Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Designing a Rock Desert Garden

Learning how to design a desert rock garden is pretty easy.  With enough design knowledge and inspiration you can get a beautiful rock garden.  There just as many ways to design your garden as there are rocks and plants that could go in your garden, but careful planning can ensure you have a garden that is aesthetically pleasing and will become a rewarding experience as your neighbors look on your yard with envy and they will.

In the first place designing your rock garden is to look at your space.  Every lawn has at least a ground surface.  Many  will  include grass, weeds, trees, and other shrubs and or plants.  If you have a section of your land that doesn’t have any vegetation, then this is probably a good location for your desert rock garden.

A good method of rock gardens is to take bedrock and show the bedrock jutting from the ground with a vegetation plane above it.  In this arrangement, the plants are there to hide the cracks in the bedrock or even give an illusion to there being a single piece of bedrock, instead of lots of little pieces.

One method is the Japanese rock garden.  This method is usually just sand in a contained area with a few rocks, and designs traced into the sand with a rake.  This can be very pretty and you could change the look as often as you wanted to.

After taking a look at your landscape, you should first choose any area that already doesn’t have anything growing on it.  If you’re looking at a pile of dirt or a natural rockscape, then you are lucky, because your pre-planning stage is already done. 

If you have a solid plane of grass all around your house, then your job is a little harder.  You could use the rock garden to enhance your driveway or your walkway, or any way in between.  Maybe you want to break up the land by having a rock garden between some shrubs or even if your location is completely bare except for the grass.

Clear your area of everything.  You don’t want any chance vegetation appearing in your rock garden because that would throw off the design.  Then, you get rocks!  But, not just any rocks.  Consider your area and what rocks are indigenous to your area and get only those.

If you already have a rocky area in your yard it will provide an excellent start.  You should consider breaking up those rocks up and using them in another area of your landscape. So...now what about plants? 

Consider what plants your area would have in rocky desert areas.  These plants are typically small and need less water than other plants.  If you’re going for the “mimic nature” approach, then your choice of plants will be limited as you’ll have to follow your area’s ecology to make sure you mimic them accurately.

The best way to arrange a rock garden is to take a few rocks of random sizes, probably no more than five, and make some small piles with them.  Don’t arrange the rock piles in a linear pattern as this is not the method in nature. 

If you wish to add plants, then add them sparingly in between a lot of rock piles or even interspersed with the rock piles.  Any vegetation in your rock garden should be done on purpose.  Then you’ll have your completed, low maintenance, lawn decoration.

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