Landscape design is the art of transforming the simple yard or lawn into a magical place. With enough creative power any piece of soil can be transformed into a Victorian garden, desert corner or a seafront patio.
Decorating their garden most people think first of the plants and flowers, forgetting another important element – rocks. Huge mistake! Natural or fake rock is a source of the innumerable designing ideas.
One of the most obvious ways to use the rocks is to make a rock garden. Originally, the idea of the rockery is an attempt to create a piece, where the plants and rocks will be combined in artistic and yet natural manner.
There’re many rockery ideas in different styles and in the sections below we will be speaking about the most popular ones.
It is a very popular type among other landscaping ideas with rocks, especially in the northern areas, alpines are the plants that are growing usually high on the mountains, are small in size, enduring and beautiful. They are often growing almost on the bare rock or in cracks and crevices.
Though these plants are very resistant to the cold winter, they require a very good drainage. So if your garden is wet and swampy it will take a lot of effort to make alpine rock landscape design there.
Desert rock garden
It features the light color rocks, such as sandstone and limestone, sometimes some basalt. The plants for such kind of rockery designs are cacti or succulents.
You can go a step further and make it, for example a Death Valley style installation with the animal sculls or other decorative piece. Of cause desert style would make more sense in the sunny place and not in the damp rainy countryside.
If you have naturally moist and shadowy area, with a nice tree or shrubbery, use it, make a nice woodland rockery, maybe add a small stream or tiny waterfall, and you have a cute piece of nature resembling landscape.
Just need to choose the plants that thrive in wet areas and the rocks you can easy meet in the forests. For the rockeries ideas – just go for a hike with your camera, take some pictures and try to recreate what you see
It is also called zen garden and it’s an all different kind of rockery. It doesn’t try to look natural, no, it’s a perfectly designed conceptual space.
How to design a rockery garden? Usually the Japanese rock garden is featuring a white sand filled space with the islands of rockery decorations. The sand is raked daily for the illusion of the seabed with the wave ripples.
Zen garden rockery designs can do without plants at all, but a bonsai will make a beautiful addition. The main point of this decorative rockery is to be a chill out, tranquility filled place, where you can forget about all your troubles and …well, stay zen. Keep in mind that there are many other landscaping ideas using rocks and stones and these ones just were an examples.
Now, when you have an idea of gardens with different styles let’s move to the landscape rock ideas with water features. Everybody loves the sound of running water, so why not use your rocks to make a very special water feature, that will bring peace and beauty to your backyard?
Dry creek river
If you’re in need of a drainage system improvement as well as a landscaping project, make a dry creek river. It will help you to direct the excessive water that is collecting in wrong places on your land. For this project you can use even only one type of river rock if you wish it to be simple.
Another landscape design with rocks and water is a waterfall. If you don’t have a natural slope in your yard you can simply make it by piling up the rocks.
We want to mention that landscape ideas with rocks and waterfall are not the easiest projects, but completely doable if you are an experienced DIY gardener. As with the rock garden, the waterfall is usually made to look natural, so take your inspiration from your last wild nature hike!
The waterfall can be combined with the pond as its lower basin. But otherwise a pond is a beautiful future itself. A still water is also pleasant to the eye, especially if there are some water plants or fish in it.
Not everyone is all green and nature-loving. Sometimes you just want an element that is decorative and that’s all. Than simply let yourself to have a fountain.
It can be as small as a single bubbling rock, or a full size roman style piece. For this feature you can use all kin of rocks, starting from classy white marble and finishing with an old stone you have in your garden. Let your imagination work its best of it or invite a professional landscape designer to help you with the decision.
Paving and edging
Sometimes you absolutely need to structure your landscape. Here are some decorative rock landscaping ideas that can be used to bring the order to the chaos.
Flowerbeds and terrace steps, pool and walkways all those elements of your landscape might need edging. The rock is the best material for it.
The proper rockery border will stop the mulch from being spread all over the lawn with the rain, it will hold a creeping soil of the flowerbed and will show your guest clearly where not to walk. For this feature any rock can be used, the medium-sized river rock or old bricks are the most classic examples. Since it is very popular solution for the garden, there are many different rockery designs ideas.
It is also a type of the edging, but in a much larger scare. This element will help you to modify your steep slopes into terraces and stop a soil shift on your land.
You can make a mortared wall from precut stones or lay out a dry-stack wall, with the plants growing in its crevices for more vintage style. It should be mentioned that, it is in the list of simple rockery designs.
Another thing you can use the rock for is a walkway. Wooden mulch is nice, but it needs to be replaced every season and, being very light, it’s easily carried away on the feet and by the rain.
Replace the wood with gravel or small river pebbles and you forget about those complications. A rock mulch is a low maintenance long-lasting paving material,
Natural or fake, cut in perfect blocks or rustic shape, the rock is the material that can be used for any creation in the landscape design. Choose your favorite rock and look into the possibilities, we are sure you will find a way to make it work in your garden.
In this video there is a bunch of ideas for rocks in landscaping design:
Remember, that for any garden project the most important part is the choice of rocks for landscaping ideas. There are borders and restrictions. Just use your imagination!