Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

Big Ideas For Small Rock Gardens

By on Aug 24, 2020
Big Ideas For Small Rock Gardens

Get up to 4 Free Quotes!

Zip Code

Keeping a planter full of lush flowers isn’t the only way to spruce up your backyard with a garden. For those who lack a green thumb, you might be looking for other options to add to your landscaping without risking another dying plant.

If this sounds like you, a small rock garden could be a great addition to your yard. It’s a beautiful feature that takes much less maintenance than your average garden. See a few big ideas for small rock gardens.

Rock gardens are beautiful once they are installed, but you might need a little assistance to make it look great. Contact a landscaping contractor today for quotes from pros in your area, for free.

What Is A Rock Garden

What Is A Rock Garden?

If you’re looking for a unique way to decorate your backyard, have a slight hill in your landscaping, or just looking for a low-maintenance gardening option, creating a rock garden is certainly worth looking in to. Rock gardens traditionally are a way to highlight unique stones and natural shapes. Many include a few small plants in between rocks but others might consist of various types of stones strategically placed.

The good news about a rock garden is that they can easily work in any climate and size yard, making it a very versatile choice for homeowners. No wonder rock garden landscaping is becoming more popular with homeowners!

Rock Garden Ideas

There is no rock garden design that is set in stone. Your garden can be what you want to make it, given the space and budget you have to work with. Landscaping rock costs will vary by the type and amount you get for your garden. For example, the average cost for decomposed granite is between $1/bag at the minimum and $4 a bag at the maximum, while Mexican black pebbles can cost between $20/bag and $30/bag. Larger rocks and boulders can cost more than smaller bags of rocks, and should be budgeted for. The average minimum cost of landscaping boulders is $100 while the maximum price can be as high as $600.

There are many ways to style your rock garden. Here are a few rock garden ideas that will inspire you:

  • Japanese Rock Garden
  • Rock Garden Plants
  • Hillside Rock Garden
  • Rock Garden Path
  • Rock Garden Water Feature

1. Japanese Rock Garden

If you’re looking for a space for mindful meditation and peacefulness outside, you might want to consider styling your rock garden after the traditional Japanese Zen styles. These gardens are simple, with a few very large stones to mimic mountains and stone pebbles in between to represent water and waves. If you’re looking for a space to unwind in your yard, consider researching more on the practice of Japanese Zen rock gardens.

Rock Garden Plants

2. Rock Garden Plants

Though a rock garden is beautiful on its own, many homeowners choose to incorporate a few small plants to add a pop of color. These can be around larger stones or in between the rocks themselves. Here are some rock garden plants that might be a good fit for you:

  • Hens-And-Chicks
  • Lavender
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • Tickseed
  • Scotch Moss
  • Lambs Ear

Hillside Rock Garden

3. Hillside Rock Garden

If you’re landscaping contains a slope, it could be the perfect place for a rock garden. To build your rock garden on a small slope or hill, you’ll want the help of a landscape designer to make sure it’s done correctly and that there’s no risk of damage. The average cost to hire a landscape designer is $4,121, with most homeowners spending between $2,611 and $5,546.

4. Rock Garden Path

If you have a rock garden, you’ll likely want to have space to walk through to water the plants. Installing a garden path is a great addition to your rock garden and will make it a more fluid space. The average cost to install a pathway is $2,859, with most homeowners spending between $1,957 to $3,135.

Rock Garden Water Feature

5. Rock Garden Water Feature

If you’re looking to turn your rock garden truly into an outdoor oasis, that’s both relaxing and eye-catching, you’ll want to add a water feature. This is an element that looks luxurious and can really bring together all the features you’ve installed. Water fountains come in all sizes. Some homeowners prefer a small pond in their rock garden while others enjoy the cascading waters over the boulders in their garden. However, it's an investment and water features do require regular maintenance to stay clean. The average cost to install a water feature is $2,428, with most homeowners spending between $1,228 and $2,710.


Rock gardens are a great addition to any backyard. Because rocks and boulders come in many shapes and sizes, it can fit into yards big and small. A landscape designer can be helpful in determining what’s the best style for your yard and make sure your rock garden is safe to enjoy if it’s on a slope. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a rock garden can make in your yard!

Looking for more landscaping ideas? Read How To Plant Succulents Outside.

Get up to 4 Free Quotes!

Zip Code
2016 JDR Industry Blogger Award Winner for Best Microblog

You've spent some time with us! How about sharing the love in a Google review? Leave us a review