How to Make a Rock Garden Using Local Herbs

How to Make a Rock Garden Using Local Herbs

How to Make a Rock Garden Using Local Herbs


Creating a rock garden using local herbs is a fun way to grow hardy plants while reusing materials found in your own backyard. Rock gardens allow you to grow a variety of herbs and flowers in a small space while adding visual interest to your landscaping. In this article, I will provide tips on planning, designing, and planting a DIY rock garden using native herbs.

Choosing a Location

When deciding where to put your rock garden, consider the following:

  • Sun exposure – Most rock garden plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Choose a sunny spot for best growth.

  • Drainage – Good drainage is key so water doesn’t pool. Choose a gentle slope or create mounds of soil to improve drainage.

  • Accessibility – Pick a spot that is easy to reach for planting and maintenance. Near a pathway or patio is ideal.

  • Avoid low spots in the yard that collect water. Amend soil if needed to improve drainage.

Designing and Building Your Rock Garden

  • Map out the shape – Draw your design to scale on paper first. Kidney or crescent shapes work well for rock gardens.

  • Borders – Define the edges using rocks, bricks, timber or metal edging. This keeps the enclosed space neat.

  • Soil – Remove any grass or weeds. Fill the garden with a mix of sandy loam and compost to improve drainage.

  • Rock selection – Collect a variety of rounded river rocks, boulders and flat stones. Larger rocks form the base, smaller stones fill gaps.

  • Topography – Slope soil to create hills, valleys and level areas for interest. Vary depths from 2-6 inches.

Plant Selection and Placement

When choosing herbs and flowers, look for varieties that thrive in Rocky, well-drained soil. Some good options include:

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • Sedum
  • Hens and chicks
  • Dianthus
  • Rock cress

Group plants together based on light and water needs. Place low-growing herbs near path edges and taller plants toward the center. Use small stones to fill spaces between plants.

Caring for Your Rock Garden

  • Water when soil dries out, aiming for 1-2 inches per week. Avoid overwatering.

  • Apply slow-release granular fertilizer in early spring. Follow label directions.

  • Prune back growth and deadhead spent flowers regularly.

  • Weed weekly and replenish mulch around plants.

  • Divide overgrown plants in fall and propagate new plants.

  • Protect plants from frost once temperatures drop with a cold frame or mulch.

Enjoying Your Handmade Rock Garden

With a bit of planning and elbow grease, you can create a thriving rock garden filled with fragrant herbs right in your own yard. Spend time tending and observing as your mini ecosystem establishes itself. Thetextures and scents of your garden will be a beautiful, functional addition to your landscape for years to come.