Ideas for Landscaping With Rocks

Installing a lawn and also finding suitable plants captivate homeowners' attention and imagination when it comes to landscaping. Another component---rocks---can be just as much of a visual showstopper or merely complementary ingredient to a well defined garden setup. Getting ideas for landscaping with rocks requires little more than imagination and knowing the different kinds of rocks that are available.


Use boulders in varying sizes and colors to add points of interest to curves in your landscape design. Grouping together boulders in ascending or descending order assists in creating a visually appealing welcoming effect that leads the visitor to enter the property. Boulders are also a useful feature in landscape water features, such as shallow ponds or waterfalls.

River Rock

Replace small grass strips with decorative river rock. These rocks come in a number of colors. Hard to maintain grass areas---oftentimes those spaces that do not receive proper watering or mowing---may lead to unsightly brown spots and hard soil. Introducing succulent plants that need little water and accentuating them in a bed of visually striking river rock instantly dresses up the landscape. Choose colors that cause your driveway or walkway to stand out, or opt for colors that harmonize with the paint scheme of your house. River rocks come in a number of different sizes---common diameters are 3/8 to 3/4, 1 to 2 or 3 to 5 inches---and also with a polished or natural finish. They mix and match well and lend themselves for use in formal and informal landscape settings.


Landscaping with rocks permits you to display your artistic flair in ways that go beyond color selection and geometrical design creation. Engrave larger rocks with poignant messages, names or important dates.

Rock Landscaping

Rocks---especially when used very sparingly in a landscape---quickly become focal points for the eye. This allows the hobbyist to design the garden from the rocks outward. For example, you might include a larger rock toward the front of the flowerbed; arrange ornamental plants around it to show off both the rock and the smaller plants. In the alternative, you may decide to introduce rocks into an already well established landscape as a complementary point of interest. In this case the use of smaller boulders or larger rocks could take the place of ordinary flowerbed borders.


Avoid the use of river rock, lava rock or other smaller rocks underneath deciduous trees. You cannot easily rake up dropped leaves without also dislodging the smaller rocks, and as a result you either spend a lot of time maintaining your rock landscaping or have it look unsightly under a heavy blanket of fallen leaves for prolonged periods of time.

Keywords: river rock, boulders, landscaping

About this Author

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.