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How to Place Boulders and Rocks in the Landscape

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boulders on the grass in the Japanese garden image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com

Boulders and large rocks add an natural, earthy element to any landscape. In addition, they are available in a wide variety of colors and rock types and create a unique focal point for the yard. There are a variety of techniques for using large rocks and boulders, and which one is best will depend on the surrounding environment. The hardest part of landscaping with boulders is figuring out how to transport them to the location and move them around once you get them there.

Decide where you want to place each boulder in the landscape. Since it will be a focal point, do not place a boulder in an area where you are trying to disguise something, such as an air conditioner. Instead, choose a location on the opposite side of the yard to draw people's attention towards the boulder and away from the undesirable object. If you have a stream or other body of water, that is a natural location to place a boulder.

Decide how many large rocks you want to place in the landscape. It's best to choose only two to three very large boulders and then arrange smaller rocks around them, as too many large boulders will overwhelm the landscape.

Use a shovel to dig out an area of the ground where you will place the large rocks and boulders. The area should be the width of the boulder and extend down for 4 to 6 inches. This slight depression makes the final appearance look more natural, as if the rocks were always there.

Examine each bolder and decide if it has a side that is more interesting or attractive. If the boulder has holes or deep intentions on one side, choose that side to face toward the entryway of the yard. You can use these indentations to plant small flowers or plants.

Use a bulldozer or bobcat to lift up the boulder or rock and move it to the location that you dug out. Be sure to place the boulder with the desired side facing outward.

Plant flowers or ground cover around the base of the boulder to cover up any exposed areas of dirt created while digging.

Tip

Bobcats and bulldozers can be rented from construction equipment rental companies.

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