A rock garden is a low maintenance way to make your outdoor area sparkle. Rock gardens are perfect for the warmer climate across Australia and can bring a little Zen to your area. If you are ready to kiss the ugly mulch goodbye and opt for something a little more Balinese, then consider creating a rock garden.
The first thing you need to do is prep the area. A rock garden will require a border of some sort. If you already have a garden in place with a concrete border, then you are ready to go. If not, consider purchasing larger rocks to create a border for your rock garden.
Next, you will need to get the ground ready. You will need to get rid of all the weeds, mulch and anything else in your garden. This means a lot of shovelling and digging. Get down at least three inches below the border and try to make this area as smooth as possible.
Footings and Base
It is a good idea to place water resistant plastic or breathable mesh down over the dirt. You can buy this at any raw material store by the meter. The reason is because the breathable mesh will prevent weeds from growing between the rocks.
If you are planning on planting flowers and plants in the garden, then you will need to cut space in the breathable mesh to allow the plant’s roots to grow. Stage the plants that you want to grow in the garden and then cut the mesh according to your garden design. After you place the mesh down, you can plant the different plants by weaving them through the holes in the mesh that are designed for them.
Now the fun part, choosing your rocks! When placing the rocks in your garden, you will want the rocks to cover the garden completely. This means you will most likely need several bags of rocks from a raw materials place. You can purchase rocks by the square meter or by the bag. If you have a ute, then by the square meter will be easier and cheaper but it can also leave the back of your ute quite dirty. You can choose various types of rocks in different colours. Marble, for example, is a beautiful white polished rock but tends to be around three times more expensive than some of the other options, such as black chip. You may wish to mix and match your garden with various rock options or you may want to stick to a certain type of rock.
Before you throw the rocks in the garden you should give them a good clean to get rid of the dust and the dirt. Place them on your driveway and put a hose over them. Then pick them up from the driveway and transport them into the garden.
Aim for your rock garden to be at least three inches thick. That way you know you are getting full coverage and that the rocks will remain in place. You are also reducing the risk of weeds growing underneath. Be careful not to crush the plants in place when scattering the rocks.
Once you have finished scattering the rocks, you may want to set up a sprinkler system to water the plants. You can purchase sprinkler hoses that can be placed underneath the rocks and sprinklers that are positioned to spray water directly onto the plants. This saves you having to individually water each plant every couple of days.
Add a little extra to your rock garden by placing figurines, lights, stone animals and other fun garden items scattered within the rocks.
Jenna Galley lives in Cairns, Queensland with her husband, two small children, Jacob and Jade, and dog Koah. She is a freelance writer and small business owner as well as an avid reader and wine drinker.