Landscape Rockery for Landscaping
Landscape rockery is a great option to enhance your landscape especially if you want to install something that is easy to maintain and durable. Some of the popular types of rocks for landscape rockery include river rocks for landscaping, Gravel for Landscaping, crushed stones for landscaping, Mexican Beach Pebbles for Landscaping, decomposed granite for landscaping, pea gravel for landscaping, bricks chips for landscaping, and flagstones for landscaping.
Unlike organic or green aspects of your landscape that can attract pests or require favorable conditions, rockery is not susceptible to pests or diseases and can be installed without much fuss in all kinds of conditions.
If you are not familiar with landscape rockery, this article will give you all the information you need to know about using decorative rocks in your landscape. Edenapp brings you details about what exactly landscape rockery is, the types of rocks used in landscaping, the various landscape rockery designs one can use for their landscape, how much it will cost to implement these designs and the maintenance requirements of landscape rockery.
Edenapp will also inform you about some additional enhancements for landscape rockery like outdoor lighting for the decorative rocks in your landscape so that their beauty can be appreciated even after the sun goes down.
What is Landscape Rockery?
Landscape rockery is the practice of using rocks for decorative purposes in a landscape. There are generally certain sections of a landscape dedicated to display rocks or stones of various colors, shapes and sizes in a way that enhances their appearance as well as the appearance of the landscape as a whole.
Decorative rocks add texture and dimension to a landscape and these rocks can be small pebbles, gravel, large boulders or anything belonging to the rock family. They can be designed to give a natural look of an outcrop or to give the appearance of a planting bed similar to that of a flower bed.
What are the Types of Rocks for Rock Landscaping?
Now that everyone understands what landscape rockery is, the next thought in your mind is probably about the various options available regarding rock landscaping. Though this type of landscaping has a rich history in some regions, most of the people are still new to using rocks in a landscape. While using plants, trees and other green elements in a landscape is considered natural, it’s not the same with rocks.
Therefore, Edenapp brings you a list of the types of rocks for rock landscaping so that you have an understanding of the various options available to you and how you can use them.
- River Rocks for Landscaping: River rocks are small rocks that have been eroded smooth by the constant flow of river water which carries sediment and silt. They are also called rainbow rocks as they come in various colors, shapes and sizes. River rocks are a good option to use to create pretty garden borders and they are ideal for use inside a water feature due to their smoothness. Apart from decorative purposes, river rocks can also be used for functional purposes like an alternative to organic mulch and to direct drainage in landscapes that receive a lot of rain. Organic mulch breaks down pretty quickly. Therefore, river rocks provide a durable alternative for mulching, even if they might be a little more expensive than regular mulch.
- Gravel for Landscaping: Gravel is a collection of rock fragments that are either formed naturally due to geological processes like sedimentation and erosion. Gravel is typically used to create compact surfaces that are durable. Therefore, they are ideal for driveways as they will see a lot of vehicle traffic and therefore need to be able to withstand it. Gravel can also be used for pathways. Before installing gravel, the ground needs to be appropriately graded to allow adequate drainage and after installation, gravel needs to be maintained especially in regions that receive a lot of snowfall as snow plows can displace gravel while removing snow.
- Crushed Stones for Landscaping: People often confuse gravel with crushed stone but the difference between these two types is that gravel occurs naturally through geological processes while crushed stone is produced commercially but machine crushing certain stones like sandstone, limestone, basalt, etc. It can be divided into two types – coarse and fine gravel. They are also used for creating durable and tight surfaces like walkways and driveways. They can also be used as ground cover to fill in spaces between stepping stones.
- Pebbles for Landscaping: Pebbles are similar in appearance to rainbow rocks in that they also come in various colors and are smooth. The difference between the two is that pebbles are smaller in size. Similar to rainbow rocks pebbles can be used as mulch, to direct drainage and in water features to provide texture and color to the water. Due to their small size, pebbles can also be used in planters to retain the moisture of the soil. When used as mulch to suppress weeds, they need to be spread in a thick layer as their small size can allow weeds to still grow through if they are spread thinly.
- Lava Rocks for Landscaping: Lava rocks are actual volcanic rocks that have formed after the lava from a volcano has cooled and crystallized. Therefore they are available in rich, vibrant colors like red and can be used to accent any landscape regardless of its style. They are particularly suited for dry regions as these rocks absorb heat well during the daytime and release it at night. They are lightweight which makes transporting them convenient and spreading them easier. As they are porous, they can be used in drainage areas as well. Their porosity and heat absorbing properties make them an excellent choice for fillers in fire pits. They improve the appearance of the fire pit and provide a porous barrier between the flames and the components of the fire pit. They can also be used for weed control by spreading them over a landscape fabric that is laid on ground cover. Care must be given to not allow any soil between the lava rock layer and the fabric as the presence of soil between the rocks will allow weed seeds to germinate.
- Mexican Beach Pebbles for Landscaping: Mexican beach pebbles are natural stones that have been formed due to volcanic activity. Their place of origin is Baja, Mexico. They are smooth in texture and are available in a variety of darker shades of color like deep red, dark gray and black. As the Mexican government has prohibited the use of machines for the extraction of these stones, Mexican beach pebbles have exquisite quality as each of these stones has been hand-picked by skilled and experienced workers and then sorted according to its shape, color and size. They are versatile and add a modern touch to any aspect of landscape. They are ideal for use in pathways, fountains, pools, aquariums, rock gardens and to add accents to planters. Because of their smooth texture, even walking barefoot on them is comfortable which makes it a good choice for property owners who have pets.
- Decomposed Granite for Landscaping: Decomposed granite is granite that has weathered down or decomposed to extremely small rocks and fine silt. The color of decomposed granite is a reddish shade similar to rust that turns tan after constant exposure to the sun. Therefore, this gives a soft, rustic look when used in a landscape. Decomposed granite is an affordable choice of landscaping rock and is perfect for homeowners that are just venturing into the world of landscape rockery. They are often used on patios and pathways as they can provide a durable surface when packed tightly and correctly. Decomposed granite can also be used as mulch around trees and flower beds as this can hold up longer than regular organic mulch and also does not attract pests and insects. Due to excellent permeability, they can also be used for drainage purposes.
- Pea Gravel for Landscaping: Pea gravel, like river rocks, are formed by the constant motion of river water over them. The difference between the types lies in their sizes as pea gravel is weathered down to pea-sized stones (about ⅛ inch to ¼ inch in size). They are also available in a myriad of colors like shades of pink, blue gray and brown and can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. They can also be used as ground cover to fill in spaces between pavers and large stepping stones and in other areas that see a lot of foot traffic as their small size and smooth texture is comfortable to walk on. Pea gravel can also be used to control weed growth but die to their small size, weeds can through the spaces between the rocks if they are placed directly on the soil surface. To avoid this, a landscape fabric is laid over the soil and then a layer of pea gravel is spread over the fabric to provide effective weed control.
- Bricks Chips for Landscaping: Brick chips are made from bricks that have been crushed and then sized for use in landscape rockery. They are not technically a rock but they serve the same purpose. They have a unique color that can accent a landscape. They are for maintaining soil temperature and to retain soil moisture in garden beds. Though when used in the beds, it is essential to lay a landscape fabric below the layer of brick chips to prevent the chips from sinking into the soil. They are most commonly used in driveways, pathways, trails and planting beds. As brick chips do not attract insects, fade or rot, they are an excellent option for use in planting beds.
- Flagstones for Landscaping: Flagstones are large flat rocks that can be a type of any sedimentary stone like sandstone, limestone, quartzite and bluestone. They are generally cut into rough rectangular or square pieces or kept as irregularly shaped pieces. They are typically used in flatter areas like patios, driveways, pathways or even around fire pits as pavers. They can be laid down on top of a layer of sand but for a more permanent installation, they are set in concrete. They are durable and their flat surface makes them ideal for other uses like stepping stones, seating areas and surfaces for placing pots and planters.
What is the Importance of Rock Landscaping?
The purpose of using rocks in landscaping is not only limited to decorative purposes but stretches to functional purposes as well. Edenapp brings you the importance of rock landscaping so you can understand the beneficial impacts of effective use of rocks in your landscape.
Rock landscaping can help:
- Retain Soil Moisture: When used in planting beds, landscaping rocks help retain the moisture of the soil by absorbing all the heat of the sun and preventing irrigation water evaporation by forming a barrier between the soil and the sunlight. This will make sure the roots of your plants receive adequate water and don’t dry out.
- Control Weeds: When a layer of small landscaping rock is spread in planting beds, they help prevent the growth of weeds by blocking the sunlight and taking up space to prevent weed seeds from growing. Thus providing effective weed control. Smaller sized rocks like pebbles may need to be spread over a landscape fabric to not allow any soil in between the rocks.
- Prevent Soil Erosion: Landscaping rocks help hold the soil and prevent erosion. When rocks are placed in free spaces like flower beds and as ground cover in the spaces between larger rocks, they grip the soil in these areas and do not allow it to be washed away even in heavy rain. This will help maintain the quality of the landscape by preserving your topsoil.
- Improve Drainage: For areas that receive a lot of rainfall, landscaping rocks can be arranged to direct the water away from the foundation from the building. If they are arranged in the form of a dry stream bed, they can create a proper path for the flow of water to an area in your landscape that might not receive enough water.
- Protect Your Lawn: Larger landscaping rocks like flagstones provide a good path for everyone to navigate the landscape when they are used as stepping stones or pavers for pathways. This will keep people from walking on your grass constantly and direct the constant foot traffic away from the more fragile grass on to the hardscape which is capable of handling the stress.
What are the Landscape Rockery Designs?
Now that we have covered the various types of landscaping rocks, one might wonder what are the different ways you can use these rocks in your landscape. Therefore, Edenapp brings some inspired landscape rockery designs that you can choose to implement into your landscape if they fit your preferences, space and budget.
- Contrasting Landscaping Rocks: Different landscaping rocks have different colors and textures like the color of brick chips is not the same as that of decomposed granite. Therefore, you can use different landscaping rocks in the same area, on adjacent planting beds for example, to create contrast between the two beds. This will keep your landscape from looking monotonous and add visual interest to the area, thus making your landscape more dynamic.
- Landscaping Rocks in Water Features: Rocks by themselves can look boring sometimes but adding them to water features adds a whole new dimension to both elements. If you have a pond or a waterfall in your yard or if you plan to install one, then you should definitely consider adding some landscaping rocks like rcer rocks and boulders to give a natural look to these features.
- Landscaping Rock Path: Different types of landscaping rocks like bluestone, sandstone and other types of flagstones can be used to create well-defined paths in your landscape, especially if you have a lot of green elements like shrubs, bushes and a large lawn area. This will help protect these plants and the grass from stress due to heavy traffic by providing the users of the outdoor space with proper paths to navigate the landscape. Additionally, a balance between the living and nonliving elements is essential for the landscape to look more appealing and complete.
- Landscaping Rocks in Landscape Enhancement Features: You can integrate landscaping rocks into your outdoor living spaces to create a rustic and natural feel. For example, if you have an outdoor kitchen or an outdoor fireplace, you can use different types of flagstones for the seating area and also stack various stones to create pillars for a canopy. Landscaping stones can also be used as pavers around an outdoor firepit to create a seating area on which you can assemble chairs of your choice, according to your aesthetic preferences.
- Landscaping Rocks as Statement Pieces: For small yards, uniquely shaped boulders can be used to create centerpieces that will immediately attract attention and create visual interest for the yard, despite its small area. The boulders can be surrounded by flowering plants or shrubs whose planting beds are covered with small colored landscaping socks. This will help distinguish the space and create a unique focal point. For larger landscapes, these rock statement pieces can be used in different areas of the landscape to prevent monotony and make simple elements of the landscape like borders look visually appealing.
- Using Different Rocks to Create a Complete Picture: You don’t have to restrict yourself to using one type of landscaping rock in one area of your landscape. For example, if you want to enhance a pool area, you can use a combination of smaller boulders, stone slabs and pebbles to create different accents around your pool. Ornamental grasses can be added around the boulders to make it seem like the grass has naturally grown around the boulder and stone laps can be stacked and placed to give a natural rock garden look. And small small pebbles can be added to planting beds in the area, both to hold the soil and to create a finished look.
- Asian Garden Design: Rocks and pebbles are integral parts of Asian gardens like zen gardens. Therefore, this design is perfect if you want to integrate landscaping rocks of various sizes, textures and forms into your landscape. To be more specific in your inspired design, use an odd number of rocks or boulders in your garden and place them in a way that some part of it is buried in the soil to give the impression of natural rocks that are present on the slopes of hills. You can also add a moving water feature like a waterfall as the sound of flowing water is also an important feature of Asian gardens. You can use slabs of landscaping rocks to create this effect.
- Borders for Herb Gardens: A way you can use landscaping rocks in a minimalistic way is to create borders around different small herb gardens in your landscape. You can embed these stones into the ground to create separate spaces. You can also use landscaping stones to create a structurally sound stacked fence to separate the kids’ playing area from your garden space.
Why would you invest in installing Landscape Rockery?
Rock landscaping is more expensive than using living elements like flowering plants and shrubs in your landscape. So why would you choose to install landscape rockery in your outdoor space? Edenapp brings you various benefits of installing landscape rockery. So, if you are on the fence regarding using rocks in your landscape, maybe some of these reasons will convince you to do so:
- Provides Natural Pathways: Constant walking on your grass will stress it out and cause your lawn to develop yellow patches. To avoid these, you can create paths along the routes you take most commonly like to the shed, mailbox or the kids’ play area so that you can reduce traffic on your lawn. This will provide practical solutions to navigating your landscape and keep your lawn looking healthy. You can use landscaping rocks to create straight solid paths or use them as pavers and leave some space around the stones to allow grass to grow in the gaps. You can also create curved paths for a more natural look.
- Low Maintenance: While the living elements in landscape like grass, shrubs, trees and flowering plants regular regular maintenance like mowing, trimming, pruning, fertilization and irrigation, rock landscaping does not involve any maintenance. You can install them and forget them. Over time, some stones and boulders might grow moss on them due to moisture but even this has its own charm and gives a natural look.
- Can Withstand Harsh Weather Changes: Weather conditions like extreme cold and heat and heavy rainfall can take a toll on your plants, shrubs and grass but landscape rockery will remain unaffected. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your regional temperature changes when installing rock landscaping.
- Creates Focal Points: The easiest way to add one or multiple focal points for landscapes of various sizes. The installation and design is also easy as one unique shaped boulder can be used as the centerpiece within a planting bed surrounded by flowers and ornamental grasses. Flowerbeds and children’s play areas can be bordered using different small boulders and flat flagstones can be used for the surfaces of benches and seating areas.
- Aesthetic Mulch Alternative: If there are a lot of areas in your landscape where you use organic mulch, you can consider replacing it with rocks. Landscaping rocks serve the same purpose as organic mulch by helping retain soil moisture and control weeds but they are not as light as regular mulch and therefore do not get easily swept away by rain or wind. This makes them more durable and mulch that does not require upkeep.
- Improves Your Outdoor Living Space: Using attractive designs and patterns, decorative landscaping rocks and stones can help bring your living space to life and add a dash of color and elegance to it. Natural stone can be used to compliment your home’s design and create appealing outdoor living spaces. From modest or elaborate Zen gardens, calming water features to cozy outdoor fireplaces, there’s something for everyone in the world of landscape rockery. You and your family can spend some quality time in ideal leisure spots.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Outdoor Landscape Rockery?
The cost to install outdoor landscape rockery depends on multiple factors like the type of rock that needs to be installed, the area that needs to be covered, and the type of project that needs to be completed.
For example, if you want to install lava rock, it will cost you around $7 per bag but if you want to install Mexican beach pebbles it will cost you $20 to $30 per bag. Regarding the area, the larger the area the more stones or rocks will be required and the time of installation also increases. Typical landscaping rock projects take around three hours to complete and different companies have different rates for these three hours.
The average price range of installing landscape rockery can start from $180 and go up to $250 per ton for general landscaping projects (including the price of the landscaping rock and labor charges). For something more elaborate like a Zen garden, the cost will be higher as more elements will be added to the landscape.
How to Install the Landscape Lights?
Installing landscape lights could be a great DIY project if you already have some knowledge of electrical fixtures and their workings. If not, Edenapp recommends consulting a professional to install outdoor landscape lights as this will ensure that all the desired fixtures are installed safely and in the best positions without harm to you or your landscape.
That being said, Edenapp brings you an overview of the entire process of installing landscape lights. Read on to find out all the steps involved,
Step #1: Know the various types of landscape lighting: Having knowledge of the various types of landscape lights available and what each one of them is used for will help you choose the right landscape lighting for your outdoor space. For example, spotlights are used to highlight specific focal points in your landscape while pathlights like their name suggests, are used to illuminate pathways and walkways. Some of the other types of landscape lights are underwater lights, downlights, in-ground lights, speciality lights like tiki torches and bistro lights. Each of these has a specific purpose,
Step #2: Know the main components of a landscape lighting system: There are four main components of a landscape lighting system – low voltage transformer, fixtures, wire and wire connections. The low voltage transformer supplies the power for the system, the fixtures are the ones that produce the light, the wire is the cable that supplies power to the fixtures by connecting to the transformer and wire connections are used to connect the wires from the fixtures to the transformer wire.
Step #3: Create a plan: Create a rough sketch of your property and mark the points where you’ll be placing the light fixtures and then decide where you’ll be placing the transformer. It is generally placed next to the house and in a location that is close to the fixtures. Mark the positions where you’ll be placing the fixtures on your landscape and on your sketch mention which fixtures you’ll be placing at these locations. Finally, decide how you will be running your wires.
Step #4: Choose the best wiring method for your lighting: There are various wiring options like making daisy chains, using the T-method and the combination method and creating a hub junction. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, you can choose the one that fits your requirements the best.
Step #5: Assemble the fixtures: Unpack all the lighting fixtures you are going to install and assemble them. For lamp-ready fixtures, you need to attach bulbs to the fixtures and then mount them according to any of the three commonly used mounting methods – stake mounting, surface mounting and in-ground mounting. You can choose all three methods for different areas of your landscape.
Step #6: Mount the transformer: Mount the low voltage transformer in the location you have chosen for it. Transformers must be placed on a surface that can withstand the heat produced by it and should have a foot of clearance on all sides and should be at least thirty feet away from any water features on the landscape.
Step #6: Connect your system: Connect the transformer to the main runs by placing one strand of wire in the 15 volt or 12 volt terminal and another in the com terminal. The wire that leaves the transformer must be protected with conduit till the point it reaches the ground. Next, you need to connect the fixtures to the transformer by splicing the lead wires of the fixtures to the main runs you just connected to the transformer.
Step #7: Test your system: Once all the fixtures are connected, you can turn on the transformer and then walk all around the property, everywhere you have placed the fixtures, to check if all the fixtures are lit. If any of the fixtures are not lit up, then you might have a bad connection that needs to be fixed. Once every single fixture is lit, you can start adjusting the fixtures. This is usually done at nighttime so you can check if all the fixtures are illuminating the aspects of your landscape they are supposed to. The darkness of the night will also help you spot any glares in the fixtures and adjust the position of the guard accordingly.
How long does Landscape Rockery fixtures Last?
One major benefit of landscape rockery is that it lasts a lifetime. Rocks do not rot or decay like the living elements in a landscape and therefore they can last for a very long time. If you install rocks in certain areas of your landscape, you don’t have to worry about replacing them every year. In fact, with time, the rocks start integrating into the landscape better as plants and grass grow around them and moss grows on them, giving the impression that they are part of the landscape naturally. This factor adds another layer of beauty to the landscape and brings you even closer to mother nature.
If rocks have been used as mulch, they’ll certainly last for a few more years than regular organic mulch as it does not break down. Over time, the rocks might sink into the soil and you need to be careful about pulling them out and replacing them with a fresh layer so that the flower beds look new and polished.
How much maintenance does Landscape Rockery necessitate?
Landscape rockery does not require maintenance light traditional landscaping elements do. There is no need for mowing, pruning, fertilization or irrigation. Therefore, the maintenance of these elements of the landscape becomes a lot easier.
Though the maintenance requirements of landscape rockery are low, they are not non-existent. The following are some of the maintenance tasks for landscape rockery.
- Debris Removal: Debris like fallen leaves, flower petals, grass clippings, etc. can find their way on top of the rocks you have installed in your garden. It is important that you remove them frequently and do not allow them to pile up and decompose on the rocks as this can invite pests. To remove these debris, you can use a rake or a leaf blower but no matter which tool you use, you need to do so gently. If rake too hard or use the leaf blower at a higher setting you can end up damaging or disturbing some of the smaller rocks.
- Cleaning: With time, moss can start to grow on some of the rocks. If you want to avoid this, you can rinse the rocks with a hose and pressure nozzle as a routine to keep them clean. Choose a pressure setting that will clean the stones and rocks effectively without displacing them. If they come too dirty, then you might have to scrub them with a kitchen brush but do not use any soap or other household cleaners as the chemicals can damage the rocks. If the weather conditions in your region are humid, then you should frequently use a leaf blower to prevent your rocks from being constantly moist as moisture can lead to mold.
- Preventing Sinking: The larger rocks in your landscape might start to sink into the ground with time. To prevent this, apply a layer of gravel underneath the rocks. This will provide the rocks with support and prevent them from sinking.
- Weed Control: Laying down a landscape fabric or a foundation fabric before you place the rocks in your landscape is a good method of preventing weed growth. The fabric is made of polyester or linen and might fall apart with time and therefore requires maintenance to extend its life.
This fabric will cover the soil and prevent the growth of weeds and the infestation of any pests in the gaps between the rocks. The use of a foundation fabric will also make it easier to clean the rocks and stones.
Installing landscape rockery can be a tricky DIY project if you don’t have the required knowledge. Therefore, Edenapp has brought you all the basic information you need to know about using rocks in your landscape before you start your project. If you have any other queries or want professional installation, contact Edenapp. We will provide you with a full-spectrum landscape rockery installation system that will cover everything from choosing the right landscaping rocks for your landscape, planning the layout, installing the rocks efficiently and safely without damaging them and providing advice on maintenance.
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!