We have owned our house for over 12 years and for all those years this area has looked just like this.  We believe at one point there use to be a rock garden there, see the big rock?  Now it just gets mowed around and looks horrible, is the attempt at making it a rock garden worth it?  Do people even have rock gardens anymore?

I would really like to make this area look nice (at least attempt it one summer).  I've always admired other people's rock gardens and I have the prime spot, however I have no idea how much work they are and I've got limited time.  We even bought a pond basin from my sister with the plan to make a rock garden with a water fall that flows into the pond.  It's situated perfectly on the hill for that.  I talked about Koi fish too, but let's get real, I live in Minnesota TOO cold at night and what would I do with them in the winter?

I thought I would research rock gardens over the winter to see what kind of soil and plants are needed to make it work, but here I am, it's already June, so I'm asking for a crash course and suggestions.  Bare in mind that I have killed air ferns before.  Who knew they needed water too, I thought they just thrived on air, thus the name AIR fern.  Do you think I should wait until next year?  Is it something we need to leave to a landscaper?  Do we need to draw up plans before we start?  UGH! I'm dabbling into the world of the unknown.....HELP, please!!!!