How to Landscape with Rocks

Giving Your Landscape and All-Natural Look

How To Landscape With Rocks-garden-plants
Garden plants with rock design

Some may see rocks as nothing more than a lifeless material that does nothing but takes up space but can I tell you that this is far from the truth. Rocks can bring much life into the landscapes and gardens giving an all-natural look with that special touch or flavor that creates an appeal that brings that wow into a garden setting that’s pleasing and inviting.

Rocks are of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures and can be used just about anywhere in the landscapes. I love the idea of including rocks in the landscapes because rocks can really bring a beautiful landscape design together giving the appearance that it was all done by nature without any human involvement.

I have worked on many garden projects where rocks were introduced into those designs and the effect was truly amazing. Even on the interior, many plant designs were not completed until rocks were added. For those of you who are interested in how to include rocks in your garden design continue reading as we take a closer look at using rocks in the landscape and gardens.

Creating a rock garden

A few years ago both my team and I had the awesome responsibility of creating a rock garden, the garden would be located on a site that had nothing more that leaves, tree parts, and debris. The task ahead of us involved a lot of work but we were up for the challenge of transforming this area that was an eyesore into a work of art.

With much anticipation and excitement, I give my input, some of the plants chosen were agaves, mother in law tongue, ornamental grasses, etc.. and of cause the rocks. What good is a rock garden without the rocks right?

We also added some stepping stones, this project took us about one week and a few days if I remembered correctly. Once we were done the entire area took on a total change and we were blown away including management on how beautiful this garden look and the main features were guess what, the different size rocks which were used that made such a huge difference.

How to Landscape with Rocks

When landscaping with rocks what you want to create is a natural look which means your design will have to mirror nature. A design of this sort has a continual flow, to help you along the way take a nature walk. This will not only help you to get in that exercise but the scenery will also do you some good.

While you’re taking your walk take a look at the different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures of rocks. Notice the position of how each rock is laid, are there plants that are partially covering some of them? are there plants growing through them? etc…

As you continue to investigate look for as much detail as possible and write them down on a notepad. Once you’re satisfied with your findings, take those results into your garden and do likewise. This is a great activity to do with kids or at least one other person who may be interested.

Where all can I use rocks?

These are just a few among many ways that rocks can be used.

A pond

Whether big or small a great place to use rocks is in a pond, adding rocks to a pond will not only give a natural look but will act as a resting place for turtles, frogs, birds, and insects. This is a great way to introduce wildlife to your pond. With the presence of rocks, you will see wildlife taking a rest among many other activities.

Agave Plant

River rocks

When it comes to river rocks there are many choices to choose from because river rocks are of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. What I love about river rocks is their presence gives the appearance of water even in a garden where water is not flowing.

But if you decide to construct a water garden then, by all means, do so, adding some of these rocks will spice up your water garden as the water pass flowing freely over under and around them.

A gravel garden

Constructing a gravel garden is pretty cool, these gardens are built in such a way where pathways are created with the use of gravels. Introducing gravel into your landscape is great not only because of the design but there are many benefits with these garden types.

Stepping stones

Steppings stones can be added to create a line of separation between plants or a lawn and garden plants. These stones do not only serve as aesthetics but provide a walking pathway that connects the different paths of the garden to the home while protecting your plants or garden lawn from being stepped on.

There are many styles of stepping stones so chose the ones that best fit your garden design. I have also used these stones on many garden projects which brought those gardens together.

A fire pit

How To Landscape With Rocks-fire-pit
Fire Pit

A fire pit is great for entertaining especially on those chilly nights, sitting by the fire and roasting marshmallows as you tell old stories. This is also a perfect romantic setting outdoors as you talk and gaze at the stars and the moon with that special someone enjoying nature in the cool of the evening.

Installing a rock as a centerpiece

A large rock or boulder will make a great centerpiece especially if the rock/bolder is unique in appearance. The rock or boulder can be placed in the middle of the garden with a few low growing plants in the front. This garden design is sure to get attention as garden plants and rock/boulder ties the entire design together with and even flow.

Additional information

The use of rocks such as river rocks, pea rocks, 3/34 rocks, etc.. can be used around garden plants. What I love about this method is that though you may spend a few dollars, however in the long run you will save a few dollars also.

Rocks can replace the mulch, the good part in using rocks instead of mulch is you don’t have to keep replenishing rocks as you would mulch. Before you place mulch put down black landscaping fabric to block or suppress weeds followed by your rocks.

The final word on how to landscape with rocks

The use of rocks in the landscape and gardens is not new, this method of giving gardens an all-natural look has been around for some time bringing beauty and charm. I have seen the transformation rocks can bring once properly placed.

If you can envision your garden like nature has it then go for it, you will be amazed at the wonderful change as you create a garden oasis that nature herself will smile upon.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “How to Landscape with Rocks”

  1. It is always good to have a beautiful garden and a good beautiful and yet conducive environment. It’ll be very nice to know how to landscape with rocks, I have a small garden right after my lawn and I’d love to make the pathway between it gravel filled . Thanks for this idea, it’ll be useful 

    • Hello, the use of rocks in the landscape and garden is something we should take advantage of because what rocks can do. The use of rocks will give that an all-natural look. Hope you have much success with your garden project

  2. Hello Norman, I really enjoyed reading this article and I just ha to admit how beautiful it is to have a garden where you made the landscape with rocks. Of all the designs I I have seen in the past, making us of rocks have been the best and this is the just the right thing for me to get to see this article because I’m just about starting a small garden outside my house. I would try to adopt this idea 

    • Hello, I am so happy to help, the use of rocks in the garden and landscapes is pretty amazing giving that wow making your garden look all-natural like nature did it without the help of human involvements. Wishing you good success with your garden project. Have a good day.

  3. Hi there Norman

    I rather much enjoyed reading your post for two particular reasons, first being my wife and I have a garden and secondly, you have given us a simple idea that will have a profound impact on our small garden. We grow food instead of flowers but having such simple but yet gorgeous rock designs will give it more of an appeal.

    We always see beautiful ponds with rock decorations and we always wondered where those rocks can be found cheaply. Thanks to your post, we know where to get beautiful rocks for free and where know where to go fo find designs. This was a treat.

    Solomon & Selina

    • Hello, so nice to meet you, and thanks so much for your very kind words. The use of rocks in the landscapes and the garden is truly amazing and can work wonders. I am so happy that I could help, wishing you all the best of success and have a good day!


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