Herbs in the rock garden: Tips for herb selection and suitable stones

In a rock garden not only the typical plants have to grow. Herbs are also excellent. The only thing that matters is the right choice of herbs.

Growing herbs in the rock garden - no problem with the right herbs
Thyme is excellent for the herb stone garden

Rock gardens are practical. You don’t need to worry about lawn areas, you don’t need to plant large beds and weeding is largely eliminated.

At the same time, rock gardens offer fresh planting options, as the soil conditions differ significantly from simple beds. However, you do not have to rely exclusively on bushes and plants that can cope with barren soils.

How about you grow herbs right in the rock garden?

Optimal location for rock gardens

A good rock garden is situated in a southern or south-western position and slopes slightly to the sunny side. This rule applies especially to smaller rock gardens, which you create in the middle of your usual garden. If you use a rock garden to green the front area of your house, you can of course only observe the rule to a limited extent.

It is important that water can drain off quickly. For this reason, a slight tilt is perfect. Also the choice of the stones used is always worth a consideration. Stones that store heat are particularly suitable. That includes:

  • granite
  • limestone
  • slate
  • basalt
  • sandstone

Remember that light-coloured stone types are more eye-catching and require more work. On larger stones mosses or verdigris settle quickly.

The soil you choose should be as nutritious as possible, even if you fill the rock garden with gravel. Garden soil is usually sufficient for herbs. The best time to plant a rock garden for herbs is spring. So you can eat your own herbs already in summer. But you can also create the herb garden in autumn until October. So the selected plants still have enough time to grow until the first frost.

Plant rock garden correctly

In the rock garden you can effortlessly recreate the wild growth of many herbs. Unlike cultivated plants, herbs are still wild plants with a modest character.

Once laid out, you should plant the rockery quickly. Weeds can no longer find their way. If you want your herbs to grow quickly, we recommend thyme. The herb can only produce white flowers, but there are also varieties with yellow patterned leaves. Thyme has the advantage of growing very quickly and forming a carpet on the stone floor.

Other herbs that are suitable for the rock garden are:

  • lavender
  • catnip
  • hyssop
  • sage
  • oregano
  • savory
  • curry herb

As a rule, all herbs that originate from Mediterranean regions or barren mountain landscapes thrive well in the rock garden. You therefore have a large choice and can mix perennial with annual herbs.

“Tip: If possible, plant non-hardy herbs with the flower pot in the rock garden and place them in the house in autumn.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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