How to landscape using boulders

How to Landscape using Boulders?

The ways to landscape using boulders are ‒ gathering boulders in clusters, placing boulders in specific positions, and partially burying the boulders in the ground, among others. 

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

Boulders can add a natural color and character to your landscape. They are also incredibly low-maintenance and aesthetically appealing with their incredible variety. Landscaping using boulders has become increasingly popular in the past few years. It adds significantly to the curb appeal of a house. Huge rocks can be installed in gardens and flower beds and become the attractive focal points of your yard. 

If you want to install boulders to enhance your landscape, then it is recommended to consult with professional landscapers, such as Eden for the best ideas. Let’s take a look at some of the efficient and appealing ways you can use boulders for landscaping.

Boulders for Landscaping

There are multiple ways you can install boulders in your garden or yard to increase its appeal and improve the overall layout, such as:

  • Boulders in clusters

You can gather boulders in groups to form a rock wall by the pool or the fountain. Think of it as creating a rock garden but on a larger scale. 

You can choose to push three or more boulders together. This makes for an incredibly eye-catching landscape rather than using a single large boulder. The reason that this design works so well is that boulders and rocks are usually found in clusters in nature. Thus, grouping them in the garden or yard gives the landscape a natural, wild look. 

  • Placing boulders strategically

You can try to install boulders in new, unique ways instead of simply dumping them in the most obvious way.

For instance, you can fix the boulders in a vertical position, where they can show their height rather than width. You can also use ground cover around a well-placed boulder to make an attractive focal point for the yard or garden. Imagine the boulder to be the main attraction while the rest of the landscaping elements are there to support its aesthetic appeal. 

  • Boulders in the ground

You should always partially bury the boulder and make sure it’s base is set at least a few inches below ground level. However, you can also choose to bury boulders halfway into the ground, for a more natural look. 

If you have a boulder with a flat side, then you can place it with that large side exposed to create an interesting landscaping element in the garden. This way, the boulder seems to be a natural part of the landscape, rather than placed deliberately. 

  •  Skirt boulders with gravel

Using a mix of different sized and shaped rocks is appealing and practical. Smaller rocks not only go well with big boulders in landscaping, but they are also practical as they prevent the boulders from slipping or sliding from their position. 

Gravel can act as natural “mulch” for your flower bed or Zen garden.

  • Boulders in steps

Flat, wide boulders also look great when installed in grades or a decline, similar to steps. These are excellent for accenting or changing elevation. Make sure to use the boulders in such a way that the design and placement looks natural and not planned. 

  • Boulder retaining wall

Boulders can also be used to create attractive, natural retaining walls. Boulders are incredibly durable so a retaining wall made of boulders will last longer too. This is a better alternative than most conventional fences as a retaining wall made of boulders is highly unlikely to suffer as much in harsh weather as others. 

  • Boulder in focus

Another excellent way to enhance the curb appeal of your home and landscape is using boulders as landscape lighting. You can simply point the lights in your garden or yard on to the boulders in ways that showcase their singular texture and shape. 

You can even use boulders as the base for your fire-pit. This way, the boulders will get lit up in different colors with the flame on the bon-fire. This is another appealing yet practical use for boulders in landscaping. 

What exactly are Landscape Boulders?

You may think that you can use any large rock as a landscaping element for your garden or yard, but it is not so. Technically speaking, a boulder is any rock which is more than 10 inches in diameter. This means that boulders can be small enough to carry in your hand and large enough that you will require a crane to lift them. 

No two boulders are ever the same but they are classified into two categories according to their shape:

  • Angular boulders – These boulders have flat surfaces and jagged edges.
  • Round boulders – These boulders are roughly round in size and look distinctly water-worn. 

Landscape boulders can be of different rock varieties. To decide which type of boulder is suitable for your landscape, you should consider these three aspects:

  • How will you use the boulders?
  • What aesthetic are you designing for the landscape?
  • How much are you willing to spend on buying boulders? 

The aesthetic aspects of the rock are usually more important than its type. However, the color of the boulder matters more as it becomes a highlighting aspect of the landscape. You can find numerous types of big rocks in different colors, from pinks and blues to whites and grays. 

Experts recommend buying local rocks as it brings down the overall cost of boulder landscaping while seeming authentic in appearance. 

Tips for Landscaping with Boulders

Landscaping using boulders is much like any DIY landscaping project, in that there are not strict rules and procedures. You can design the outdoor space in the way you believe will enhance its aesthetic and curb appeal. Besides this, you can also consult professional landscapers to get the best tips for landscaping using boulders.

These are three aspects to consider before starting any DIY landscaping project using boulders:

 1. Create a plan

Boulders are incredibly heavy and often require special lifting equipment to move them. So, make sure to create a plan which clearly shows where the different boulders need to be affixed in the entire landscape. The boulders you may be using in the front yard may be easier to handle as compared to those you need to fix in the backyard. 

Make sure to decide the position of boulders beforehand so you do not have to fret while working on the landscaping project. 

2. Choose the right color

The color of the boulders you choose should depend on the existing landscape of your home, or the ideas you have integrated into the new landscaping plan.

For instance, you should check if your garden design includes smaller river or basalt rocks, or if you have stepping-stone walkways or pavers. The color of boulders should match the other natural rocks in the yard or garden. 

3. Choose the right size

Choose the size of boulders depending on the size of the space you want them to occupy. If you choose boulders that are too small, they may fail to become focal points in the landscape and instead get hidden by other landscape features.


Boulders can enhance your landscape when placed in clusters, slightly or mostly buried or when positioned in interesting ways. At the end, it is up to you how and where you want to place and position the boulder to suit the overall aesthetic of the existing landscape. 

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!