What Are Some Of The More Popular Rock Garden Designs Or Themes?

What are some of the more popular rock garden designs or themes? Popular rock garden themes include those of the Orient, or nature settings. Water themes, sunset themes and beach themes are all popular.

"A lot of it depends on where they come from," says Laddie Flock, owner of Natural Rock Formations, a company that has been in business for 17 years and has experience in all different styles and themes of rock gardens. Natural Rock Formations is one of the largest distributors of natural stone products on the Pacific coast and has been featured in many publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Landscape and Irrigation magazine. Their website can be found at www.natrok.com.


Flock explained some of the different themes by saying, "They are as simple as maybe a beach theme, the sunset, a water theme, or a negative edge pool. Some of the more popular ones that the magazines are getting consistently are Tuscan and Mediterranean. They are all subject to interpretation because there are so many design elements within that realm. But there is a lot of European, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, and the Alps. And the Orient is a category that has been built and talked about and written about in many books. They are diverse but they have certain disciplines within that realm."




Themes will vary depending on the amount of space available, the amount of money budgeted for the project and for the purpose or funtion the rock garden is foing to serve. Even different elements used in the rock garden can alter it's theme.

Flock says, " think that the difference in the themes is the type of material that you use and how you present them. They are soft and graceful or they are rugged. The American Indians all have their own design discipline that they use through their culture and so these components of disciplines are brought in either in totality or in small increments and then composed with others."

Flock finds that many rock garden themes are a way to bring history back to life or to create an atmosphere of a place the owner would like to go, but for one reason or another can't. Although travel is an option for some, it isn't for everyone so they can use a rock garden to bring a particular location to them. Specific events in hisotry can be brought to the present by representing those events in a garden dedicated to their memory.

Flock says, "I would say generally speaking, theme gardens come from perception of history. We can take any era that we wish and make a rock garden theme. We could take Egypt and the building of the pyramids as a theme garden. We could take the gold miner era, for example and promote that particular theme within a garden structure and elements. We can take elements from the higher meadows, the 4000-5000 feet elevation into areas that are only 200 or 300 feet in elevation. We could use elements like old stones, rivers, pathways, and windbreaks inspired by the gold miner's cottages."

The theme of your rock garden will say a lot about you, so choose your theme wisely. In a carefully designed garden you will be able to add or eliminate different elements to change your theme around easily.

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