Lesson 12:Elements Of Water And Rock


Natural rocks are one of the most important features of an Oriental garden. Ornamental rocks are considered beautiful pieces of sculpture. The Chinese regarded them as the “bones of the earth” and the “skeleton of nature”. In Japanese gardens, stones are looked upon as being more important than trees.

Ornamental stone pillars or pieces of rounded form or other abstract designs, if properly placed, improve the look of any garden to a great extent. The stones can be placed near lily pools, along or in the midst of streams and waterfalls. Large ornamental stone places can also be placed at the corner of the doorway and other suitable places. The Japanese create most stone gardens with pieces of stones arranged artistically. First a large bed or crushed stone is made which is raked artistically to create ripples to stimulate sea, over which single large piece of stone or a group of stones are placed artistically at intervals.

  • The most effective use of stone or rock emphasizes the character of the particular stone.
  • It is desirable to place stone in a way that could suggest its original location.
  • In man-made landscapes dry stone boundary walls seem an intrinsic part of the scenery.
  • A rock structure should look as if it has always been there.
  • In an informal garden setting local stone gives a better result.
  • Stones on sloping site look more natural and are easier to deal with.
  • The light reflections of stones can be an added feature in a garden.
  • Growing suitable plants on rocks and creating rock features in gardens can enhance the beauty of garden.
  • Some plants relish the gravelly soil.
  • An idea for a boundary is a hedge wall with a soil top and center to allow low hedging plants to grow.
  • Use of random rubble can create a natural feature.

  • By using numerous small rocks along the plant material stratified rock effect can be achieved.
  • A boulder rock feature includes one or two large rocks which will convey enormous power as element in a visual composition.
  • Smaller rocks, stones, or an accumulation of gravel at the base of the rocks can incorporate a planting area and helps merge the feature with grass or a horizontal hard surface.
  • Stones must be laid with their natural grain on a horizontal plane
  • A pavement rock feature may have an uneven or smooth surface depending whether or not it doubles as a path.
  • Stratified thin-section stones give strength and stability.
  • Large stones will look more pleasing than small ones and are more stable and less quickly overgrown.
  • A dry stone retaining wall with a good balance of weep holes to soil joints can be used to grow plants.
  • Plants should be inserted as the wall is built.
  • A layer of drainage material behind the wall links the weep holes, allowing excess water to escape.
Last modified: Monday, 12 December 2011, 2:39 PM