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Totally unorganized or meaningfully organized as in some Japanese gardens, the two elements of hardscape (rocks) and softscape (plants) can combine to create beautiful displays of color and texture.
This rock garden is also used on a hillside landscape as a tasteful way to prevent erosion. For the project shown here, we used large stones found on-site, but pavers, some metals, or pottery will all work (see our Fountain Buying Guide)Regardless of the fountain material, the guts of the system remain the same.
Since the pump is electric, the fountain needs to be within reach of an exterior outletpump cords rarely reach beyond 50 feet, and manufacturers discourage the use of extension cords.
It also needs to be accessible for maintenance after the fountain is built, so youll need to cut a trap door in the screen thats big enough for you to reach in, unhook the pump, and pull it out. It should be 6 inches wider than the fountain bases diameter and 1 foot taller than the pump so that it fits all the pipe connections while still keeping the pump submerged. Rock gardens and the planting ideas used to create them offer a lot of opportunity for creativity regardless if they're on a hill or elsewhere.
The large boulders placed periodically create terracing as well as flat areas for planting. The terracing and flat areas help slow runoff and allows proper saturation for landscaping plants and their roots.

Of course, terracing can also be created using retaining walls which could also look quite tasteful on this hillside. Check out the inspirational pictures below.In fact, rock gardens are gaining popularity, as they can bring a modern element to landscaping and be used in a variety of contexts.
Enjoy!Planning Your Rock GardenTo start your rock garden adventure, envision the finished product.
Will the garden take up a large portion of your yard, or will it be confined to a flower bed? In the yard below, an absence of grass defines the space, as do stones of various types and textures.
Note how the garden includes a couple of plants and the strategic use of empty space. [from AguaFina]Or maybe the rock garden location is obvious due to landscaping limitations or a pre-defined area, as in the driveway-side sloping space in this next image. Consider placing your rock garden here, creating a layered effect with cleverly-placed rocks and plants of various heights.
A terraced effect can be achieved with the help of pebbles and metal edging, as shown in the image below. [from Big Red Sun] In fact, why not incorporate stairs? In fact, when strategically placed, these stones can terrace a slope while maintaining a sense of spontaneity.

For one thing, the pebbles have been raked in linear and circular patterns, as shown below.
Consider your rocks the building blocks of your garden design project, and take care in their selection. Note how the garden below includes both light and dark pebbles, not to mention a clear, glassy art rock that truly makes this mini garden a complex landscape. [from Big Red Sun]In fact, large rocks can truly define a space and add sculptural interest, as seen in the next image.
In the eco-friendly yard of Eleanor Milardo, shown below, numerous rocks are stacked to create stony works of art. [from The Jonah Center for Earth and Art] When it comes to rock gardens, little details can make a big difference. In this next mini garden, which rests in a contemporary planter, glassy blue stones are carefully placed to create a vibrant focal point. [from Big Red Sun]Rock Garden PlantsIt’s important to remember that the plants are every bit as important as the stones!
For the icing on the cake, a trip to a rock and mineral shop or craft store can provide those colorful finishing touches to elevate your rock garden to the level of art!

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