Home Landscaping Ideas With Rocks


Rocks enhance landscapes by providing color, texture and visual flow. They are often functional as well, serving as seats, steps or borders. Choosing where and how to place each rock can be an involved process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Sizes of Rocks

Pebbles and gravel provide texture, if used sparingly and strategically. A gravel layer at the bottom of a stream or pond not only is visually appealing, but also practical as it serves to filter out silt. You can also use pebbles as ground cover around cacti and other succulents. Placing a rounded river rock underneath a faucet or downspout prevents water from pooling and makes for an attractive accent. A couple of carefully chosen river rocks adds texture and color to a small garden. Flagstones and boulders draw the eye to focal points; and unusual boulders stand on their own as sculpture pieces.

Rocks on the Ground

Flagstones or stepping stones set into the ground make natural pathways through a landscape or garden. Flagstones can be expensive and are very heavy, so plan the path before you buy, then transport and lay the stones safely to protect your hands and back. Fill in spaces with mulch or sturdy ground cover that can stand up to foot traffic.

Rocks and Water

Pools and streams are often surrounded with edging stones. A thin layer of sand underneath the stones will protect the plastic pond liner from rips. For more ambitious decorating, line the walls of the pool with stone masonry and make the bottom out of rocks set in a bed of mortar. Rocks are ideal for waterfalls: Plan the structure and the catch basin to accommodate the recirculation pump; make the catch basin about a foot deep and ensure the pump can handle the height of the falls.

Lighting Rocks

Mount uplights at the foot of rocks that cast intricate shadows and highlight the texture of the stone.


Rock elements in landscaping need not be large and elaborate. In a sparse landscape, all it may take is a few, well-placed rocks. In "Gardening with Water, Plantings, and Stone," Carroll Calkins suggests that just three medium-size rocks and one plant can command interest.

About this Author

Laura Jensel has been a full-time freelance writer for over six years. Her articles and craft projects have appeared in local and national publications, including Disney's FamilyFun Magazine. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology.