There are lots of ways to incorporate a rock garden into your landscaping. From traditional Zen gardens to large rockeries, you can make as big a statement as you want with rocks and pebbles.
This type of garden has been around for hundreds of years, with the earliest Zen gardens in Japan dating back to the 8th century AD. They evolved over time, along with Japanese culture, and yet stayed true to their original essence – a distillation of the most essential elements of nature. They are designed to be simple in appearance, with a few larger rocks, moss and water features in amongst the white gravel to bring life to the area and represent nature in its most basic forms.
You can design your own Zen garden by sectioning off an area and creating solid boundaries around the space. Decide where you want to place your larger rocks and moss sections. You can also add plants that have been pruned up and away from the gravel. Then add your gravel to the open areas. This should then be raked to represent flowing water.
Pebbles make for great groundcover and provide a visually interesting and sturdy alternative to grass. It works really well in small areas that experience high foot traffic as the stones are far more durable than something organic and living. For example, the section between your front door and the driveway, or the area in front of a bench in your garden.
Another way to use pebbles as groundcover is as an alternative to mulch in your flower beds. They keep a lot of the moisture in the soil on sunny, dry days. They also help prevent erosion in the ground from wind and rain.
Rockeries create visual interest and focal points in your landscaping. They can be a purely decorative feature or have the added function of working as a retaining wall in a sloped garden.
In order to make your rockery look natural, go for local stones that are found in your area. Also try to get some with moss or lichen growing on them. This gives a sense of time and longevity to even a brand new feature.
Build the base of your rockery with large, stable boulders. Then add rocks with interesting shapes to create a unique look in your garden.
Rocks work well for creating borders for pathways or water features in your garden. They add a sense of definition to each area while still looking natural and part of the landscape.
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