Using Boulders In My Garden - December 2023

One of the things that I've been thinking about is boulders.  How to use them.  Where to use them.  Why to use them.  In my garden.  That's because (mostly) my new conifer garden. But, also...because of my dream of a pond.   Like most things, you can wander around the Web and find all sorts of tips/tricks/inspiration for how/when/why to use boulders.  Like this post from Nelson Landscaping in Oklahoma where they give a few ideas, including:

  • Highlight a single boulder as a focal point.
  • Group boulders together to create a cohesive and natural look.
  • Incorporate boulders into your patio design to add texture and visual interest.
  • Use rocks and boulders to add height and dimension to your front or backyard.
  • Surround boulders with pebbles and gravel to create a cohesive look.
Everybody is talking about large boulders.  That's what the pros use.  When I say 'large', I mean HUGE.  Boulders that you need heavy equipment to move around.

I don't have heavy equipment.

But, I do have a few boulders.  Small ones.  I've picked them up from various sites over the years and plop'd them down in the beds.  Without much thought.    That allows me to just try some stuff and see what happens.  

One of the things that I'm putting on my 2024 to-do list is to add a little 'personality' to my garden with objects.  Boulders fit that category, so I'm getting a little bit of a headstart this Fall/Winter.

Let's start in the backyard.  I had a small cluster of three rocks in the back, along the fence.  One square-shaped flagstone boulder and two smaller, round boulders.  They were hidden behind some shrubs, so I picked them up, moved them out to the border and placed them together.  The two smaller ones have grown some moss, so that's a nice little bonus.  Hopefully, the new location will allow the moss to survive.  Below are a couple of photos showing the three boulders placed at the edge of a bed - right by the Green Gem Boxwoods from Fall 2021

I also placed a small boulder in the new dwarf conifer garden IB2DWs-extended.   This one was stashed on the side of the garage (you can see a few boulders in this post about the Kousa Dogwoods). 

Finding, moving and placing a few LARGE format boulders is going to be part of my 2024 to-do plan.  Or, at least it SHOULD be. 


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