Rock landscape constructed with an eye on supporting your overall yard design adds texture. Selective use of landscape materials made from stone also generates elements that complement and accentuate your plant selection and hardscape. When utilizing stone landscape, then try techniques that produce the best use of the materials to improve your garden.

Physical Techniques

Rock materials provide permanent or semipermanent support to your garden construction. Placing paving stones produces an eclectic appearance that facilitates the charm of the everyday garden. Dry-stacked walls, the ones that don’t use mortar, provide help to low terraces and enhance a hardy, natural feel for gardens with a pure design focus. This type of stone wall can stay in place for years, but could also be eliminated relatively easily if your lawn’s design aesthetic change.

Visual Techniques

Rugged to smooth, big to small, utilize methods that exploit the natural attributes of the stone. A big, craggy set of stones overlaid with delicate, airy plants generates a balance of soft and hard in the backyard. Darkly colored stones provide a dramatic background to bursts of bright flowers. Stones with smoothed edges and shiny surfaces provide a counterbalance to the tough, structural qualities of plants with architectural shapes.


Xeriscaping is a gardening strategy that concentrates on minimizing water use. Rock landscaping uses this technique when you juxtapose the stones with slow-growing plants indigenous to your area. Surround boulders and gravel with indigenous grasses, succulents and drought-tolerant species. Use some supplementary watering to set up the lawn, but otherwise leave it to thrive on natural rainfall.

Dry Stream Bed

A dry stream bed is a handy approach to incorporate stone in your landscape to disguise irrigation easements and French drains. These types of drainage stop normal planting, and test your design skills. Add smooth river stones, occasionally referred to as river slicks, to mimic the flow of a stream. Placing darkened stone in the middle and lighter stone in the edges produces the illusion of water and thickness, particularly if the stones are glossy. Select stones that aren’t readily moved by water since seasonal storms will likely sweep through and may wash small stones off.

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