Our extensive range of garden boulders are available in a choice of colours, sizes and stone types. They are supplied in crate quantities with 48-hour delivery so you can start your next project.
We offer stone boulders to suit all kinds of landscaping projects, so be sure to take a look at our decorative stones for a garden rockery. If you’re planning on adding a water feature, we have an extensive range of fish friendly boulders used for ornamental water features, pondless waterfalls & fishponds, including granite, quartz, and sandstone.
Frequently asked questions about garden boulders
What are rockery boulders and how are they used in landscaping?
Rockery boulders, landscape or garden boulders, are large rocks used to create natural-looking features in outdoor spaces. Depending on the desired aesthetic, they can vary in size, shape, and colour.
In landscaping, rockery boulders can serve many purposes:
Visual focal points: Boulders are often focal points within a garden or landscape design. Their size and unique shapes draw attention and add interest to the composition.
Natural barriers: You can place boulders to create borders in a landscape. Boulders can define the edges of a garden bed, separate different sections of a yard, or prevent soil erosion on slopes.
Retaining walls: Use larger boulders to build retaining walls. By doing this, you can help stabilise slopes, prevent soil erosion, and create terraced areas. The interlocking nature of the boulders provides structural strength to these walls.
Water features: Incorporating boulders into ponds, streams, or waterfalls can create stepping stones or natural-looking edges. The extra detail will enhance the beauty and realism of the water feature.
Naturalistic landscape designs: Rockery boulders are key to creating realistic, natural-looking rock formations. By combining them with gravel, plants, and grasses, you can create an attractive and low-maintenance design.
What are the different types of rockery boulders available for landscaping projects?
Several rockery boulders are available for landscaping projects, each with unique characteristics. Here are some common types:
Granite: Granite boulders are famous for their durability and colours, including grey, pink, black, and white. They have a coarse texture and can create a rugged, natural appearance.
Sandstone: You can recognise sandstone boulders by their warm, earthy tones, ranging from tan and brown to red and orange. They often have distinct layers or patterns, adding visual interest to landscape designs.
Limestone: Limestone boulders come in many shades, including grey, beige, and buff. They have a smoother texture than granite or sandstone, providing a softer and more refined look.
Basalt: Basalt boulders are dark grey or black and have a rough texture. They are formed from volcanic rock and can add a dramatic element to landscape designs. They are especially popular in water features or contemporary settings.
Quartzite: Quartzite boulders are prized for their vibrant colours and unique patterns, ranging from white and grey to pink, green, and blue. They can add a touch of elegance to landscaping projects.
How do I choose the right size of rockery boulders for my garden or yard?
When choosing the right size of rockery boulders for your garden or yard, there are a few points to consider. Here are some helpful hints to help you make an informed decision:
Scale and proportion: Consider the size of your garden or yard and existing elements such as buildings and trees. The boulders should be proportionate to the space so they don't overwhelm or appear too small.
Visual impact: Determine the desired effect you want to achieve. Larger boulders are prominent focal points, while smaller boulders are more subtle. Consider your garden's style and theme, and choose boulders that complement the aesthetic.
Practical considerations: Consider how you intend to use the boulders in your garden. If you're creating a wall or a water feature, bigger and heavier boulders may be necessary for structural stability. Smaller boulders may be suitable for bordering garden beds or creating stepping stones.
Natural appearance: Vary the sizes of boulders to create a more natural and organic look. Placing boulders of different sizes can help make a more authentic appearance of a natural rock formation.
Accessibility and installation: Consider the accessibility of your garden or yard. Consider the logistics of moving and placing the boulders. Larger boulders may need heavy machinery or professional help for installation.
Can rockery boulders be used for erosion control in hilly areas?
You can use rockery boulders effectively for erosion control in hilly areas. Their size and weight make them ideal for stabilising slopes and preventing soil erosion. Here's how you can use rockery boulders for erosion control:
Retaining walls: Construct retaining walls on hillsides using rockery boulders. These walls provide structural support and help hold the soil in place, preventing erosion. The interlocking nature of the boulders creates a sturdy barrier that resists the forces of gravity and water flow.
Terracing: By creating terraced areas with rockery boulders, you can reduce the slope gradient and make level planting beds. Terracing helps to slow down water runoff, allowing it to infiltrate the soil gradually and reducing the erosive power of water. The boulders in each terrace act as a barrier to hold the ground in place.
Rip rap: Rip rap is a layer of large, loose rocks placed along slopes or shorelines to protect against erosion. Rockery boulders can be used as rip rap by placing them along the hillside. They help dissipate flowing water's energy, reducing erosion and promoting sediment deposition.
Check dams: Check dams are structures built across gullies or channels to slow down water flow and reduce erosion. You can construct check dams with rockery boulders, forming barriers that obstruct the water path and encourage sediment deposition. This helps to stabilise the soil and prevent further erosion.
What are the benefits of using rockery boulders in landscaping?
Using rockery boulders in landscaping offers several benefits. They can add to outdoor spaces' design appeal, functionality, and sustainability. Some of the key benefits include:
Natural and aesthetic appeal: Rockery boulders provide a natural element to landscaping designs. They provide the look and feel of natural rock formations, bringing a sense of organic charm to gardens, yards, or outdoor environments.
Visual focal points: Boulders act as focal points within a landscape. You can place them so that their size, shape, and texture direct the eye and enhance the outdoor space's composition.
Textural variety: Incorporating rockery boulders adds textural variety to the landscape. The rough or smooth surfaces of the boulders can contrast with plants, grasses, or pathways, creating an eye-catching environment.
Durability and longevity: Boulders are durable and long-lasting, making them a low-maintenance feature. They resist weathering, erosion, and decay, providing a reliable and sustainable addition that can stand the test of time.
Erosion control: Rockery boulders are ideal for erosion control. Their weight and size make them effective at stabilising slopes, preventing soil erosion, and minimising water runoff.
Versatility: You can use rockery boulders for walls, water features, borders, and accent pieces. Their versatility allows creative design possibilities and flexibility in achieving different landscape styles.
Habitat creation: Boulders can create shelter and habitat for insects, birds, and small animals. They contribute to ecological balance by offering refuge and foraging opportunities for wildlife.
Low maintenance: Once installed, rockery boulders need minimal maintenance. They do not need watering, pruning, or fertilising, making them a practical choice for those seeking a low-maintenance garden.
How do I properly install rockery boulders in my garden or yard?
Installing rockery boulders in your garden or yard requires careful planning and attention to detail. We've put together some steps to follow for a successful installation:
Plan and design
Begin by planning the layout and design of your landscape project.
Consider the boulders' desired placement, sizes, and aesthetic you want to achieve.
Think about the existing landscape features, plants, and other elements to ensure a cohesive and balanced design.
Clear the area where you intend to place the boulders.
Remove any vegetation, debris, or obstacles hindering the installation process.
Prepare the ground by levelling it and ensuring a stable base for the boulders.
Assess placement: Before moving the boulders, assess their placement by laying them out in the desired positions without fixing them. A trial run allows you to experiment with different arrangements and adjust until you achieve your desired look.
Excavation (if necessary): If the boulders are large and need to be partially buried or you are creating a retaining wall, you may need to excavate the soil to accommodate their size and provide stability. Excavate to a depth that ensures proper placement and stability for the boulders.
Lifting and placing
Use appropriate lifting equipment, such as a sturdy dolly, crane, or a group of strong individuals, to lift and move the boulders.
Take necessary safety precautions when handling heavy objects.
Place the boulders in their designated positions, ensuring they are stable and secure.
Backfill and anchoring: For retaining walls or larger boulders, backfill the area behind the boulders with compacted soil or gravel. Backfilling provides extra stability and helps secure the boulders in place. Use drainage material to enhance drainage behind retaining walls.
Finishing touches: Once the boulders are in place, make any necessary adjustments to their position to ensure proper alignment. Backfill any gaps around the boulders with soil or decorative gravel. You can also add landscaping fabric and mulch around the base of the boulders to inhibit weed growth and enhance the appearance.
Are rockery boulders suitable for creating natural-looking water features?
Yes, rockery boulders are suitable for creating natural-looking water features in landscaping. They can enhance the look of water features such as ponds, streams, waterfalls, and cascades. Here's how you can use rockery boulders in your water feature:
Pond construction: Create the edges and walls of a pond and give them a natural appearance using rockery boulders. By carefully selecting and placing the boulders, you can mimic the look of rocky shorelines. The irregular shapes and sizes of the boulders contribute to a more organic and realistic design.
Waterfall and cascade formation: Boulders are crucial in constructing waterfalls and cascades within a water feature. By arranging boulders in a tiered or stepped manner, you can simulate the effect of water flowing over rocky terrain. The boulders help regulate the water flow and add texture and visual interest to the cascades.
Stepping stones: Smaller-sized boulders or flat rocks can be used as stepping stones across a pond or stream. These boulders can create a path or bridge over the water, allowing people to navigate the area and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Edging and bordering: Rockery boulders can edge and border the perimeter of a pond or water feature. They help define the boundaries and blend the water feature into the surrounding landscape. The irregular shapes and sizes of the boulders contribute to a more natural transition between the water and the land.
Natural filtration and habitat creation: Incorporating rockery boulders into a water feature can provide benefits beyond aesthetics. The crevices and gaps between the boulders create a habitat for aquatic plants, fish, and other wildlife. Moreover, the rocks can act as natural filters, promoting water circulation and aiding in purification.
What are some popular design ideas incorporating rockery boulders in landscape architecture?
You can incorporate rockery boulders into various designs to create stunning outdoor spaces. Here are some popular design ideas that integrate rockery boulders:
Rock Gardens: Rock gardens are ideal for introducing more diverse plants. Rockery boulders form the central features and provide structure. You can surround them with smaller rocks, gravel, and an assortment of plants that thrive in rocky environments.
Water Features: Rockery boulders can help to create cascades, pool edges, or natural-looking water walls. The boulders enhance the visual appeal and provide a sense of authenticity, creating a tranquil atmosphere.
Retaining Walls: Use rockery boulders when constructing retaining walls to stabilise slopes, prevent soil erosion, and create terraced areas. Stacking or partially burying the boulders forms a strong and appealing structure.
Bordering and Edging: Borders or edging elements can define and separate different areas. Rockery boulders can provide a natural transition between spaces, such as garden beds, pathways, or outdoor living areas.
Sculptural Features: Large and unique rockery boulders can make sculptural focal points. These boulders, chosen for their interesting shapes and textures, can create a dramatic impact and serve as conversation pieces.
Seating and Gathering Areas: Boulders can form seating and gathering areas, providing useful and appealing seating options. Arrange flat and large boulders in a circular or semi-circular pattern to create informal seating areas or natural amphitheatres.
Can rockery boulders be used to create retaining walls or terraced gardens?
Rockery boulders are very effective for creating retaining walls or terraced gardens. Their weight, durability, and natural beauty make them an excellent choice. Here's how you can make the most of rockery boulders:
Stability and Support: Rockery boulders strengthen and support retaining walls. Their interlocking nature creates a strong barrier that helps hold the soil in place, preventing erosion and landslides.
Natural Appearance: The irregular shapes, textures, and colours of the boulders create a more natural retaining wall. They can mimic the appearance of natural rock formations, blending with the surrounding landscape.
Versatility: Rockery boulders offer flexibility in designing retaining walls. You can create your desired height and shape by stacking or partially burying them. Smaller rocks and gravel can also fill gaps between the boulders, enhancing stability and drainage.
Elevation and Levelling: Rockery boulders can create terraced gardens by levelling different sections of a sloped area. The boulders act as retaining walls, holding back the soil and creating flat or sloping terraces for planting and landscaping.
Visual Interest: Incorporating rockery boulders in terraced gardens creates distinct levels and boundaries. This provides opportunities for varied plantings, cascading water features, or seating areas.
Naturalistic Design: By selecting and placing the boulders, you can achieve a natural design that recreates the drama of a rocky outcrop. The irregular shapes and sizes of the boulders contribute to a more organic appearance.