Jazz up your rock garden by placing a border around it. A border not only looks good but if done right can keep the rocks in the garden. A common complaint most homeowners have about their rock garden is that the rocks end up on the walkway and they spend more time sweeping up the rock. Borders will keep the rock in the garden where it belongs.
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Single rock border
A great border to have around a standard rock garden is one that uses larger rocks around the perimeter. You can use natural rocks that you find in the area or you can buy the rock and make it all one colour. Standard rock gardens use 28- to 25-mm (3/4- to 1-inch) rocks as the base. A good border to use for the smaller rock would be 5- to 10-cm (2- to 4-inch) rock. On average, 1 ton of this rock will cover 5.6 square metres (60 square feet). A single line of this size rock will make a nice border. You can use a different colour then the base rock to add further zip to your rock garden. An advantage to using a larger rocks is that they are harder to kick around then the smaller rocks.
Band of Rock
Border your rock garden of 18- or 25-mm (3/4-inch or 1-inch) rock with a band of 8- to 15-cm (3- to 6-inch) rock of a different colour. This band can be as deep as a metre (3 feet). This band will aid in keeping the smaller rock in the garden. Again, 1 ton of this size covers 5.6 square metres (60 square feet). A larger band of larger rock will help keep the smaller rocks in its place. This theme can be varied by using cobble stone, black river rock, or white quartz depending on the colour of the base rock. You can even use a type of flagstone as the bigger rock.
A rock garden of any size can be bordered with a 30-cm (1-foot) band of decomposed granite of a contrasting colour. Decomposed granite comes in many colours and is what is used in baseball diamonds. It comes in brick red, gold, and grey to name a few of the colours. It is often laid down in dirt roads, pathways and trails. Use in your rock garden to get contrasting colours and to create a space between the walkway and the rock garden. The border pushes the rock away from walk ways and lawn. For a border that is 8 cm (3 inches) deep, 1 cubic metre will cover about 13 square metres (108 square feet).
Artificial turf border
Many rock gardens are found in arid areas like Las Vegas where water restrictions are in place. An artificial turf border can help conserve water. Surround the rock garden with a 30- to 60-cm (1- to 2-foot) band of artificial turf to give you a contrasting colour and push the rock back from any walkways and sidewalks. Of course, you don't have to water artificial turf, so if you live in an area where water restrictions are in place, this works well. If water restrictions are not of concern, then you can plant a real grass as a border. A Bermuda grass, however, is not recommended as it can invade your rock garden.