Rock and stone are beautiful additions to almost any garden whether used as a focal point, as a continuous covering providing interesting variations of heights and contours to an otherwise level grade, or as a solution to a dry and rocky terrain or one that is sloped and easily erodes. Another popular use of rock and stone in a garden is to build a dry creek bed to help with drainage.
Although the emphasis of the garden is on trees, shrubs, flowers, and ground cover, adding rock and stone to it is a simple, easy way to add continuous four-season aesthetics. Natural rock, although hauled in from a distance, will look right at home in any garden any time of the year. Integrating it into your landscape will add a naturally rustic feel that allows it to quickly and easily become a viable part of the garden environment.
For most impact, use large boulders with interesting shapes and angles to build levels into your landscape, to hold back soil, and act as a retaining wall, or set them into place in groups of three, four, or five in various sizes and shapes throughout your landscape for unexpected impact.
Because rock is found naturally in rocky or mountainous environments, put them to use on slopes and incorporate plants native to mountainous areas into your scheme to take advantage of their unique character. Set each rock firmly into the ground, not only to make it appear as though it is a natural part of its surroundings, but also to keep it from rolling downhill.
Smaller sized rocks and stones can be successfully incorporated into the landscape as well as larger rocks, and using both together, they compliment each other and add to a sense of belonging as well as to the drama. Add them in pools throughout the landscape, interject them here and there, use them as mulch beneath plants, or completely cover a section of garden with them alone.
A good place to take advantage of this method of use is in spots that are too wet or too shady to successfully grow plants. A covering of smaller rock and stone can take the place of plants, while at the same time keep continuity in the garden bed and contribute uniquely to the landscape design as a whole.
Of course both rock and stone, including flagstone and river rock, can also be incorporated into the landscape design by the creation of pathways to and through the garden, borders to edge gardens, along driveways, as well as in garden walls, all of which play off the greenery of garden plants as well as allow their own color and textural interest to shine forth.
Whether you want a splash of texture to your garden, or need to find a fix for problem areas, rock and natural stone are a wise choice. They are durable, maintenance free, and add substance, character, and impact to your landscape throughout the seasons. Bring them into your scheme in all shapes and sizes to add unparalleled uniqueness to your garden.