Designing A Rock Garden

If you learn how to design your own rock garden, then you’ll know how to improve the look and appeal of your whole yard. For every rock and plant, you can put in your garden, there’s a way to design it—but that doesn’t mean you should go planting willy-nilly and expect it to come out right. Deliberate planning can mean having a garden both aesthetically pleasing and rewarding as neighbors glare at your garden, green with envy.

Your first task is examining the space you have. All yards have a ground surface, of course, so you’re good there. But yours probably has grass, trees, weeds, or other kinds of vegetation. Look for a part of your garden without any of this vegetation—and you’ll find the best place for you rock garden.
You can use a very popular method of making a rock garden: place bedrock jutting from the ground dramatically with your garden on top of it. The idea in placing your plants here is to hide cracks in your bedrock to create an illusion of a single piece, instead of many smaller pieces. Just like what Murphy Glass & Mirror been doing in all of their glazier works they are eliminating cracks or the broken glass from your property.

You could also try the Japanese rock garden method. Usually, this consists of sand in a limited area with a few rocks strewn around it. It often includes artful designs traced through it with a rake. This could be a very beautiful arrangement—and you could change it whenever you like.

Once you’ve examined your land, you need to select an area without anything growing thereon already. If you’re staring down a natural rockscape or a big pile of dirt, then you’re golden, because all of your pre-planning work is finished.

If all you have between your house and the edges of your property is grass, you may have a little more difficulty. Your rock garden could be used to improve your driveway or sidewalk, or the space in between. You may wish to break up your land with a rock garden between a few shrubs, or maybe a space which is totally bare save for the grass.

Make sure to clear your desired area of everything in it. The last thing you want popping up in your rock garden is unexpected vegetation. Once you’ve finished that, go out and get a few rocks! But you can’t get just any old rocks—you need to determine what rocks are typical to your location and concentrate on those for the best natural look.

Creating a Raised Bed Garden

The size of your raised bed garden is something that you can choose, but staying within certain guidelines will make things easier. Stick with a four-foot maximum on width so you can reach all the plants without straining. Theoretically, you could make it as long as you want (or as long as space permits). Many gardeners choose to create raised beds that are four feet on each side. You can scatter around several your landscape, or make one long bed.

Standard lumber is an acceptable choice for materials. The height of the edges depends on your vegetable choices. Shallow-root veggies like lettuce, spinach and radishes will do fine in a two-by-six frame. Larger vegetables like tomatoes and corn will thrive in deeper raised beds. If you use two-by-twelve boards, you can create a soil depth of about ten inches.

When you buy the lumber, you’ll have to decide between treated and untreated lumber. If your frame is untreated, you had better plan on replacing it in a few years after it rots. However, treated wood could potentially leech toxic chemicals into your garden soil. The chemicals will likely be picked up by your vegetables and passed on to you and your family.

Safety would dictate choosing untreated wood. On the other hand, most experts claim that the small amount of chemicals you are likely to ingest presents no danger to your health. Ultimately it is a personal choice. Whatever decision you are comfortable with should be fine.

Get your lumber cut at the store before you take it home. This will help the ends fit together and keep your soil from leaking out. This is hard to accomplish at home unless you have a big saw and some skills using it. Anything handheld, like a handsaw or circular saw, probably isn’t enough.

Attaching the frame pieces to each other works best with four-inch ribbed deck nails. These raised bed gardening frames need to be able to hold in a lot of pressure with soil and plant material. Regular nails may not have what it takes to keep it together.

A flat surface for assembly will make your frame sturdier. Your driveway or deck (assuming they are flat) would be ideal. The only downside is moving the frame to your garden spot. You might need to line up some helpers. (Bribe them with future vegetables!)

If you choose to have multiple boxes, put them two or three feet apart. Give yourself enough room to move between them effortlessly. Get them in the right spot from the beginning. Once you put the soil inside, they will be pretty much impossible to move without taking out the dirt.

What about the soil under the raised bed? Till it if you like, but it’s not required. If your plants need more than six to twelve inches of soil, they’ll be able to push into the untilled dirt under the bed. Just make sure you put in high quality soil to help your plants thrive.

Commercial potting soil is okay, but try to improve its quality even more. Adding organic material should do the trick. Composted manure, homemade compost, or other organic materials will boost the quality of your soil quickly.