thrive in Spring and lilies which bloom in summer. The bedrock garden requires big space. You can use it to inspire your rock garden.

7. Lavender Rock Garden

Lavender Rock Garden

Lavender originated from Mediterranean area. Maybe that explains why it does well in dry and rocky soil. Lavender can be planted alongside a pile of stones or be tuck into rock walls. You can also consider planting it alongside flowering plants like poppy whose water requirements match.  Its spiky leaves accentuate the appearance of your rock garden. Importantly, you don’t have to plant a lot of them, a single lavender plant can be eye-catching enough. 

8. Rock Placement matters

Rock Placement matters

For larger rocks, bury them beneath the ground to make them look more natural. Also, be keen to place them first. As a way of mimicking natural rock garden, maintain a ratio of one or two in every type of rock used. Ensure you leave gaps in soils for plants to grow.

9. Check the soil before planting your rock garden

Check the soil before planting your rock garden

After you put your rocks in place, test the soil to determine which plants thrive in its pH level. If the type of plants you wish to have different pH requirements, rake out the existing soil and replace it with the most appropriate. 

10. Stone steps with flowers

Stone steps with flowers

If your rock garden is narrow, this idea is suitable for you. Instead of having your pebbles, stone steps and cute flowers lined one the sides, you can replace the flowers with a few green shrubs or cacti.

11. Hillside rock garden

Hillside rock garden

Is your garden big and sloppy? This idea will be great for you. What about putting stone steps in one place, pebble pathway in another and your rocky flower beds between them. Your imagination is your only limitation. You can as well pick any type of cacti and bushes for this.

12. Little bug rock garden

Do you like the ‘good luck’ carriers-Ladybugs? Maybe it’s time to have their sight throughout in your yard. You can turn your rock garden into an admirable bug-fest with the painted bug rocks bought from the stor

Little bug rock garden

es. If you want to completely DIY your rock garden, you can paint them on your own. You can stick to one bug or do varied species. The choice is yours. 

13. DIY Spiral rock garden

DIY Spiral rock garden

This is perfect for small spaces. If you intend to give your yard a focal point, this should be the ultimate choice. It’s easy to put in place. Once your rocks are set, add some plants for a bit of color.

14. Rock garden terraces

Rock garden terraces

You probably know that rocks can be an excellent part of terraces. Depending on how you add your plants, your rocks can shine and prove to be the main eye catcher or as a complement to your plants. You’ll be surprised at the resultant neat aesthetic.

15. Tabletop DIY Rock Garden

Tabletop DIY Rock Garden

This is a great idea especially if your space is limited or you simply don’t want to keep on mowing around your rock garden. A tabletop rock garden is very gorgeous and relaxing. It is easy to make and the perfect choice if you want a lovely rock garden outside or inside your patio table.

16. Flat slabs DIY walkway garden

Flat slabs DIY walkway garden

Nothing instills a relaxing natural feel in the garden better than well crafted rocks in a flat slab walkway. If the idea of a rock garden with the idea creek in the makes sense to you, look no further. Simply use flat slabs, concrete and wooden plank in your rock garden and show the world the true nature lovechild in you.

17. Japanese Zen rock garden

This depicts the essence of nature. The rock garden does not only have rocks and plants, add a little Zen feel in the structure, some fine greenery in the sides and you’ll have nailed it right in the heat. It looks like huge jades spre

Japanese Zen rock garden

ad on flaxen ground, perfectly done without any compromise of its calm meditative appeal.

18. Garden pond with rocks

Garden pond with rocks

Do you have a pond or a water body on your garden? Smooth rocks will add a great look on its banks. Additionally, when you want to peep over your pond, you can this as a stepping platform. It’s a perfect way of showing your pond in a flashy manner. The rocks also signify that the area is out of bounds thus complementing the water aesthetically.

19. Rock garden with waterfall

Rock garden with waterfall

Have you ever wished to have a waterfall in your backyard? For me, yes, that’s one of the dreams I’ve made true. If the sound of water splashing while flowing down a rock formation excites you, this rock garden idea is for you. As long as you have the resources to make it, let nothing prevent you.

Read more: 16 Amazing Water garden Ideas for Your Garden

Wrapping it up…

Undoubtedly, rock gardens are the ultimate solution for an enviable yard. If you’re looking for something cheap, low maintenance and great for both small and big areas, think rock gardens. We hope the above rock garden ideas will go a long way in helping you determine the best rock garden style for your yard.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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