Including boulders in your front yard or backyard landscape will lend authenticity to your property. For this reason, Woehler Landscaping LLC, integrates boulders into many of its projects. David Woehler cautions that boulders can be used improperly; he often sees homes with boulders that are too small or just randomly dropped atop the ground. Check out some tips to ensure that your boulders are achieving their maximum potential.
- Don't be afraid to go big
When you are at the rock yard, it is easy to think that a boulder is large enough. However, when you get it to your property it can look dwarfed by your landscape. David Woehler recommends selecting a boulder that may at first appear too big, it will likely be just right once it is placed. There is almost always a wide selection of boulders at the Woehler Landscaping, you may even come down and hand pick the boulders you like.
- Set each boulder down into the dirt
In a natural setting, boulders don't hover atop the earth, instead just a portion of the rock is revealed. This same effect is easy to recreate in the landscape. Boulders should always be set a few inches below grade. The size and shape of the particular boulder will dictate just how deep it should be buried.
- Arrange your boulders in a variety of ways
Setting all the boulders in a landscape with the flat side up will create a mundane and methodical look that does not mimic nature. We set our boulders in a variety of ways, some lay flat while others reach for the sky. Having the right equipment is essential for being able to maneuver boulders into the exact position desired. Woehler Landscaping has the equipment to set your boulders properly and looking natural.
A lone boulder will look quite out of place,(unless it is very large) which is why Woehler Landscaping LLC usually groups them in threes. The strategy for creating a boulder grouping is to place two boulders very close to each other, or even touching, and then add a third nearby.
- Use local rock
Most of our boulders come from the mountains of the Alleghenies, the northern parts of Pennsylvania and the eastern side of Ohio. These boulders are gray with accents of blue, tan and bronze. It is best to select boulders from a source near you so that the colors and nature of the stone authentically represent your region. You never want to place boulders that do not look like they belong from your areas region.
- Elevate man-made materials with boulders
Woehler Landscaping LLC likes to use boulders in conjunction with man-made paving materials. The preference would be to have natural stone paving, but often this is not an option. When pavers or concrete must be used for walkways, driveways or patios, Woehler Landscaping LLC integrates boulders along the border. We set the boulders first and then pave around them, cutting the pavers to fit or making other necessary adaptations.
- Use a base of gravel and concrete to keep boulders from settling
In certain situations, it is important to make sure a boulder stays exactly where you put it. This is the case when they are integrated with paving or a main focal point in your landscape. Sometimes a bed of gravel and concrete below the boulder will hold it in position and prevent any settling or shifting, this can be especially useful when trying to arrange a boulder in a dramatic fashion.
- Respect the age of boulders
The overall goal of boulder placement is to make them look as if they have always been there. There are a variety of ways to go about creating the impression that a rock has been around for a very long time. In some cases we have encouraged moss to grow on the face of boulders to accomplish an aged appearance.
Let the shape of the boulders and your landscape's style dictate arrangement
According to David Woehler, his years of experience have given him the ability to instinctively feel what side is up on a boulder. The shape dictates whether the boulder should lie flat or stand upright. Another way to determine how boulders should be arranged is to take cues from the style of your landscape. In a casual, laid back landscape you dont want the boulders to be overly dramatic, while in a more formal landscape they are used to emulate mountains and should jut upwards accordingly.
- Light boulders for a nighttime focal point
Woehler Landscaping LLC can even light specific boulders that are used in their landscaping projects. The first rule for lighting boulders is that if they are not a focal point during the day, don't bother lighting them at night. The second rule is to use a spotlight that provides a warm glow. Backlighting is also a great way to light boulders. You may even want to up light a tree behind your boulder grouping to produce a silhouette-like effect.
Please check out some of our pictures and meet with Woehler Landscaping LLC to pick out your boulders and get a feel for the landscape you desire to create.