I am converting a small fountain and pond into a rock garden. Space to work with is about 2' x 4'. So far, I have Anouk Lavender in the top-left corner, Blue Star Juniper in the bottom-right corner and Cooper's Ice Plant in the lower-left corner. I just purchased a rosemary, Angelina Stonecrop and Blue Spruce Sedum (seen in middle photo's foreground), but I'm unsure of where to place them, if at all. It a high sunlight location in zone 7A and gets quite hot in the summer. Bonus points for evergreen plant suggestions.

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  • I would remove the pond lining, first off
    – J. Musser
    Apr 4, 2017 at 0:21
  • J. Musser is correct. Too many species makes a chaotic composition. Best to make masses offset with touches of the same color elsewhere to pull together. Those rocks don't look natural but because they are all the same will help this composition. One thing you need to do is be able to IMAGINE a plant a few years from now. They never stay this small. Plants love to cuddle up but be sure to check pH, water needs. Larger plants towards the back or without little plants getting shaded. Those rocks will not be seen by next year, trust me. I'd bunch them up a bit allowing more growing room.
    – stormy
    Apr 4, 2017 at 3:22

2 Answers 2


I'm sorry to tell you that your blue star juniper will more than fill that space on its own - the lavender won't take up much room widthways, but the Delosperma (ice plant) would also fill up most of area, so really, there isn't room for anything else. I suggest you remove the blue star juniper altogether - it will spread all over the plant behind it where its planted now and is altogether too large for such a small area. When choosing plants, checking their eventual spread as well as height prior to planting is important.

Blue spruce sedum will spread up to 12 inches all round; rosemary will be a large shrub, 6 x 6 feet, so you can see that area is way too small for all these plants. Hopefully, you can find somewhere else for most of them.

Rock plants are usually much, much smaller subjects - Armeria maritima, for example, is an evergreen perennial with grass like foliage and bright pink flowers in spring, but it doesn't get much bigger than 4-6 inches wide. Others, like Euphorbia myrsinites, get about 6 inches tall with a spread of around 10 inches, whereas Iberis sempervirens can spread up to 2 feet - these three are evergreen. Some guidance can be found at Rock gardens: plants.


I have a bit of a hill in the back yard.Was very hard to mow,mostly mowed the dirt.The area gets sun all afternoon and can get very dry.I hauled a bunch of rocks,different sizes shapes and colors and tried to create what they call a "rocky outcrop" almost like a waterfall effect.Filled it all in with river rock and planted Candytuft and Blue Festuca,the Candytuft will bloom this spring and the Festuca lasts all the way till winter.They propagate very quickly so their filling in nicely. The book I referenced is by H.Lincoln Foster, Rock Gardening.I have taken pictures of my rock garden would like to post them for the site, need help!

  • Candy tuff loves a forested canopy, partial shade and cool soils. Why would it be fine for a rock garden where heat is absorbed by the stones and propagated into the soils...I'll check his book out...Blue fescue is great. What I like, Donna, is that you've chosen just two nicely contrasting plants for your rock garden. I'd love to see your creation, my ears popped right up with WATER FALL and river rock. A rocky outcrop, you sound as if you've got a great great basis to try to make something look natural. You need to go read about Japanese Garden Principles. No pagodas necessary!! Grins!
    – stormy
    Apr 7, 2017 at 23:11
  • Thanks stormy for your response. Either the perennial books were pulling my leg or someone made a boo-boo, but believe me come spring I have mounds of white flowers and it propagates too like crazy.It's on a small hill,like I said, in the back yard,along with the Blue Festuca. I started this venture 2 yrs. ago.I was really surprised last spring with alI the white flowers, after that just greenery. It was my 1st. and only attempt at a rock garden, I had to do something with that spot, it was ugly and brown and just ugh..I'll take a pic. when they bloom and I'll try to post. thanks again stormy! Apr 9, 2017 at 3:28

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