As we are all leading busier lifestyles, modern rock garden ideas tick the low maintenance gardening box in a big way. The ease of rock gardens can largely be put down to their natural drought-tolerance. Tough evergreen grasses, small alpines and perennials will slot beautifully into crevices and thrive with minimal watering. 

Ultra modern gardens don’t necessarily even need established plants. You can create different areas of interest just using rocks of different sizes and heights, and containers can bring pops of planting interest.

The rock garden revival has given rise to a plethora of modern garden ideas which are a far cry from the rockeries of the Victorian era. Running water or a small pool and discreet lighting are often a feature. 

Rather than struggling to improve the soil quality of a gravelly patch, consider that this might be the ideal area for a rock garden in your plot. ‘Rock gardens can add height and interest to a garden and enable you to grow a group of floriferous plants that may struggle for survival elsewhere in your garden,’ says award winning garden designer Kristina Clode. 

‘It can be a great way to use rocky material if you are lucky to have it on site, or use up spare uncontaminated hardcore, rubble and soil in the base layers of your mound,’ she adds. 

‘Well made rock gardens are beautiful, natural looking and brimming with colorful alpine plants which are low maintenance and drought tolerant,’ says Kristina Clode. 

The aim for your modern rock garden ideas is to create a sharply drained, sunny growing environment which emulates high altitude rocky alpine slopes where the light levels are high and the winters cold and dry. Our edit of contemporary looks is sure to get you inspired. 

By Teresa Conway