Monday, April 2, 2012

The Rock Garden – Adding Depth and Dimension to Your Yard! by Vicky Spelman-Lang

Now is the time to start daydreaming for your next yard project – a rock garden.  They are great for slopes, or for building levels in an otherwise flat flower garden.  The nooks and crannies created with the rocks can make for unique planting areas.

 My motivation for building a rock garden came from seeing some aerials of the backyard.  Viewing photos from a birds-eye view allowed me to start envisioning a path to the top of our property, with a cactus well and rock garden integrated into the design.  The south-facing slope also meant wonderful light for this type of project.

 When planning a rock garden it’s important to establish the large elements first. I started 4 years ago, first planting four evergreens so they would be well established by the time the rest was completed.  Next I had some large boulders brought in to give an otherwise flat slope more depth and dimension.  I ordered a pallet of pavers for the steps.  The steps took extra planning….  I knew I didn’t want a straight line going up the hill.  Curves are great for adding visual interest and also divert the water better during Colorado downpours.


As I worked more on the hill, I realized I had a huge natural resource – unlimited rocks everywhere for using in the path and outlining the entire rock garden.   Once I had the foundation of my rock garden established, it was time to fill in with lots of smaller stones, and plants.

Four years later….    The rock garden integrated nicely into hill and was on its way to being established, plus we have a great view from our patio.