DIY - Landscaping with Rocks

Landscaping with rock brings in a natural element that evokes solidness and a sense security to your home and garden.

You can use large and small rock, boulders and natural stones in many different ways to add some depth and texture to your landscaping design.

Landscaping rocks can come in different unique sizes, shapes and styles. Not only is there a fun collection of colors of landscaping rock there is also several different kinds of stone to choose from. Different landscaping designs will require different landscaping rock .

If you want landscaping rock to use as a cover-up for the dirt and in place of mulch Ė youíll find a plethora of choices at Southern Mulch. This kind of rock comes in many colors, sizes and textures.  We can help you determine how much youíll need based on your measurements. Or just select the stone from our website and use our Product Calculator found on each item page.

If you think you want to add one of those large boulders that are often seen in commercial landscape designs, We have those too!

The easiest way to get these large boulders to your yard is to work with a landscape contractor. Not only will they deliver these boulders, but they will help with the design plan and if you want (and itís usually cost effective and by far easier) theyíll place the rock in the proper spot at the right angle.


Landscaping with stone all around the yard and gardens

  • Use medium sized rock seating around a fire pit
  • Placed a large boulder strategically in a rock garden as a focal point
  • Positioned rocks around a patio or deck in a random pattern
  • Use at the entrance of a garden
  • In a landscaping ďislandĒ design
  • Place natural stone outcroppings around a man-made pond or waterfall
  • For privacy, use large landscape rock to add height to an area.  Back-fill behind the boulder wall with trailing plants and flowers.
  • Rock boulders can add interest in front of a fence
  • Build stone walls to define outdoor rooms
  • Use natural rock for retaining walls


Integrate Rocks into the landscape design naturally

The trick to landscaping with stone and rocks successfully is to fully integrate them into your backyard garden and the landscape design. If you were to just put your landscaping rock here and there you will be doing nothing for the yard and your yard will end up looking strange and unbalanced.

Think of balancing a flower garden bed with a large landscape rock or anchor an island garden with a large rock as the centerpiece. A Cottage Garden will look like itís been there forever if there are boulders and rock strewn in and out of the delphiniums and roses.

  • Plan exactly where each landscaping rock should be placed for the ultimate good effect. Think about the landscaping design principles and use balance and unity in your plan.
  • Cluster rocks in odd numbers- it's better than dotting the landscape with one here and there.
  • If you take the time to bury your rock so that it looks like itís been in that spot for years- it will look much better. The depth will all depend upon the landscaping rock that you finally choose for your yard. If you choose a very large landscaping rock then it should be sunk into the ground deeper than a smaller landscaping rock. Four to six inches is a good depth for your landscaping rock to be buried. Make sure that the boulder is stable and secure, without rocking back and forth if someone leans on it.


How To Place Boulders

It is easy to add a landscaping rock or boulder to you backyard landscaping.  All you (or the landscape contractor) need to do is dig a spot about 10 inches larger than the size of your landscaping rock and then place the rock into it. Voila! (You might have to patch the grass or add mulch around the hole.)


Why use landscaping boulders and large rocks?

A couple of reasons to add landscaping stones and large boulders into your landscaping design is for variety and interest.

For a landscaping design to look professional, layers are used, and this can be hard achieve without the use of some landscaping stones. A flat yard and garden is kind of boring, but using stones to create different levels for your eyes to focus on brings energy into the landscape.

Landscaping with stone and rock is not the only way to give your yard depth but they are the easiest way. You could try to change the slope of your yard, but itís easier to simply use landscaping stones to bring some depth and change the look of the yard.

Another popular landscaping idea is to use rock to create walls built up about 24 inches off the ground. This create a sense of intimacy in the outdoor space. The wall can be used for seating or as a spot to showcase a container garden.


Things to think about when landscaping with stones

The pros are all of the reasons listed above. However, there are a few cons:

  • Rock is heavy and not very moveable. Once itís planted, it usually stays.
  • Landscape rocks can be expensive. The delivery and planting costs are high too.
  • The smaller rocks and stones can make mowing the lawn a challenge unless they are contained with edging of some sort.
  • If you decide that youíre tired of the look of the small stones and rocks in your gardens and landscape, well, removing it is usually a hassle. I can tell you from experience that itís a lot of back bending hard work to shovel up and donít forget it needs to be hauled away.


With careful planning, you can transform the whole look of your yard with the simple use of landscaping stones, boulders and rock.