Dos and Don'ts of Landscaping with Rock

Dos and Don'ts of Landscaping with Rock

Rock can be a great landscape element, especially in our dry desert climate, but not everyone’s comfortable working with it. Here are some tips to help you incorporate rock into your landscape in a way that adds natural beauty and character.

Don’t limit yourself to one size and color of rock. That creates a monotonous landscape. 

Do use different types of rocks in different places. Consider framing a flagstone path with a complementary shade of gravel. Or create a dry river bed with river rock running through your garden.

Don’t eliminate plants altogether from your landscape. A home with nothing but rock landscaping can seem harsh. What’s more, without shade the rocks absorb sun, which can heat up your house and add to your air conditioning bills.

Do soften the effect of rocks and help keep your property cool by adding plants. Desert-adapted plants like palo verdes, mesquites, Texas sage, and agaves will help liven up your landscape and keep your house cooler. Flowering plants may create even more interest by drawing in butterflies and hummingbirds.

Don’t line up large rocks in a neat row. That’s not a look you’ll find in nature and it probably won’t look good at your house.

Do arrange boulders of varying sizes in a natural-looking, complementary fashion. Some designers suggest you should use uneven numbers of large rocks.

Don’t order a shipment of rocks without some forethought and preparation. 

Do make a plan for what should go where before you spend any money. Go outside and measure your space, then use graph paper to draw to scale your landscape plan. Think about any trees or bushes you might want to plant and how large they might grow and figure out how much space you want to cover with what type of rock. Once you know that, we can help you calculate the right quantity to give you the coverage you need.

Don’t just plop a giant boulder down in your backyard without preparing the surface first. Because the bottom of boulders in nature are usually partly in the ground, it won’t look natural. It could also be dangerous if it tips when someone sits or stands on it.

Do dig a hole about a quarter of the size of the boulder to bury its bottom. That will help anchor it in place and create a more natural look.

At MDI Rock, we're happy to help you create a beautiful landscape. We supply a wide range of products for all sorts of uses at competitive prices. In addition to our many choices in decorative groundcovers, we provide rip rap, flagstone, topsoil, sand, gravel, and a huge selection of boulders. 

Call us at 602-569-8722 or contact us online. We deliver anywhere from across the street to across the country!