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Need help on my first rock garden

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawncare, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. lawncare

    lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I'm going to build my first rock garden I just about know what plants i'm going to use just need to get a few ? answered. I'm going to get my rocks for free from the river do i charge for each rock or by the ton? Should the rocks be different size and a particular shape? Its going to slope down the hill a bit what should a use to stop the dirt and top soil from washing onto the lawn? Should I bury half the rocks or just dig a trench to hold them in place? Also if anyone have a pic they can send me to look at a completed one would be nice. thanks in advance for any help i can recieve
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Gardens that have rocks and plants take extra thought to create. The very best provide a ideal microclimate for plants among artfully placed stones.
    Rock gardens should look like a slice of natural, rocky landscape. If it is a woodland rock garden made of mossy rocks and boulders you should have hugging wildflowers.

    I did reply to your email ..describing the process the best I could.
    The placement of rocks and plant material will stop the eroding of soil.
    You will have to figure out the cost of the rocks on your own... we charge by weight.
    Hope this helps.
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    being your in a different area, not sure if I can give much advice on the type of plants you should use.

    One thing to consider is the scale of the garden......are you creating a small, initmate garden that is going to be viewed from up close or are you creating a 'backdrop' garden, seen in the distance , or are you creating a 'rockscape' in front of someones house, much like a foundation planting.

    Small gardens can be very intricate. Use a lot of perennials and a lot of smaller, high interest plants. For instance, chicks and hen's are great plants in a small garden, but really get lost in a larger one.

    Larger gardens, say a island in the back yard or a hill on the property may require larger scale plants, along with much larger scale rocks. I like using more 'speciman' type plants that are larger in scale and maintain interest, even from a distance.

    As for rock pricing, I would say by the ton. May need to call up a few stone yards and see what they are charging for similiar rocks like you are using....this will give you a good idea of what you can charge for them. If anything, make sure you are charging for the time/equipment/ and trucking involved in acquiring your rocks.

    My personal favorite is limestone moss rock. Pretty common around here and they work great in rock gardens/water features. Going rate is around $100 a ton on average, but varies depending on suppliers.

    one last thing is with how much rock you use.....I like a LOT of rock in my rock gardens. Too me, dropping a one or two boulders in the middle of a bed is not really a rock garden. Its easy to underestimate how much rock you will actually use. As I do more rock gardens, I seem to be bringing in more and more rocks, and they are getting bigger and bigger......I think the big pieces really make the whole garden look much more natural and less man made.
  4. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    On the rock price I go by the ton. How BIG is this area? How much slop does it have? What type of plants do you want to use?
    Some time you can use rocks as an edging or sometime you can use steel edging to hold the rocks back, this is used if you have small 1/2" or smaller rocks in the bed. I just built a Colorado river creek bed about 150 ft long and 3 ft to 10 ft across. I used 6' rocks to 1/2" rocks. If you use the larger rocks make sure that you put them down first. If you don't it will look really bad and not very natural.

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