Rock materials of various sizes, shapes and colors help Arizona homeowners to landscape their property. Rock can create visual interest, build natural pathways or walkways, prevent erosion and create strong permanent features such as waterfalls or walls. With careful attention to design, using rock materials allows you to create the look of the beautiful Arizona desert in your yard, even if all you start out with is bare ground. Rocks provide a low-maintenance landscaping choice when compared to grass or flower beds.
Rock materials come in an assortment of colors, allowing you to plan your yard to be in harmony with the color and style of your house, your roof and even the surrounding properties. Besides numerous earth tone shades from beige to nearly chocolate brown, rock is available in grey, rose, black, peach, and gold to name just a few. Depending on the colors you choose, you can have an understated look in your yard or make a bold, striking statement. Many people mix colors for contrast, such as having one color for the bare areas and another for areas where plants such as cacti will be included in the design.
Because of their sheer size, boulders in a yard draw your attention. When they are arranged in groups, they can serve as an interesting backdrop to the other design elements. They add a feeling of permanence to your property, as though it has been there forever. Surrounding the rugged boulders with plants creates the opportunity for visual contrast. Stacked boulders also serve as components for waterfalls and other water features in a yard.
Flagstone is sedimentary stone cut into flat pieces, making it ideal for walkways or pathways. You could even use it as the surface for your entire patio. Flagstones are easy to work with--you just bury them partway in the ground and their various shapes allow you to create unique patterns. Flagstone can also be terraced to create steps. Compared with brick or concrete pavers, they look much more natural.
Many people make a walkway of small-diameter crushed granite and other aggregates and then edge the path with larger diameter gravel. In time the crushed granite will form a strong base, such that the surface almost seems to have been paved.
This fractured natural stone consists of irregularly edged pieces of 4 inches or more in diameter. Along shorelines it is used to reinforce embankments, but in the dry regions of Arizona it is used for the natural ruggedness it adds to a yard. But it is best used sparingly; an entire yard of this material can look harsh and unfinished.
Its smooth surface and the variety of colors make river rock an attractive and versatile material to use. You can create a winding streambed without using water at all. Just add plants to the border of the "stream" to create the effect of a lush oasis. River rocks can also be used to cover sloped areas of a yard, both for their visual appeal and for erosion control.