Small Rock Garden Bed Ideas

garden design with rock garden beds

Rock garden beds create a visually appealing garden design.

When we used to live on a mountainside we couldn’t build downwards because of how many rocks there were in the soil, so raised garden beds became the solution. Because the rocks were in abundance we chose to build raised rock garden beds.

While raised rock garden beds are pretty, there are some cons to them too.

Beautiful rock garden beds

The Pros to Rock Garden Beds

In a word? They’re beautiful! Out of my 8 years of gardening and building many garden beds, the raised rock beds were still some of my favorites for visual appeal. We like to build a few raised rock garden beds and also build a permaculture herb spiral to grow our kitchen herbs.

Rocks create a nice contrast to your flowers or vegetable gardening crops. Rock nooks and crannies can also house beneficial insects and create little microclimates in your garden. We’ve found that Japanese forest grass is a a great addition to rock garden beds.

The Cons to Rock Garden Beds

While they look beautiful, there are some cons to rock garden beds. They can be hard to weed, those nooks and crannies in between the rocks can be especially challenging unless regular weeding is done. Sometimes you have to move the rocks out of the way to reach deeper roots.

Below you can see the before & after of weeding our rock garden herb spiral.

rock garden beds + too many weeds!

If you’re not a big fan of spiders you might not like rock beds either, they like to live in those dark corners! If you don’t have easy access to rocks, they can be expensive to buy and heavy to move depending on where you live.

Rocks can also shift over time, changing the bed shape and allowing soil to spill over.

Would I build raised rock beds again?

All in all, even though I love the look of raised beds, I wouldn’t build them again because we’ve moved to a location that doesn’t have rocks readily available. I would however build them again if we did!

Raised rock garden beds

Have you built raised rock beds? How was your experience?

Rock Garden Beds for raised gardening

2 thoughts on “Small Rock Garden Bed Ideas”

  1. I’ve made rock-lined paths and gardens for years, but they really do have their down sides. It doesn’t take more than a year or two for those rocks to get covered by leaves or debri, or to settle down into the ground after a few freeze and thaws, or to have grass/weed grow up and over them. You pretty much have to excavate those rocks and re-lay them every year or you won’t be able to see them!

    But, they sure are beautiful, free and pretty easy to make–thus why I keep making them!


Leave a Comment