The best things in life are worth working for, and we don’t hesitate to make sure we have the perfect outdoor spaces to enjoy that are tailored to our exact needs. We pour lots of work into the design and aesthetic of our homes and gardens, and a lot of our energy is focused on creating a lush and thriving garden space to enjoy. We all want our yards to be an outdoor escape within the comfort of our own fence, a gorgeous living sanctuary to enjoy those precious moments when life slows down.
While it makes sense to focus on vegetation, hardscape – the non-living elements of your backyard design – contribute almost as much as our favorite plants. Rock and stone are the perfect contrasting element to vegetation that make our gardens look truly unique, adding both aesthetic appeal and function.
Specimen Boulders and Rock Gardens:
The best designs use elements of contrast and space to make the stars of the piece really stand out. Using hardscaping is a great way to incorporate different shapes, textures, and colors that plants can’t offer. By adding these additional elements to your garden, you can elevate the appearance of your whole yard.
Hardscaping is just as flexible as your favorite plants, and you can use it in a variety of ways that perfectly suit the style and function of your outdoor space. Rocks can be big statement centerpieces, functional structure elements, or even add reliable intrigue to areas that your plants might struggle to flourish in. The possibilities are nearly endless and entirely customizable to your exact needs. Here are some of the most popular design elements in hardscaping:
Large boulders that offer unique shapes can add character to your garden while anchoring your outdoor design with a central focal point. A large specimen boulder provides natural structure for the rest of the garden to follow. Complement boulders by surrounding them with a rock or flower garden.
Smaller rocks make the perfect fillers to make the most of every square inch of your landscaping. Have fun piling them around other objects, making a fire pit, or fitting them directly into your garden plan. As smaller items, you even have the flexibility to revise your garden style and move them around year to year for a refreshed design. You can even experiment with matching your stones to the accent colors of your house for a coordinated look.
Outcropping Stones and Retaining Walls:
Sturdiness and stability are some of the first things that come to mind when we think of stone in our garden landscape. As the anchors in our yard, it makes sense to use stone as foundational elements in your landscape design.
Outcropping stones are large, rugged stones that are designed perfectly for stacking. They’re best used to create beautiful retaining walls and stone steps that are the perfect marriage of stunning style and fabulous function. Use them as a unique way to line your landscape, or mark the boundaries of your property with them – their natural beauty is the perfect way to achieve manicured lines in your landscape design without sacrificing the look of organic materials.
Retaining walls are not only about creating clean lines and style on your property, but they help to prevent erosion and sliding soil, which can drastically change the structure of your home and yard. Retaining walls are ideal for people in hilly areas who are fighting gravity to keep their landscape designs together, but are also useful as borders on vegetable gardens and flower beds. Try pairing pale stones with dark foliage and mulch, to catch the eye and highlight your favorite plants.
The perfect thing about using rock in the garden is how useful stone can be in addition to all of the aesthetic benefits. One of the best examples of this is using rock mulch, in which attractive stones provide exceptional drainage for arid-climate plants such as cacti, succulents. Rock mulch is also the cure for rock gardens struggling with water diversion and drainage.
While organic mulch needs to be replaced with each season to keep your garden in top condition, rock mulch doesn’t decompose and won’t require the seasonal chore of changing it. Use a weed barrier under your mulch to suppress unwanted plants to keep your stonework looking clean and polished all year, every year.
Filling your entire yard with plants can sound exciting, but the maintenance can be absolutely overwhelming. For those that prefer to focus their efforts towards making their favorite plants look stellar, or even those with an eye for design that want to add some texture to their landscaping, rocks can be a great choice. Attractive stones and boulders not only require less maintenance, but they’re a stunning and ruggedly beautiful addition to any home.