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How to Create the Perfect Rockery

How to Create the Perfect Rockery

If you want to add a further touch of luxury and sophistication to your garden, a rockery is a great way to do it, and there are a number of different avenues available to you. For example, you could balance the rugged aesthetic of natural stone with a beautiful waterfall, or you could make it more vibrant by adding exotic plants into the mix. 

To ensure that you’re properly informed and inspired before making your design decisions, the Gardenscapes team will be covering everything you need to know about creating the perfect rockery.

rockery close up

The benefits of a rockery

There are plenty of ways in which a rockery could benefit you and your home:

  • Add structure to your garden: Even the most beautiful gardens run the risk of looking a little bland if they lack structure and dynamism. A rockery can instantly make your garden look more exciting by adding height and interesting materials.
  • Find a home for alpine plants: Some alpine plants thrive on rockeries because they require lots of light and great drainage, so use this as an opportunity to get some new plantlife in your garden!
  • Recycle old bricks, tiles and paving slabs: If you’re looking for a way to upcycle some old building materials, a rockery could be a wonderful way to do it! You could leave the objects in their original state to create something new, or you could break them up and spread it like a shingle to use for the base layer.
  • Add another layer of sensory pleasure: Rockeries are one of the best ways to naturally introduce a water feature into your garden, and one of the best aspects of water features is the beautiful, tranquil noises they make as they trickle away. It’s simple things like this that can really transform your garden into a peaceful retreat.

Building the rockery

So you’ve decided you want a rockery. Great, now it’s time to think about arranging it.

  • Find the right location

    Firstly, you have to find the perfect location for your rockery. Remember that if you’re going to be introducing alpine plants, then they’re going to need great light exposure, so don’t build it in the shadows of trees and shrubs. However, you also need to consider that rockeries tend to be the focal point of gardens, so choose a strong visual position that will immediately bring the structure into view when someone enters the space.
  • Choosing your materials

    When choosing the right stone for your rockery, you have so many different options that you really can’t go wrong. You could go the upcycling route, like we mentioned earlier, and choose materials from around the home. Or, if you want to go the more traditional route, you can choose rocks with great character, such as hard limestones or sandstones.

    Remember to always keep in mind the sorts of plants that you’re going to feature on your rockery, as this might influence the kind of stone you would like to use to build it.
  • Prepare the area

    Once you’ve chosen the site, it’s important to make sure that all weeds are properly cleared from the area, as they could end up disrupting the growth of other plants or causing issues with the structure of the rockery. Once you’ve done this, laying down a layer of rubble will help improve the drainage of the rockery and provide further support.
  • Placing the stone

    The strategy here is simple: start with the largest rocks at the bottom and build them up towards a point at the top. Place the rocks so they are facing different directions in order to create a dynamic look.

    To help keep the larger rocks stable, you can use smaller rocks set with top soil around the edges until the desired result has been achieved. Top tip: the best topsoil for alpine plants includes weed-free topsoil, leaf mould and horticultural grit.
  • Time for plants

    When it comes to adding plants to your rockery, this is really up to you. However, we would recommend that plants that do better in the cold face north, and those that thrive in the sun face south.


If you’re looking to add a rockery to your garden in Surrey or Sussex, Gardenscapes can help. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to designing and building beautiful rockeries, so you can trust us to create something truly show-stopping. For more information, please contact us today.



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  • Richard

    Gardenscapes have just finished a 5 month project rebuilding part of the garden and replacing the drive. The hard and soft landscape works were comple...ted to a very high standard. Neal and Ainsley were a pleasure to work with and we would be happy to recommend Gardenscapes.

    9 months ago

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    Gardenscapes installed steel edging to all the lawns in our garden. The work was carried out precisely as promised, to the highest standard and looks...great. The best aspect was the friendly service that we received - it was a pleasure to have Neal and Ainsley on site and nothing was too much trouble. I have no hesitation in recommending them for any garden project.

    1 year ago

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    We have used Gardenscapes for a number of projects over the years including a driveway extension, new patio and creation of raised flower beds. Always...very happy with the commmunication and quality of the work and I would happily use them again.

    1 year ago

  • Sam

    Neal came round and quoted, talked us through the options and guided us to the best type of grass and base for our artificial grass. It was easy with...great communication, the work was Carried out on the day he said he was available which was very quick considering it was spring 4 years on out garden looks just as good, and we are so so happy we went with Neals advise! Thank you

    1 year ago

  • Sarah

    Gardenscapes laid a new patio and driveway for us and replaced our side alley gate. They were approachable and happy to answer queries from the very b...eginning. We were very pleased with the work, it was completed to a very high standard.

    1 year ago

  • Lynda Burnell

    Ainsley understood exactly what we were hoping to achieve . He and his team did a brilliant job, very pleased with the result.

    1 year ago

  • Alan

    Having sourced several quotes for a complete garden overhaul, we commissioned Gardenscapes upon meeting Neal and Ainsley - who listened to our brief, well as advised appropriately. They reviewed our requirements and discussed what would work best based on their experience and expertise. This is something we wanted in a landscape specialist: rather than just doing what the client wants. We have a mossy and boggy area of the garden thanks to the constant shade of a huge oak and we welcomed their gentle and expert advice on what would - and wouldn't - work in this section of the garden. The works consisted of removing existing paving and decking, garden levelling, providing astroturf samples at different price points as well as paving options and subsequent installations as well as a new tiered level. The Gardenscapes team were consultative throughout and extremely polite, respectful and tidy. they turned up early, worked hard all day and their communication from start to finish was superb and professional. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. We are thoroughly pleased with their work, value for money, and results.

    1 year ago

  • Sally Berryman

    In 2016 Neal’s Team installed a shed in out garden. The location beside the house was unstable so the shed was placed on top of a platform creat...ed by Neal and his team. In 2018 the team built a sun deck area in a different part of the garden. This too has successful.

    1 year ago

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    We had a new patio laid and a soak away put into our lawn. Neal and his colleague were professional, thorough and tidy, and completed our job to a hig...h standard. Highly recommend

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  • Pammie

    Where do I begin? Neal was the only guy to actually ask me what I wanted in my garden rather than telling me what I should have. That greatly impresse...d me and I was not disappointed in his work or his workforce. He completely relandscaped my back garden including a pond. Highly recommend this company.

    1 year ago

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COVID-19 update

Gardenscapes are still open for Contactless Surveys & Quotations - we can arrange video surveys online to give you a quotation. Once restrictions are lifted, we will then be able to visit and fulfill any landscaping projects. Call us today on 01932 485 273 for expert advice!