Question: We’re looking to buy landscaping rock to add to our current front yard Denver landscape project. Have you any tips you can offer on rock selection and use in the landscape? – Paul in Littleton CO
Answer: Before you buy any landscaping rock step back and decide exactly what you want to accomplish. Landscaping with natural stone in your design can add depth and texture to the landscape – even small landscape areas. Rock and stone come in many different forms, sizes, kinds, textures and colors.
Different designs require different landscaping rock to achieve the look you want – everything from small rock or stone used as accent on a path or large permanently placed landscaping rock or boulders.
Successful Landscaping with Stone and Rock
To successfully incorporate rock in the landscape design, larger stones and boulders should be placed where they add to the yard and become a focal point. Don’t put them in spots where you’re trying to disguise, cover up or hide things. Each rock or boulder needs to be placed with purpose for:
Plan ahead of time exactly where each landscaping rock will be placed for the ultimate best effect. Also when choosing rocks and boulders look to local materials.
Make Landscaping with Natural Stone Look Natural
Don’t just drop a rock down and consider the placement in the landscape done! If you take a little extra time to bury the rock you’ll achieve a much more natural look. This makes the rock look planted and blend in with the overall landscape.
How far should you bury your rock in the ground? The depth depends upon the overall landscape rock chosen. As a rule a very large landscaping boulder would be planted deeper than a smaller landscaping rock. Four to six inches is a good depth for the rock base to be buried.
Dig a spot a little larger than the size of the base of the rock and them place the rock into it. Then backfill some dirt into the spot around the rock and then you are done.
Landscaping Rock Adds Character
Spending the time to find the right landscape rock can make the difference between an OK looking landscape and one that shops people in their tracks.
Look at picture of a rock simply placed in the landscape between two cycads. This rock graces the entrance to a doctors office and makes “potential” clients stop.
What does the rock look like to you? I think it looks like a cat!
Think About Landscaping Rock Placement
When you’re out to buy landscaping rock make sure you consider the size, weight and placement in the landscape. Often the cost of the rock isn’t as much as the delivery and placement. Ask yourself:
How will the rock get to its ultimate destination in the landscape?
Will special equipment like a loader or bobcat be needed to place the boulder?
If so – can the equipment maneuver or destroy anything when placing the rock?
Once you’ve selected the landscape rock you plan on buying – does the rock have a face? By that I mean, does it have a side or face that would or should be displayed when placed in the landscape.
Think what the rocks and boulders look like in nature and try to imitate the look. The next time you’re out walking or hiking keep an eye out for any large rocks used in the landscape or nature, Notice how they sit in the ground and then try to get the landscaping rock in your yard to look just as natural.