Landscaping With Rocks

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Landscaping With Rocks

Choosing the Right Rocks for Your Landscape The rocks you choose will help set the tone for the rest of your garden. Tawny beach pebbles or river rocks add warmth, while white marble chips help brighten up shady areas. Flat terracotta stones complement a tropical landscape, but can seem out of place in a more formal garden. For a minimalist modern landscape or Polynesian-themed garden, try black lava rocks. Check out photos of rockscapes online to see what appeals to you. Because stones last indefinitely, it’s important to choose a look you’ll be happy with for many years. Replace Mulch Rocks may be more expensive than mulch, but they have several advantages as a groundcover. The first is durability. Mulch must be replaced every season, while rocks can last the lifetime of your garden. Another advantage is that pale-colored stones provide striking contrast against deep-colored foliage and help brighten up shady corners of your landscape. “Call attention to a favorite shrub or specimen tree by surrounding it with medium-sized river stones. This creates the effect of a ‘living sculpture’,” says landscape architect Maureen Smith. Rocks will also discourage weed growth around your prized plant, but for the best results, install a weed barrier before putting the stones in place. Plant a Rock Garden For a more exotic look, add a rock garden to your landscape. Choose an area that gets plenty of sun and install two or three small boulders. Surround the boulders with closely spaced low-lying flowers, such as portulaca (left), ground orchids or decorative cactus. Carefully fill in the gaps with smaller stones that complement the color of your boulders. Create a Centerpiece A large, unusually-shaped boulder can serve as an eye-catching focal point. Use as a tidy, low-maintenance centerpiece in a small garden, where an ornamental shrub might become too large or unruly. In larger gardens, a rock centerpiece can add visual interest to monotonous border areas, such as hedges. Build a Pond Border Large rocks are the key to giving your backyard pond that fairytale look. The right type of stone will help camouflage unsightly black pond liners and provide contrast to the dark pond water. Avoid using even rectangular pavers. For the most natural effect, choose rocks that are similar in size but irregular in shape and color. Create a Low-Maintenance Container Garden Instead of setting up a container garden on your deck or patio, where the pots need regular watering, place them in a rockscape that’s within reach of your sprinkler system. Line the area with a weed barrier and set the containers on top. Cut holes in the barrier, so the bottoms of the pots can fit through and settle into the soil. Make sure the pots have adequate holes for drainage. Surround the pots with small stones in a complementary color. The result is a striking container garden that gets watered whenever your sprinklers come on. Make a Stepping Stone Path A stepping stone path is a picturesque option for those shady areas alongside your house, where there is too little sun for most plants to thrive. It’s also a practical way to keep shoes clean when walking up to a side door or back door. For a tidy look, surround large stepping stones with small pebbles in a contrasting color.

Landscaping With Rocks

1 Vary the size of your landscaping rocks. Naturally, you want your rocks to be in all different sizes. Leave holes big enough between for your plants—some tiny some bigger. Ask for advice from your local nursery as to the best place to acquire landscaping stones. Getty Images 2 Choose the right location. Do you have a hill? If not, make one with your rocks and soil. You might include some larger stones to give your hill some height– such a hill is called a berm. Getty ImagesAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 3 Map it out. On a piece of paper, use a pencil to draw out how you would like to place your stones before you start moving them to and fro. Sketching will save you a great deal of extra work when it comes time for placing the rocks! Try to mimic nature with your arrangements. Random groupings look more natural, instead of placing them in straight rows. Getty Images 4 Pick the right plants for your rock garden. The best plants for rock gardens tend to be on the small side, often alpine in origin and drought-tolerant. They all need good drainage – especially if you live somewhere that gets a good amount of rainfall each year. Think tiny when it comes to your rock garden plants. Smaller bulbs are nice choice—especially small daffodils, wild tulip species, blue eyed grass or brodiaea.Creeping plants are fun to use, too, because they soften the hard edges of the rocks and help blend your plantings over time. I like to use small mints, sedums, mosses, ice plants, and short grasses like blue fescue. Succulents are also classic rock garden plants and are fun to tuck in here and there in the most unlikely spots—plus, they are hardy in most climates. Getty ImagesAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 5 Use soil correctly. I mention soil last, but it is always the most important part of creating a healthy garden. Before planting, combine small rocks, a layer of sand (use a few inches) and a layer of a lean topsoil. The top layer of soil should have some peat and small lava rock mixed in. You don’t want to use a rich nutrient rich soil with lots of compost because rock garden plant like it lean and mean. Soil that is too rich will result in unhappy looking plants! Getty Images 6 Make it sentimental. In our garden we have made a tradition of including carved stones to commemorate lost pets, friends and family. Each little stone has the name of the loved one. We place them around as friendly reminders of those we love who have passed on. Children really seem to love this idea. There are many companies who offer rock and stone carvings. It a very personal touch to add to your garden and a nice conversation piece as well.(Pictured: Personalized Stone Pet Memorial; mainlinedesigns.etsy.com) mainlinedesigns.etsy.com

Landscaping With Rocks

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Landscaping With Rocks

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Landscaping With Rocks

When most gardeners dive into a landscaping project, they typically — and naturally — think of plants. But landscaping with rocks and stones to accompany plants and trees or to use as stand-alone elements can be a refreshing way to add texture, color, and interest to your yard. Award-winning garden writer and author Barbara Pleasant (barbarapleasant.com) wrote Garden Stone (Storey Publishing, 2004), in which she offers tips to make the most out of landscaping with rocks and stones.

Landscaping With Rocks

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