Knowing the how in rock gardening, and precisely following the ways in which you can begin one on your own, is vital. Here's how you need to begin.
Clear the Area
Discard dead plants or weeds in your area, and shovel your way through the earth to get rid of stubborn ones. Tough branches call for a sturdy pair of shears that will help clear a path. Eliminate any evidence of plant life; you don't want them regrowing in the same spot.
Pick a Layout
Once you've pictured what layout you want to work with, make a note of the measurements of the area, and shift the markings if you want to make any changes.
Place Your Stones Correctly
Once you've selected which stones to work on (if you want to go all out on your rock garden, get stones that will highlight its pathways, ponds, and plant life), place them in the areas you want the plants to take root from. Start by moving around the bigger stones using the right equipment; do not attempt to do this step alone. Once you've selected which stones go where, make sure they aren't too haphazardly placed; maintain order.
Type of Plants
Like I mentioned earlier, choose plants that grow in favor of the climate. Juggle with different kinds of plants like Japanese rock garden plants that add an element of Zen to any surrounding.
- Mosses and lichens are highly recommended―you can border flagstones along pathways with them.
- Castanea (chestnut)
- Cotoneaster (evergreen shrub)
- Juniperus Horizontalis (Glauca―evergreen coniferous shrub)
- Morgenroot (evergreen shrub)
- Minor (thyme―groundcover)
- Cotula Potentillina (water buttons―groundcover)
For those who want to incorporate riverbeds, you'll need to create one using an eye for detail, or through a professional who knows what he's doing. This will require a lot of digging work and planning. The plants you pick out can then be planted in the earth. Make sure the holes are twice the width of the plant's roots.
These plants require direct sunlight; therefore, don't place them in shaded spots. Make sure to position these plants in such a way that they are not deprived of sunlight. Some plants don't always feed on pure sunlight, so do a little research about how much exposure is required; sometimes, placing certain plants in partial sunlight is a necessity.
"What's so special about the garden at Ryoanji?" I asked him, naming the famous rock and sand garden in Kyoto's most brochured and pamphleted Zen temple.
"The spaces between the rocks," he replied, with his mouth full of toothpaste. - Alan Booth (Looking for the Lost)