Lots of rock in yard

I am trying to do something with my backyard, but it is hard to plant much, especially large container plants and shrubs due to the large amount of rock in my backyard. My backyard backs up to a creek bed, so it's not just small rocks about 6-9" deep under the grass, it is more like a rock shelf. I want to do away with a lot of the lawn and make beds, but need ideas of what kind of things might work well, if there is not a lot of soil depth.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Doing away with the lawn is a good idea, because it gives you room for the raised beds and berms that you can install to make a rock garden. Bring in porous, fast-draining soil and heap it, using some of the rocks as retaining walls for holding in small pockets of soil. There are lots of great plants for rock gardens in your area, like these below:

Alpine aster

Aubrieta x cultorum

Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum)

Dianthus spp.

Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)

Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)

Dwarf iris

Evergreen candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

Sempervivum (Hens-and-chicks)

Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)

Primrose

Sedum

Sea thrift (Armeria maritima)

Saponaria ocymoides (Soapwort)

Wild thyme

Wooly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa)


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