10 Tips for Using Boulders in Landscaping

Residential landscaping with boulders can draw the attention of visitors to the beauty of your home’s landscape. You may have invested a lot in your home’s exterior environment, and using landscaping boulders is an excellent way to give your curb appeal a refined, polished look.

Using boulders in landscaping will spotlight areas of your home’s exterior you want to feature in breathtaking ways; if you are uncertain about how to start landscaping with boulders, the 10 tips below are a great place to start.

What Are Landscape Boulders?

Boulders for landscape include any rock with a diameter greater than 10 inches. Natural boulders form from different elements, therefore no two boulders will have the same shape, although many stones that are used in residential landscaping have a geometric shape, either rectangular or square. 

10 Tips for Landscaping with Boulders

There are no hard and fast rules for using boulders in landscape design. Each homeowner would want to be unique in their use of big rocks for landscaping. However, a few tips and ideas can help you nail the perfect natural look for your home while helping you avoid tricky mistakes.

#1. Start with a Plan

As with any major task, starting with a plan is essential, especially if you must achieve the best results when using boulders in landscaping.

Planning will cover everything from the styles you want to achieve to how you want to source your boulders and how you aim to transport them to your site. You may want to consider a professional landscape company or landscaper that also covers the transportation of boulders for landscape.

Because boulders are large, they will most likely be the focal point of your landscaping and they will be very difficult to move around once placed in your yard. It is vital that you plan where they will be placed first and then style other landscaping features including your garden around them. Your boulder supplier may also be able to provide you with special boulders for gardens.

#2. Choose Large Boulders

boulders in landscaping
Boulders for yard

This is one trick to residential landscaping with boulders – always use big rocks for landscaping. Here are two reasons why:

First, many homeowners tend to underestimate the size of their property and the size of a boulder(s) it can take. The truth is boulders tend to look larger on a show lot than they will after they have been placed in your yard. A boulder that’s too small may get dwarfed by the surrounding space. Also, the bigger the boulder, the more attention it draws. Large granite boulders are particularly good at drawing attention with their pristine and timeless look.

#3. Set Each Boulder Down into the Dirt

Landscaping boulders must go deep into the earth. This allows them to sit well without shifting dangerously over time and also gives a natural, long-lasting look. The size and shape of a boulder will determine how deep it needs to go into the ground.

Boulders with flat sides, for example, can have just their flat side exposed to achieve a perfect garden bed element that looks like it has been there forever.

#4. Use Colors to Set a Mood

Always remember that natural boulders come in different colors and you can use this to play on a theme and set a mood. From off-white to pale blue, ivory, brown, and warm-colored stones, you have plenty to choose from when landscaping with boulders.

When using boulders for gardens, you will want to choose rocks that go well with the kind of plants in your garden. You can set huge contrasts with your plants and garden boulders or set a style of monochrome colors.

The blue vein stone with its pale blue look and the warm buff Derbyshire with the brownish dirty finish are both good fits for use as garden boulders, for example.

#5. Build Levels into Landscape Design

There is a lot you can do with boulders in landscaping, and one of them is building levels or creating elevations.

When using boulders in the front yard for example. You can achieve raised beds and retaining walls, whether to create distinct partitioning or just for the beauty of the look. Finish this styling with smaller stones that will help to add character to each raised level.

#6. Group Boulders

Setting a single boulder into your yard will most likely look out of place. A good way to make your landscape appear like the boulders have been there for years is by using boulders for landscape design in groups.

Consider placing your boulders in groups of twos or threes; you can use many of these groups together, using both large and small rocks to create unique landscape features such as a rock wall for a fountain.

#7. Arrange the Boulders in Different Ways

Boulders in landscaping

When landscaping with big rocks, always remember that no two boulders appear the same way. Therefore, use different shapes of boulders and place them with different sides up to mimic what nature would have done by itself.

#8. Use Special Boulders for Dramatic Effect

When landscaping with large boulders, one or two features can make a particular stone special and capable of creating a dramatic effect. For example, angled boulders may be more fitting for areas of your yard, while smooth boulders may fit better in other areas. Since boulders for landscapes come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, it is recommended to use a variety to ensure you are creating the best possible landscape features for your home.

#9. Use Lighting for Dramatic Effect

You can position your landscaping boulders together with the exterior lighting of your home to create striking effects at night. For example, you can set boulders around your fireplace that will light up at night to create a striking night vista or you could set the boulders to be the target of pre-set lights that will bring out the rock’s unique colors so they sparkle when night falls.

#10. Use Local Rock

Many people that choose to enhance their landscaping with big rocks opt for rocks that are naturally occurring in their area, which gives a design feel that blends in with the surrounding terrain. For example, as a homeowner in Cincinnati or Columbus, you may choose to go for boulders that have been sourced from Ohio and surrounding areas.

Shop the Best Boulders at Stone Center!

Residential landscaping with boulders is an interesting stage of your exterior home décor that can create jaw-dropping curb appeal in only a matter of days.

Once you decide to add boulders to your landscaping, reach out to Stone Center in Ohio and explore their rich collections of classing landscaping boulders. For inquiries and questions, you can contact us at Stone Center!