How to Use Boulders & Large Rocks in Landscaping

Overview

Use simple and natural elements such as boulders and rocks to enhance the appearance of a landscape. Use your creativity when placing boulders and rocks together or isolated in different spots to break the monotony and spruce up the area. The boulders are available in a variety of colors, and you can use them to create a focal point in your garden that enhances its appeal and beauty and adds character. Plant flowers around rocks or in tiny gaps between boulders to add color, or leave them as they are to create an element of natural decoration.

Step 1

Map out an aerial view of your garden or yard to determine the appropriate placement of boulders and rocks. Keep boulders and rocks away from underground utility lines. Place an arrangement near an entryway, in the center of your lawn, or over two or three corners.

Step 2

Draw a detailed diagram on graph paper that specifies the location and arrangement of boulders and rocks. Keep the size of the area in mind so you do not overcrowd a small area with several arrangements.

Step 3

Wear gloves, and clear the selected spot from weeds, plant debris and stones. Use a shovel to dig a "boulder bed" as wide as the number of boulders you want to place but 4 to 6 inches deep. Collect soil in a wheelbarrow and dispose of it. This depression helps the boulders look natural in the landscape, as if they were always there, and provides a stable footing.

Step 4

Inspect each bolder for an attractive or interesting side. Position a side that features deep indentations, a different texture or hue so that it faces upward or toward an entryway.

Step 5

Rent a bobcat or bulldozer to lift and position the boulders and large rocks over the prepared spot. Leave small gaps when stacking rocks over one another and grow trailing plants in them.

Step 6

Plant shrubs or ornamental plants around boulders and rocks. Stack several layers of rocks in a flower bed for added appeal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not attempt to lift or carry boulders or large rocks, as you could injure your back. Consider having professionals with appropriate machinery place them in the landscape. Use your legs rather than your back when carrying smaller rocks.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Bulldozer
  • Plants

References

  • The Landscape Design Site: Using Landscape Rocks--Accent Boulders in Landscape Design
  • Plant-Care: Buy Landscaping Rock
Keywords: landscape design, boulders and rocks, landscaping with boulders

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.