Rocks are a natural foundation for pretty gardens. Attractive rocks ground the look of your landscaping, giving the plants a foil to further showcase their beauty. Likewise, rock gardens can create a rugged profile for your gardening. Plan a rock garden that adds color and texture to your yard.

Layered Texture

A textured rock garden offers the most visual interest. For a textured rock garden, start with one or two big rocks that feature flecks of minerals or other patterning. Vary the scale by creating a dry creek bed of smooth pebbles, and add one or two mid-sized stones. The plants should also feature various textures. Look for plants such as aloe and grasses with pointy leaves, and intersperse others with rounded leaves. Finish the garden with a few clumps of pretty blooms, such as lavender and forget-me-nots.

Spring Glory

A spring rock garden offers year-round blooming with the highlight taking place in spring. The foundation of this garden is a series of landscaping rocks laid out in a casual arc. Place one of the larger rocks in the center, but don't look for symmetry. Instead, cluster some of the smaller rocks on one end to balance a larger rock on the other end.

For the garden, Better Homes and Gardens suggests planting low-lying plants with a lot of color. Plants with colorful leaves, such as hosta and ornamental cabbage, offer year-round color. However, pretty flowers, such as pansies and poppies, show off in the spring and early summer. Follow a similar shape as your landscaping rocks when planting, clustering smaller plants in an arc while allowing a few big plants to stand alone.

Formal Design

Rock gardens often offer a wild look, but you can tame it with a rock wall. Have contractors build up a retaining wall of natural stone. Build up soil inside the wall, and create a pretty mini garden. For example select low-lying plants, such as aubrieta and phlox, to contrast with the stone. Add plants such as dianthus to fill in crevices and give your stone wall a more natural look.

Mini Rock Gardens

Perhaps large installations of stones don't fit with your landscaping plans. In that case, create pretty mini gardens with stones as the centerpiece. Start with colorful landscaping rocks, and create a small pile. Choose similarly colorful but small plants to partner with the stones. For example, start with a pile of red granite. Add a planting of Mojave sage for gray-green foliage. Look for tiny bloomers, such as sulfur flower, that nonetheless feature bright coloration to complete your mini garden.

Utilize landscaping stone from a company like Builder's Sand & Gravel Inc. to complement live plantings for a beautiful rock garden.

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