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8 DIY Rock Garden Plans You Can Make Today

beautiful rock garden oudoors

Rock gardens are a fantastic way to transform your yard, even if you are an inexperienced gardener. With just a few rocks and a good plan, you can create a garden that’s the talk of the street.

If you’ve never created a rock garden before, it can be difficult to know where to start. Even though these gardens are simple, they still require appropriate planning, resources, and tools.

Below, you will find 8 DIY rock garden plans that you can make today. Whether you want a rock garden that includes flowers or a simplistic, rock-only garden, we have the plans for you.

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The Top 8 DIY Rock Garden Plans

1. Della Reside’s Spiral Rock Garden

Materials: Rocks of various sizes, landscape fabric, landscape bark
Tools: Paper, pencil
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Della Reside’s Spiral Rock Garden is a great choice if you want a unique garden. This rock garden has a spiral shape, which was selected because of the sacred importance of the spiral in Zen traditions. However, this design looks cool, even if you are not interested in the symbolism of the spiral.

This plan is very easy to follow. Della Reside recommends starting with a sketch so you can see how it will look before you begin. She gives tips for creating the plan and selecting stones based on the color of your house.

The only reason why this is listed as intermediate instead of beginner is that it requires you to sketch out the plan beforehand. Luckily, you don’t have to be an artist in order to sketch a good drawing—you just need to be able to see the garden before laying it down.


2. Den Garden’s Landscaping Rock Garden

Materials: Large rocks
Tools: Shovel, edger
Difficulty Level: Beginner

The Den Garden’s Landscaping Rock Garden plan is a great place to start if you’ve never renovated your yard or garden before. This plan is incredibly simple and straightforward so you can create a beautiful rock garden in no time.

This plan is great if you do not want to do a lot of detailed work. Instead, this plan relies on large rocks that are strategically placed to create ornamentation in the yard. It only takes three steps to complete as well.


3. Backyard Boss Rock Gardens

Materials: Stones, plants
Tools: Trowel, shovel, tape measure, wheelbarrow
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Backyard Boss provides fantastic tips and information for creating your first rock garden. Not only does this article list out steps for building a rock garden, but it also explains what a rock garden is, its advantages, and design basics.

This plan is great for explaining every single step of the rock garden creation. It even gives tips for planting plant life around the rocks to add tons of life and texture to your rock garden.

This plan is intermediate because it requires planting plants and moving a lot of compost and soil. However, you should be able to accomplish this plan as a beginner if you follow the steps listed.


4. HowStuffWorks Rock Garden Plan

Materials: Stones, plants, mulch
Tools: Trowel, shovel, tape measure, wheelbarrow
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

HowStuffWorks is a great site for learning the basics about a variety of projects. This rock garden plan describes all the basic steps for creating your own rock garden. It even describes how to plan for your rock garden, as well as how to execute the plan and keep the garden in good condition.

This plan is intermediate because it does not provide explicit steps for creating your own rock garden. Instead, it gives an overview of all of the steps in paragraph form. This may require you to go out on a limb to create and design your own rock garden. With a bit of effort and imagination, though, you can certainly get it done as a beginner.


5. David Domoney’s Alpine Rock Garden

Materials: Stones, alpine plants, gravel
Tools: Trowel, shovel, wheelbarrow
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

David Domoney’s Alpine Rock Garden is a very specific rock garden that is perfect for people wanting the most beautiful and lifelike rock garden. It uses alpines to add more color and texture to the rock garden base.

These plans tell you everything you need to know, including what wildlife to select, how to plan the rock garden, and how to plant it.

The one thing to know about this plan is that it isn’t suitable for all areas and locations. You need to live in USDA hardiness zones 6B and 7A in order for these alpine plants to grow. If you don’t live in these areas, you can still use the plans as a basis, but select plants that are suitable for your area instead.


6. Family Food Garden’s Herb Spiral Garden

Materials: Stones, alpine plants, gravel
Tools: Trowel, shovel, wheelbarrow
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

The Family Food Garden’s Herb Spiral Garden might not mention rocks in its name, but this is a great take on a rock garden. It uses rocks to create a beautiful spiral that goes upwards. You can then plant herbs and other life on the spiral. If you are looking for a functional but attractive rock garden, this is the plan for you.

These plans are very thorough in their instructions, and the article is split up into two sections. The first gives you an overview of the plan and the second gives you step-by-step instructions for creating the spiral garden.


7. Fine Gardening’s Utah Garden

Materials: Not listed
Tools: Not listed
Difficulty Level: Expert

Fine Gardening offers a two-day guide to creating a beautiful Utah garden. This Utah garden involves wonderful alpine wildlife with large rocks. It even includes rock stairs to create an extensive rock garden that is one of a kind.

This plan does not offer step-by-step instructions, unfortunately. Instead, it only offers a collection of pictures of this beautiful rock garden. So, you should use this site as inspiration for your rock garden but don’t expect a literal plan.

This plan is an expert-level rock garden. For starters, it does not provide step-by-step instructions, but a simple look at these pictures will also show that it requires a skilled hand in order to layer these rocks as seen in the pictures.

Even if you are not an expert, you can use these pictures as inspiration and incorporate some of their simpler ideas into your own rock garden plan.


8. Art of Gardening’s Hellstrip

Materials: Not listed
Tools: Not listed
Difficulty Level: Expert

Art of Gardening does not provide explicit plans for their “hellstrip” design, but it offers many pictures to get you inspired. In this article, “hellstrip” refers to the space in between a sidewalk and the road that can be decorated with plants and rocks.

The pictures listed are interesting because you can see the plain strips of grass behind it, in comparison to the beautiful hellstrip. Once again, this is not a literal plan, but it will definitely get you inspired to incorporate different plants, rocks, and artwork into your rock garden design.

We have only listed this plan as “expert” since it doesn’t include actual steps. You will have to make the leap yourself in order to create a hellstrip like the ones you see in the pictures. However, the pictures are less difficult to replicate than some of the expert plans listed above.

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What Are The Benefits of a Rock Garden?

Rock gardens are advantageous because they offer unique scenery to your home without increasing tasks on your to-do list. A rock garden will add texture and life to the yard, which makes it more attractive from the road.

At the same time, rock gardens are much easier to care for than traditional gardens. Especially if you select rock-only rock gardens, you won’t have to worry about watering and fertilizing the soil, though you might have to weed occasionally and add more rocks.

Overall, rock gardens are a great choice if you want to renovate your gardens without adding additional flowerbeds to the area.

What Do You Put Under A Rock Garden?

When you are creating a rock garden, you should use a heavy-duty landscape fabric underneath. This will create a base for your rock garden. Place small pebbles or mulch over the fabric and around the larger rocks to hide the fabric underneath.

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Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you find the perfect garden rock plan for your home. Don’t be afraid to incorporate multiple plans in your garden and improvise a bit. It’s hard to get things wrong with a rock garden! So, let your imagination lead the way!


Featured Image Credit: Aleksandr Kondratov, Shutterstock

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