To make a rock garden, determine where to put the garden, then dig the dirt in that area. Install a drainage layer, a layer of sand and a layer of topsoil mixed with compost and gravel. Place the rocks, and plant the area with flowers, shrubs and other plants.
- Plan the rock garden
Determine where you want to put the rock garden. On a piece of paper, draw the area using a square or circle to indicate the perimeter of the rock garden. Draw the placement of the rocks and plants.
- Dig the area
Using your rough sketch to guide you, dig the location of the future rock garden, making sure to dig an extra 6 inches around the perimeter for erosion. Dig the foundation at least 1 foot deep, sloping the ground away from one corner of the foundation for drainage. Remove weeds, roots and brush from the area.
- Install the drainage, sand and soil layers
Place 2-inch gravel on the foundation, tamping the rocks down firmly. Add a few inches of sand, then pour a mixture of equal parts of topsoil, compost and pea gravel to fill the foundation up to grade.
- Add the rocks
Place the rocks according to your rough sketch. Once you determine that their placement is satisfactory, add more of the topsoil mixture to cover the bottom edges of some of the larger rocks.
- Add the plants
Finish the rock garden by planting flowers, shrubs, herbs and other plants, making sure that your choices are suitable for your climate. Water the plants thoroughly.