When hearing the word “garden” what comes to mind? Green lawns, lush flower beds, old fruit trees, shrubs and bushes, perhaps? These images may very well spring to numerous people’s minds when imagining gardens, yet they’re not the only options. Today we are showing you a different form of garden, one that stands out from our usual ideas about gardening, but which is actually a centuries-old idea. It is a style that utilises the natural beauty of stones to create charming and easy-to-maintain alternative to the classic garden. There are so many inspiring rock gardens found in certain regions, from England to Japan and from France to Mexico. Our picture gallery today will showcase these ten awesome stone gardens! Now you just have to decide whether you would like to go for a modern style, a sloped layout, lush greenery, cool cacti, or a water-infused type of stone garden. We bet you'll have a lot of fun checking these out!
With Mediterranean style, you can get that vacation feel as you enjoy a refreshing outdoor environment. There is also a wide variety of stones available in tropical climates that are perfect for this style. From pebbles, huge boulders, limestone and so much more, resources and ideas are plentiful if you know where to look.
If you want to grow plants in your Mediterranean stone garden, we suggest the following: thistles, dwarf pines, lavender, sage, and also the purple flowering thyme, which forms a particularly beautiful contrast to bright stones. Mediterranean stone gardens are also usually complemented by matching accessories such as wrought-iron garden furniture, lanterns, columns and terracotta pots and jugs.
Unlike the Mediterranean gardens, green meadows and lush foliage are rather unusual in many parts of Mexico. A steely variety of cacti is the perfect choice for those who want to decorate their outdoor areas with exotic plants surrounded by pebbles and save themselves the hassle of having to mow the lawn or pluck out weeds. These types of cacti and succulents also adapt well to tropical climates as they are true water-storage miracles and they have no problem with heat and hotness during the long, dry timeframes.
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When it comes to Japanese Zen gardens, stones are important elements that are incorporated into the design. Here, plants take a backseat, while gravel, sand and rocks are the dominant features. They are beautifully arranged in a way that radiates a soothing, meditative effect, and also provide a symbolic meaning. They represent the cycle of life, the gods of nature, mountains, water and animals, energy and harmony.
To emphasize their importance and to enhance that serene and relaxing ambience, they are raked to create wavy lines into the gravel and the sand. It is also important to note that there should be no visible beginning and end to these lines. A gentle transition is desired, which also includes the larger stones and rocks in the garden.
If you like modern minimalism and a stylised design, you are sure to find the right place for your stone garden. This beautifully modern example was created by a professional landscapes artist, although it can be copied by just about anyone.
This style would also look beautiful in a courtyard or in an atrium. It is so easy to maintain. The use of white pebbles provide a clean modern look that matches the house; the grey borders, on the other hand, give it a nice geometric shape, and adding a few well-trimmed foliage touches completes the picture in terms of texture and vitality.
Seeking your own quaint haven where you can just rest and enjoy some beautiful nature views? Then the English stone garden is just the right thing for you. This idyllic stone garden offers up romantic touches combined with wild foliage to form an idyllic, warm and natural atmosphere under the open sky. The oldest, still used stone garden is found in Chelsea Physic Garden in London, which was created in 1773.
The combination of stone and water has always been particularly popular with garden design. Whether you want to leave both elements in their natural form or opt for a design that modernises them is up to personal taste. But the results are always unique.
Here, a pond combined with a stone wall, waterfall and stepping stones offers up a serene and geometric design. For an added touch, you may also add some Koi fish.
Wood is another popular add-on when it comes to stone gardens. This particular example shows us how gravel and stone beds make up the ground area, while timber planks produce a neat garden path, fence and other finishing touches. Notice the purple Plexiglas structures that enhance some elegant lighting as soon as darkness falls.
Just because you want to dabble in stone gardens doesn’t mean you have to give up on a nice, fresh lawn. On the contrary, rocks and lush greenery go very well together, perfectly harmonising while also contrasting with each other.
Here, massive granite blocks were placed in the garden that make up a neat herb garden while also functioning as seating spots. The result is a beautifully modern and rustic stone garden that is functional and natural at the same time.
Designing a garden on a slope can often prove to be a challenge. But making use of a stone landscape can be easier, as this is one of the best conditions in terms of drainage. Grass also works wonderfully well when it comes to sloping landscapes, as they reduce the rough edges of the stones. It is also important to take note that plants should have as large and strong root systems as possible, so that they can hold on nice and firm on the rocky slope.
We close off this list with a very special example that proves that animals can also feel quite welcome in a rock garden. Take a look at this turtle home which has been expertly planned and designed for a family of turtles. Other natural materials have also been brought into this charming enclosure, like wood and brick, which have been specially adapted to the needs of the animals and enhance the garden’s design.
On that fresh and green note, check out The 10 bits of lingo every novice gardener needs to know.