The Different Elements Of Rock Gardening

Stones, rocks, and boulders are great materials to use for backyard landscaping. For example, they are a key element of Japanese gardens, water gardens, Zen gardens and wall stone gardens (also known as retaining wall gardens). Rock gardens are another gardening style altogether, which incorporates rocks and hardy perennials to create natural looking scenes. Beyond this simple definition, rock gardens are as variable as the gardeners themselves who let their imagination and creativity flow.

Plants And Rocks

Even though the name may lead you to believe that rocks are the only elements in this type of garden, flowers are also an important aspect. Generally speaking, the flowering plants and woody plants used in rock gardens are slow-growing, compact perennial species found at alpine elevations or arctic latitudes.

These plants are typically low maintenance and normally adaptable to changes in temperature and climate. They can even withstand frost, harsh cold periods, drought and low-humidity. Their low-growing habit allows for the form and color of the rocks to be seen and appreciated.

There is no need to worry that your rock garden will look drab or lack color. In addition to all of the color from your plants, rocks like flagstone, river rock, granite, and sandstone range in colors from pale grey, brown, and black, to pink, red and even green or bluish.

While there is no lack of stones to choose from, try not to mix and match too much or it will just come out looking chaotic and messy. Wise advice from Donna Balzer in The Prairie Rock Garden states that, “The key to choosing rock is to ensure that it is appropriate to the style of garden and that the same type of rock is used consistently throughout to strengthen the garden’s sense of unity.”

Aesthetically, rocks in the garden provide seasonal interest in the winter when the plants are resting. Snow piled on rocks creates lovely forms and elevations in your landscape. On the practical side, rock gardening is great in sloped yards as the rocks create a physical barrier to break the fall of rain and prevent soil erosion.

If you decide you would like to try creating your own unique rock garden, contact the professionals at Garrity Stone INC for the stone materials. Stop by our convenient Indianapolis location to browse through our stone, gravel, and other aggregate. You can also reach us by phone at 317-546-0893. We offer services to residential, commercial, municipal, and wholesale customers in Indiana, Ohio, and southern Michigan.