11 Big Rocks Landscaping Ideas

If you're looking into redesigning your yard and garden, you might've considered landscaping. Incredible landscapes aren't just made with plants and flowers, but there are also other elements that provide visual interest to your landscaping project.

Big rocks or boulders are great at creating this sought-after visual interest because they add structure and definition to your design. They are also very durable and require no maintenance, so you'll surely have this design element in your landscape for years to come.

A beautiful landscaped back yard at dusk with landscape lighting. - 11 Big Rocks Landscaping Ideas

11 Big Rocks Landscaping Ideas

1. Garden Falls

Water falls in the home garden.

One of the best ways to make use of big rocks is by adding them to a water feature in your landscape, such as waterfalls. Rocks are naturally occurring when we see waterfalls in nature, so it's a perfect addition to your garden. Moss also grows naturally on rocks, and adds visual appeal to your garden.

2. Pocket Rock Gardens

Landscape design of home garden close-up. Detail of beautiful landscaped garden with green plants and flowers. Natural stone landscaping in backyard in summer.

If you have a fairly small space but you'd still like to have a garden, these pocket rock gardens are a great place to start. Dwarf cypress trees are great additions to these rocks, and incorporating other hardy plants like Bromeliads will definitely make for a colorful rock garden.

3. Rock Garden Facade

contemporary design house facade

Contemporary designed homes look great with a rock garden facade. Make use of big rocks as the centerpiece of your rock garden, and slowly build it up using a collection of river rocks and some gravel. Hardy plants do well in rock gardens like these, but you can always add flowering plants for color.

4. Decorative Rock Gardens

Home garden at night, illuminated by globe shaped lights. Decorative gardening and landscaping abstract.

If you are partial to taking care of dwarf trees or bonsai plants, the addition of big rocks or boulders can make your garden look like it's been taken out of a storybook. Make sure to use different kinds of rocks to add texture and variety to your rock garden, and illuminate them with beautiful lights for a night showcase.

5. Cactus Gardens

Outdoor landscape with cactus's.

Cacti and other succulents are great plants that you can place in between your rocks and boulders in the garden. Since rocks are very low maintenance, a good partner plant would be something just as hardy, like cacti.

Different cactus plants provide variety, and some succulents are great fillers for small spaces.

6. Garden Rockery

Blooming violets and other flowers in a small rockery in the summer garden.

Most rock gardens look even more impressive when blooming perennials are planted in between the rocks. It adds color to the rock garden, plus it looks very natural as some plants do grow and thrive in similar rocky situations. Pick mostly drought-resistant plants because they work best for rock gardens.

A rocky landscape can also be a great place to stash away a spare key. See this faux hide-a-key on Amazon.

7. Relaxing Walkways

garden decoration by rock and plant. Set for relaxing and footpath for walk

Another great use of big rocks in landscaping is by setting them beside walkways. Rocks and plants provide a very soothing and relaxing vibe to any space. Big rocks are perfect choices to put right beside a pathway or walkway because it can also act as a retaining wall for your garden.

8. Patio Gardens

Beautiful home exterior on sunny afternoon, with green grass, walkway, elegant landscaping, covered patio with barbecue, and balcony

Patios are great places to relax in, and a beautiful way to decorate the space is to create a beautiful garden space that can complement your home. In this example, big rocks are placed alongside a collection of plants and shrubs, to provide an elegant landscape for a covered patio and bbq.

9. Zen Gardens

Japanese zen gardens in Kyoto

Zen gardens or Japanese rock gardens are great examples of how big rocks can beautify a simple space. These zen gardens are usually made with boulders stacked together, often surrounded by pebbles and gravel raked in a controlled fashion, along with a collection of beautiful plants.

Keep your zen garden perfectly manicured with a 48" rake. See it on Amazon.

10. Rock Stairs

A backyard with a rock wall and rock stairs with a red tree on top.

Aside from flagstone, rock slabs are also great to use as steps for garden stairs. In this example, the same type of rock was used in making the staircase as well as the rock walls of this garden patch. To make your own rock staircase, pick flat, stable rocks to prevent tripping.

11. Rocky fountains

A beautiful landscaped back yard at dusk with landscape lighting.

Another great example of using boulders and big rocks for a water feature, this fountain looks beautiful and elegant, especially with the added landscape lighting at night.

This backyard has made good use of rocks for all its elements—from the stone steps to the waterfalls, and it looks absolutely stunning and relaxing.

What Kind Of Rocks Should I Use For Landscaping?

If you are planning to add rocks to your landscape, you'll probably find yourself at a loss on what to choose for your yard. Fortunately, we've listed down the most popular choices from big rocks to tiny pebbles to fill in small spaces.


Lake Seawall Rip Rap

One of the most commonly used and inexpensive landscape rocks that you can purchase is riprap. These rocks typically have flat sides and many angles, and they have a range of different sizes. Riprap can be used for building rock walls or as a centerpiece for a rock garden.


Group of boulders

Boulders are big, heavy rocks that typically have smooth sides (but they can also be textured,) and they are usually weathered by the elements. These rocks are very big, so they should be partially buried in the ground to provide stability while you work around them. Some boulders have cracks that allow some plants to grow in the crevices.

Moss Rock

Moss green on rock, White background.

This rock is a great addition for landscaping, especially if you have a water feature in your yard. These rocks naturally have moss growing on their surface, and they are very attractive because of the moss and lichen surrounding them.

They are quite inexpensive, so make sure to add this rock to your landscape.


Stone natural flagstone piled in a pile. Natural stone flagstone, laid in uneven rows. Background of the flagstone.

These are wide, flat rocks that can be used as paving stones for paths and patios. However, smaller pieces of flagstones can also be stacked on top of each other to create small rock walls or flower beds for your garden. It's a versatile, yet practical rock that you can work with for your landscape.

River Rock

Abstract smooth round pebbles sea texture background

River rocks are smooth, rounded stones that have been worn away by constant running water. These rocks are great to use as edging for your garden pathways and flower beds. With a variety of colors to choose from, they are also great additions to rock gardens and water features.

Crushed Stone

Aggregates are important building materials.

Crushed stone is typically used in driveways or as added aggregate to concrete, but it can also be used in landscaping. These rocks are very inexpensive and easy to purchase, and they are great to use as a base layer for your landscaping projects.

Pea Gravel

Texture of brown pea gravel rock, street background

Pea gravel is small pebbles that come in a multitude of colors and sizes. These rocks are commonly used for decorative purposes in landscaping projects. You'll also find pea gravel being used on pathways, and sometimes, they can be used to fill in the gaps between pavers and stepping stones.

What Plants Should I Put With Rocks?

A rock garden is a great way for you to showcase rockery plants because they are easy to care for and they thrive even in the shade cast by big rocks. Plants that are best suited for rock gardens are very hardy and can often do well with less water than other plants.

Here are some plants you might want to add to your rock gardens.


Hens-and-Chicks are succulents that grow into a tight mat of pretty foliage. These plants come in many different colors and varieties, which makes them a perfect choice for rock gardens because they look different all the time.

They are very drought-tolerant and they can squeeze their way through small nooks and crannies in your rock garden.

Get live Hens-and-Chicks on Amazon.

Rock Cress

These small flowers thrive in the crevices of rocks, surviving on the nutrients found in the soil wedged in these cracks. These creepers can produce pretty flowers in a variety of colors that can tolerate drought, heat, and even deer. These plants look great as a filler for your rock gardens.

Check out rock cress seeds on Amazon.


These flowers are bright pink and pretty, but they are really tough. Thrifts are wildly seen among sea rocks, so they can tolerate salt sprays, punishing winds, and varying weather conditions without any problems.

They also like poor soil as Thrifts do poorly in rich, moist soil, so keep these in mind when putting them in your rock garden.

See these Thrift seeds on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Rocks aren't just decorative additions to a landscaping project but they can also be used as the focal point of your garden. Utilize big rocks as the base of your rock gardens or pocket gardens. These rocks can provide visual interest to your garden to an otherwise monotonous color in the garden.