Skip to main content

Gorgeous And Creative Ways To Use Boulders In Your Landscape Design

By April 10, 2024May 8th, 2024Landscape Design
boulders in landscaping

When was the last time you thought, “My landscape could really use some more rocks!”

If you’re like most people… probably never! When most people think of landscaping, they typically envision flowerbeds, ponds or water gardens, a patio with a great grilling area, even some lush lawn. But rocks – or, more aesthetically speaking, boulders and natural stone – can add entirely new and gorgeous dimensions to your view.

Today we’re not just talking about any old rocks, but about boulders specifically – those often large, always unique natural stones that too many people break up and cart off instead of using them to create a truly one-of-a-kind outdoor space.

These are some creative and beautiful ways to incorporate boulders into your landscape that are bound to give you a whole new respect for some of nature’s hardest surfaces.

garden bouldersMake A Statement

One of the best things about boulders is that they’re essentially perfect all by themselves. They don’t need any flourishes, additions, fixes, or companion pieces. As long as you’ve got a nice sized boulder, you can plunk and go!

Of course there is an aesthetic element to how you may want to place your boulder, but they’re just as lovely ensconced in a flowerbed as they are in the middle of the lawn. They can be used effectively everywhere from the front of your home to the back, along the border or as a centerpiece. Surround them with mulch, smaller stones, greenery, or blooms.

Wherever they land, they’re bound to make an impression.

Want more ideas? Sign up to get them delivered to your inbox! (Plus offers and sales from our showroom!)

email signup

Don’t be afraid to go big! The larger the boulder, the more of a statement you can make. Of course, do be mindful of the scale of your space and home – you don’t want to overwhelm it with a rock the size of a mountain.

Otherwise, choose a shape and color that speaks to you, and enjoy nature’s artwork as a focal point in your space.

stream with boulder edgesBuild A Wall

Sure, you can go for a nice, neat retaining wall of stacked stone or brick. But for a unique and ultra-natural look, why not create a wall of boulders?

There are several ways that you can use boulders to build walls. If you’re going for aesthetics rather than strictly function, you can choose smaller boulders that can be stacked in an irregularly pleasing way.

You can also have larger boulders cut for better stacking, whether into narrower slabs or chunkier blocks.

If you have a sloped yard or want to create a tiered garden, boulders can be particularly effective at creating visual differentiation as well as preventing soil erosion and securing plants in place.

The boulders will become as much a part of the beauty of your space as the gardens and areas they contain.

Enhance A Water Feature

Boulders practically beg to be included in your water feature design! They can become everything from accent pieces to functional elements depending on their size and how you use them.

A boulder placed strategically beside a pond can become a favorite spot to sit and watch koi. Several smaller ones can be placed within a waterfall where water can cascade and bubble, offering a soothing sound and beautiful visual.

waterfall with driftwood and boulders

Include boulders along and within a running stream, at the border of a pond, or surrounding a bubbler or some stone water columns. They will accentuate and beautify even the simplest water feature.

Create Contrast

The beauty of a boulder is in its natural and wholly unique appearance. That gives you plenty of opportunity to create a juxtaposition between its natural beauty and manmade structures.

Instead of breaking down a boulder that may be in the way of your new deck (or patio!) why not build right around it? If you have a deck made of wood or a composite material, integrating a boulder can create an especially dramatic contrast between natural and manmade elements.

stone built into deck

You can do the same with fencing and driveways – either build right around a boulder, or plan one into the design of your structures. Not only will you be respecting the earth around you, but you’ll be creating something uncommonly eye-catching that will truly be one-of-a-kind.

Add To Your Seating Space

Whether it’s next to a pond or containing a garden, a flat-topped boulder will double as a convenient resting place.

But you can also use boulders specifically for extra seating if you plan them into your design properly.

Naturally a boulder is no substitute for a great chaise or a comfy sofa, but if you find yourself with a full yard during summer barbecues, having some extra surfaces where guests can sit for a chat or even balance a plate on their knees isn’t a bad idea!

Follow us on Instagram for more ideas!

Boulders along the edge of a patio, abutting the wall of your house, or bordering a garden can serve as a beautiful natural addition to your landscape design, and be a welcome spot to rest those tired feet.

Hide The Ugly Stuff

boy sitting near pondTry as you might, you’re bound to have at least one eyesore in your landscape. Whether it’s a utility box, a downspout or satellite dish, you can’t exactly rip them out. You can’t quite cover them up, either, but that doesn’t mean you can’t block them from view.

Depending on whether you want them out of your line of sight, or merely hidden from messing with your curb appeal, a decent sized boulder can often do the trick. Coupled with a bit of tall greenery, ornamental grasses or pretty blooms, you can create a focal piece that is less eyesore and more eye candy.

By nature of their very grounded placement, boulders can also do a great job of obscuring less gaze-worthy ground elements, like the ugly concrete foundation of your house, or the messy seam between that patch of dead grass and your winter wood pile.

Not only are boulders more pleasing to look at, but they play nicely with other landscape elements, and you can find one in just about any size you need.

By now your head should be full of rocks – and that’s a good thing! We want you to be inspired to think about how boulders large and small can be incorporated into your landscape design. These versatile, no-maintenance, lovely and underutilized gifts from Mother Nature deserve a higher place in yards everywhere.

waterfall with boulders

Live your best outdoor life!

Need some boulders in your life? We’ve got you covered! Book a consultation and let’s talk about how to create the perfect outdoor space for YOU.

Book Now

You might also like...

You’ve Thought About Landscaping. How About Hardscaping?

Which Natural Stone Should You Choose For Your Patio?

5 Types Of Natural Stone For Beautiful Walkways & Patios

9 Things To Consider Before You Landscape Around Your Patio