One of the most versatile landscaping elements, natural stone adds contrast and texture, while providing durable, low-maintenance ground cover. Here are some clever ways to use rocks in landscaping to enhance your home’s exterior.
Borders for Paths and Gardens
You can use small gravel or pebbles to make garden paths with a nice, aesthetically pleasing flow. Decomposed granite, called crusher fines, is one of the easiest surfaces to walk on. It also lets water flow freely and compacts over time, helping to cut down on weeds.
You can place larger rocks as borders for a beautiful contrasting effect, or simply use ordinary rocks to create a border around plants or entire garden beds.
Microclimates are smaller areas within larger landscapes that create subtly cooler or warmer temperatures. While shade creates cooler microclimates; rocks typically hold onto more heat and help keep plants warmer. They also provide extra light since the sun tends to reflect off lighter-colored surfaces.
Boulders can also provide an effective windbreak for sensitive plants. If you have new plants that demand warmth, rock barriers can give them a nice windbreak while they are growing hardier, especially in the spring when nights and mornings can still get cold.
Manage Water Flow
You can use rocks to create a dry riverbed to help divert water from a rain gutter to a nearby tree or channel. If you have plantings on a slope, you can also use rocks to create a terrace or hold water on one or more sides of a plant. You can also use rocks to slow water seepage down on slopes; this can help reduce both water loss and erosion.
Showcase a Statement Plant
Many homeowners have one or more favorite plants that blend in too much with other vegetation. You can place a compelling rock behind these plants to make them stand out better in your garden. You can also offset bloom or foliage color by placing a gray or white stone behind colorful blooms, or by showcasing a reddish rock behind white flowers.
Shape a Raised Bed
You can use larger rocks to create terraces, berms or raised portions of earth. Add intrigue to an ordinary flat garden by mounding soil and then placing rocks to hold it securely and promote a natural effect. Those rocks can help with erosion control while providing microclimates and feature pockets of plantings.
Break Up Hilly Landscapes
It can be difficult to landscape a hilly yard. As previously mentioned, stones can be used to chop hilly landscapes into beautiful, functional terraced land. That said, because this usually requires sturdy rock walls, it’s important to get help from an experienced landscaper.
The last thing you want is to invest money and time into a do-it-yourself endeavor only to have it fall apart after just a few weeks. It takes experience and expertise to build stone walls that can hold up to harsh weather and the constant push of soil responding to the pull of gravity.
Things to Consider
Incorporating rocks and small pebbles into your landscape is a relatively inexpensive investment that pays off with beautiful, low-maintenance results. From stone walls to rock gardens and water features, rocks and stones can be used to add a diversity of compelling elements to a garden or lawn. They can also provide durable, long-lasting alternatives to mulch.
When selecting rocks for your landscape, it’s important to consider the tone they will set for your entire property. River rocks and tawny beach pebbles add a nice bit of warmth, while pale marble chips bring light to shady areas. Flat terracotta stones look very nice in tropical landscapes; however, they often seem oddly out of place in formal gardens.
For Polynesian-themed gardens and minimalist contemporary landscapes, black lava rocks really hit the mark. Since stones essentially last indefinitely, it’s important to select a look that will satisfy you for many years. With this in mind, consider getting help from an experienced, knowledgeable landscaping company, such as RMPS Landscaping of Castle Rock. Contact us today to get started on your next landscaping project.