Rock Gardens

You may be torn between a love for nature and a tendency toward minimalism.
You are too organically oriented, in one sense, to opt for the stark absolutes and industrial forms of contemporary design. On the other hand, you do not want an overgrown yard with so much vegetation that you are constantly spending all of your free time trimming back the constant growth. A good compromise to consider between these two extremes is the introduction of one or more rock gardens into your Houston landscape plan.

This unique type of garden consists of an arrangement of rocks and small plants that mimic the natural outcroppings of rocks and plants found throughout the world. Ironically, the seemingly haphazard beauty of nature is almost impossible to haphazardly create with a do-it-yourself approach. Painstaking planning and careful labor on the part of Houston landscaping professionals is required to give your yard the look and feel of a truly authentic natural scene.

There are many places in your yard where a rock garden provides a welcome break from the flat topography of the Houston landscape. Some of these places also represent some of the most challenging areas of your property. For example, if you live near Buffalo Bayou in River Oaks or The Memorial Villages, your yard may be very hilly in the back.


Such an area is vulnerable to erosion and can cost you a great deal of money on fill dirt that keeps getting washed into Houston’s new storm sewer system. Alternatively, a grouping of rocks and plants in the very same location will anchor the soil with a form that is commonly seen on hilltops throughout the world. Well placed stones and small plants can form a small rise in the very back of your property that adds to the drama and interest of a scenic view of the tree line along the water.

Shady areas are another place where you can have Exterior Worlds build a rock garden. Some of your most beautiful oak trees can also be notorious plant killers because they creates such darkness under their boughs that even San Augustine carpet grass cannot gain a foothold. The solution to this seemingly impossible dilemma is to have our landscape design team arrange stones in patterns that appear natural in relationship to your trees. Shade resistant plants will then be planted to hide the crevices between the stones. This creates the illusion that the rocks have been there all along rather than having been consciously arranged by human hands.

Another good reason for Houstonians to consider rock garden designs is the heavy rainfall we experience during certain times of the year. If you have a low lying area in your yard that is constantly soggy no matter how much the sun shines on it, filling it with rocks and plants is a much better investment than paying for fill dirt which will typically sink into the existing depression and take your money with it.

The key to making rock gardens look natural is to plan them very deliberately and to choose rocks that are conducive to plant growth. Stones that retain moisture are necessary to maintain the health of plants that grow between the rocks. Plant roots will even go so far as to wrap themselves around rocks that retain sufficient amounts of moisture to nourish them.

Do-it-yourself rock gardens most commonly fail because homeowners do not have access to the best stones to use for this purpose. Most garden stores sell you stones that look “ideal for gardens;” but looks is all you get. Plants need functionality to survive, not aesthetics. Trained professionals who know both botany and geology can locate stones that fulfill both requirements. The stones we select will look like something you would expect to find in your favorite forest and simultaneously provide much needed support for plant life on a functional level.