About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

How to Build a Rock Garden

I've been asked how to build a rock garden and what exactly a rock garden is, so, while I don't consider myself a garden or landscape expert, here is what I did. 

We had a space between the sidewalk and the side of the house where NOTHING would grow.  When the foundation of the house was poured, cement spilled over into it making it shallow and impossible to grow much of anything there.  It was an eyesore all year long. 

Rock gardens, which are really just a different kind of raised bed gaden, are great for this kind of problem.  You can put them anywhere you like, but they work out really well for those areas where nothing will grow.  And, they're easy to make and keep. 

Not everything is in bloom yet in this pic and some flowers
need replacing
  • You will need several large rocks (the amount depends on the size of garden you want)If you have access to a creek, you can get them for free if you don't mind a little dirty work.  Or you can go to a garden center and purchase some.
  • Top soil, compost, and or manure
  • Flowers or plants of your choice
To begin, set your largest rocks out in the shape you want (we tore out the old sidewalk and replaced it with flat stones filled with pea gravel and I lined the walk with my large rocks, using the side of the house for the other side of the "border". 

After you've got it the shape you want, fill it in with topsoil, compost and manure.

Now you're ready for your next layer of rocks.  Pick out the rocks you want to use and set them out on top of the top soil you've just filled in, leaving a little space here and there where plants will go.  You can see from the picture here how I did it.  Yes, the bare spots are where my baby's breath died, which is sad for the baby's breath but good for you to be able to see how they are laid out.

Continue this process until your rocks are as high as you would like them to be.  There aren't really any rules (at least in my book), just do what you think looks good.  Its all about what you like.

Finally, pick out the plants you like.  If you are really unsure, go to a garden center and browse around.  When you see a plant you like, read the tag on it and see if it will do well in the location of your garden and whether it blooms all year or only in the Spring or Fall.  Also check out how tall it grows - you don't want all of the plants in your garden to be really tall.  Some will be trailing or cascading too.  Take that into consideration too as you design your space.  Many flowers will say on their tags if they do well in rock gardens.  If all else fails, the people at the garden center will be happy to answer your questions. 

When you've picked out your plants, take them home and plant them where you want them. Its best to keep taller plants toward the top/back of the garden and shorter ones on the bottom/outside of it.  Water according to your plants needs and enjoy!

I have catmint in the back of mine (those are the long spires of purple flowers), bright pink dianthus, light pink dianthus, baby's breath and some hens and chicks.  There is another blue flower I have in it but I don't remember it's name. 

Have fun!