Rock gardens can be a great alternative to high maintenance turf yards, can modernize the style of your property and add spirituality to your life. In this article we will discuss rock garden origins, how to create them, and more importantly the types of rocks and minerals you should consider in your design.
Rock gardens originated from England, where rocks were combined with plants, often on a slope, either naturally occurring or constructed. But the original idea was cascading flora with rocks holding the embankment in place. This original design later followed with the construction of retaining walls or terraces for a more formal and structured look. These days, many rock gardens are put in place of turf, allowing for clean and low maintenance yards. Some designs have taken the original English natural rock gardens and fused them with the style of Japanese (Zen) sand gardens to create a peaceful yet modern atmosphere in a yard. To further follow the theme of Zen, there are particular rocks and minerals suggested that are believed to boost particular energies bringing more positivity and balance to your home.
Things to Consider When Selecting Your Rocks
- Larger stones are preferable as a lot of small ones can look messy. Try a combination of some very large centre pieces with small accent rocks or pebbles around.
- For the bulk of your design, weathered stone that is porous is best. Limestone, for example, absorbs moisture that would be beneficial for any surrounding plants during dry spells.
- Try and avoid soft or scaly rock, shale and un-weathered sandstone. They will not last the test of time with exposure to the elements.
How to Build a Rock Garden Design
- When positioning stones, try to imagine how they would look in their natural state.
- Avoid too much symmetry. A look that is too clinical takes away from the desired effect.
- If you are going to combine a large rock with a plant, slope the rock back to direct the rain towards the plant roots.
- Don’t forget to vary the size of planting between rocks to accommodate the various diameters of the mature plant.
- Plants used in combination with a rock garden, grow best in well drained soil. After finalizing the placement of the stones and plants, add a mixture of perlite, vermiculite and peat moss around the plant stems.
- If your rock garden is planned to be more than 8ft wide, construct a path or set of step through it so you can get to any plants that may need maintenance, remove weeds, or do a fall clean up.
Energy Enhancing Rocks to Include in Your Design
Limestone: Limestone is an assisting stone used to enhance healing properties, encourages purification, symbolizes innocence, grounds and centers us and promotes positive thoughts. Folk remedies suggest that it is also a healing stone beneficial to your overall health and gives relief of muscle spasms. In Feng Shui, the limestone should be towards the center of a garden for health and balance.
Citrine: Citrine is an interesting stone in that its energies manifest in developing creativity. It is an excellent stone for artists or individuals who are seeking to discover an artistic outlet within themselves, even those who don’t believe they hold an ounce of creativity. For someone who has a hard time staying focused on a single creative endeavor and find themselves flitting from project to project without completing any of them, Citrine can help to show the right direction for their creativity to flourish.
Lava Rock: Lava rock is the physical embodiment of fire. It started as molten lava and formed into rock. It is an incredibly powerful stone for anyone born under a fire sign in their astrology. The energy of fire is direct, powerful, impassioned, and headstrong. It can be very useful for those who are indecisive, timid, or who generally feel weak. Lava rock can also help one develop stronger ties with the earth, because it was once of one elemental form.
Granite: Granite has been revered in many cultures, particularly Aboriginal and Mayan, as a sacred and powerful stone allowing for increased protection and abundance. Considered a guardian stone that offers protection, this is a good stone to have in your presence if you have a high risk job or are in the military, and being connected to abundance, it can promote such in finances, love, success or business. As is a stone of perspective it is excellent for those you want to see the big picture in life more clearly because it enhances the ability to be practical while dispersing negativity and overcomes skepticism. A good stone for bosses or anyone in management as all the above factors aid in diplomacy and improve cooperation. On a health level it strength to your physical health. Surround yourself with granite if you want your hair to become stronger or to make your soft tissues, muscles and bones stronger. Granite can also help with ailments related to your face and head, such as acne and headaches.
Marble: For those who enjoy yoga, meditation and tantric type activities, marble is a good stone to be surrounded with. It provides strength of self control and mastery of thought. Because of this it can provide reflection into good common sense in matters of the home, heart and personal constitution, while also allowing for total recall of dreams. Grounding, calming and artistically inspiring; marble provides protection, stability and structure both in the physical and emotional mind. From a strictly health perspective, this is a cleansing stone beneficial for blood, skin and all other cleansing systems in the body. In Feng Shui it is suggested to put marble at the four corners of your property to stabilize any issues of weakness or insecurity.
Message from Timbers
We encourage everyone to use some of our tips and let us know how it worked for you. If you need more detail or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, if you lack the time to do the work yourself, drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll give you a hand with the project of your choice at a fair price as always!