Using Rocks in Your Yard

Looking to give you yard some something special to set it apart from those in the rest of your neighborhood? Want to add some depth and texture to your landscaping design? Landscaping rock comes in many different forms, is inexpensive, and used sparingly, give a garden a warm, natural look. With the current trend of “identical neighborhoods,” many people are looking for ways to add individuality to their yards and gardens.

Not only is there a wide selection of colors, landscaping rock comes in different kinds of stone from which to choose, from limestone to slate to granite. Different landscaping designs call for different types of landscaping rock, obviously, but given all the choices it is easy to get find just the right combinations of rock.

If you are landscaping a new property, when you first clear the ground and rototill the soil for your yard, you’ll no doubt find a few choice rocks you wish you hadn’t. Don’t have them hauled way; these can be set aside and used in your landscaping. It could save you time and expense later on, and you never know where you might want to use them later.

The trick to using rock in landscaping effectively, as with any form of hardscaping, is to completely incorporate them into your yard’s design. Locate them in places that will add to the yard, not where it looks like you are trying to cover something up or take attention away from another part of the yard. Plan just where each landscaping rock should be placed for maximum effect and balance.

Take the time to bury your rock and it will improve it’s look, making them appear planted. They will integrate better into the overall design and look as if this is where they belong. Making the extra effort to arrange your rocks and bury the lower 5% will add the natural effect you are looking for.

How far you bury your rock in the ground will depend upon the landscaping rock that you select. If you have a very large piece of rock then it should be buried deeper than a smaller landscaping rock. Four to six inches is a good depth for a medium size rock. Dig a shallow hole about the size of your landscaping rock and place the rock into it. Use common sense here and get help lifting it. If it is a larger piece, you may need to rent lifting equipment or hire a contractor for this part. Finally, tuck back the dirt into the gap around the rock.

Next time that you are out walking or hiking in the woods, keep an eye out for larger rocks and boulders. Look at how they naturally sit in the ground and you’ll see what kind of a look the landscaping rock in your yard should have. This is the kind of detail that will set your yard off from the rest of your neighbors.

If you live in a state like Oklahoma, where red rocks are common, you might consider making this a theme in your yard. Underdeveloped areas are full of these types of rock, and taking a walk with your wheelbarrow might save you a few hundred dollars in rocks. Find ones that have personality, ones that speak to you, and carry a plan of your yard with you when you collect. Imagine where each rock will go, and choose accordingly.

Rocks are excellent liners for gardens, trees, flowerbeds, and walkways, but they can also be utilized more creatively. Try building a rock wall around the foundation of your home, or use flat rocks as makeshift stepping stones. You can find literally hundreds of ways to use all different types of rocks; the sky is the limit!

Finally, be careful when working with rocks, or any other type of landscaping. Be aware of your waterlines and gaslines when digging, and don’t lift heavy objects without someone to help you. Landscaping is more fun when you do it in pairs, anyway, and it always helps to get a second opinion.

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