Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Effectively Using Rocks for Your Landscape

A landscape is generally a natural palette of bright blooms, lush grass and tall trees that provide a cool canopy. But, there is more to add to the drama. An effortless option to enhance visual interest to your landscape is to use rocks. Such rocks come in a range of hues and interesting textures. They are low-maintenance and easy on the pocket when you think long term. They double as protective shields and markers. You say ‘no’ to weeds sprouting up in undesirable locations.

Choosing the right rocks

The soft and crunchy sounding pea gravel is ideal for walkways, or to make subtle locational changes. You can use pea gravel in shades of brown as mulch around trees and in garden beds. The browny thing would blend with tree trunks and pop out the greenery beautifully. For a smooth look on a walkway, use large cut stone squares. You can use interlocking concrete pavers to line a driveway.

Create a checkered mosaic out of red and black flagstones, or fawn and black for a vintage appeal. If you are looking to fill garden beds, decomposed granite is a right choice. Mexican beach pebbles, grayish-black in color, would be ideal, next to a garage. Create a winding path through green landscape with radiant white gravel.

White rocks placed near flowering plants make the blooms burst out against the snowy white background. Pretty, don’t you think?

Aspects to consider

Take into consideration the spot where you would use rocks. Give a good thought to the size and shape of the stones, if you are going to walk on them.

For a blended look, go monochrome. Select two shades of rock in the same color group. Pick rocks in two colors to play on the contrast element.

Certain rocks like Red Shale may fade over a period. Black and other dark-shaded rocks during summers might absorb sun’s heat that could burn the plants around.

Maroon-reddish lava rock is a no-worry choice. It aids good run-off and keeps your flower bed just about hydrated.

Pay attention to the base of the rock you opt for. You might expect to have weeds choking up your plants when you set up boulders with uneven bases. It is wise to install a weed barrier before setting the stones.

Design tips

Edge a pond for a natural look

Select similar-sized rocks, but go easy on shape and color for a natural look. Make a pleasing path around a pond using large flagstone boulders that you can get in many shades of gray. Limestone in white and red shades may be used, but with caution. Runoff from these stones could turn the water too acidic. Flat granite stones can be used as pavers around the pond.

Craft a rock garden

To lend a rugged look and a touch of Zen to your landscape, plan a good mix of shrubs and perennials alongside boulders set on a bed of Mexican pebbles. Mull over the color scheme that your blooms would unfold.

Swap mulch for rocks

Any type of gravel can be used as a decorative ground cover instead of mulch. Compared to mulch, rocks are: longer lasting; offer many choices: cost less. Unlike mulch, they do not attract insects, and have no runoff worries.

Put up a centerpiece

Create interesting highlights throughout the yard, cleverly alternating boulders in shades of the same color family. A large and quirky shaped boulder can look striking.