Gardens - Rock Gardens

Plan a rock garden to suit your site and style

Create visual impact by pairing the natural look of stone with the right plants

Positioning rocks to mimic those in nature requires patience and the ability to plan as you go. Here are some helpful guidelines.

  • Group rocks together, leaving the occasional one on its own.
  • Avoid arranging stones in rows or placing them so they look like chocolate chips in a cookie. 
  • Rock gardens look more authentic if they’re three to four times wider than their height.

Selecting and siting plants
  • Choose plants appropriate to your site conditions, including air circulation, soil and sun.
  • The higher up the plants sit, the smaller they should be. 
  • Upright specimens, such as some conifers, look better at the base of a rock than at the top. 
  • Keep groupings in proportion; bigger plants such as hostas and ferns look odd teamed with smaller-scale creeping alpine plants.


  • Mulch with coarse gravel or crushed stone in the same materials as your rocks to control weeds, prevent moisture loss and moderate soil temperature.
  • When the soil dries out, water thoroughly (about three hours) to encourage alpines to send their roots deep.
  • Additional fertilizing is usually unnecessary, except in areas where moisture leaches nutrients from the soil.


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