One of the ways I’m conserving water this year is by replacing my water guzzling flower beds with drought resistant succulents and native grasses. While most of my plants are going directly into the ground, there are a few areas in my yard where I prefer containering my succulents. Potting these plants makes it easier to weed, easier to control, and gives me the option to move them around when necessary.
Because I live on a river bed, rocks show up in a lot of my garden beds. Here is some simple instructions for creating a container garden using found items from around your yard and potting shed.
To make a container rock garden, you will need a pot with a drainage hole, potting mix (garden soil mixed with compost is fine too), some succulent plants gathered from elsewhere in the yard, an assortment of small rocks, and a rusty tool head or some other junky thing found in the back of the garage.
Build the container garden
Toss the soil into the pot, arrange that rusty old tool head or other garden tchotchke on the top and then plant the succulents in places that make sense. I prefer using a combination of three different types of plants for some variety though just one type is nice as well. Once the plants are in the soil, water in.
Arrange the rocks
Arranging rocks in a container garden is a little bit like doing a mosaic. I always try to cover up as much of the soil as possible leaving a smidgeon of space around the stem of plants. A dense cover of rocks is not only pretty, it actually acts as a sort of mulch which can help minimize evaporation of the soil moisture. If you like more open space, try arranging a few rocks in random places. You could also try to make a mini Stonehenge or even create a miniature river bed.
These are all the steps it takes to make a container rock garden with supplies that you probably already own. For gardeners that have to buy a few plants to create container garden, I recommend Stone Crop and Hens & Chicks which are decorative, inexpensive and easy to care for too.
More by this contributor:
Nine tips for veggie gardening in a high desert climate
Why I grow herbs in pots
How to prep your garden soil for a low water year