Using a variety of different rocks in your front yard gives you the ability to create some amazing landscaping designs. You can easily create some very formal landscapes as well as use the rocks in different ways to create a more natural and flowing landscape.
Here are 12 front yard landscaping ideas with rocks and interesting plantings.
1. Paving Stones, Pebbles And Planter Boxes
For a low maintenance front yard with just a pop of color, you can’t go past the clean and simple lines of this design. Large paving stones are laid to provide a path to the front door. These are surrounded with white river stones or pebbles to give a clean look and keep the maintenance down.
The stunning planter box is created with the use of paving stone pieces cemented together to provide stability and an effective container for the soil that is used to grow some lovely bright flowers.
The possibilities with this type of design are endless because you can choose what you want to grow in the planter box. You can just stick to one species of plant or you could incorporate a range of flowering annuals that you change out with the changing seasons.
2. Use Large Rocks To Make A Statement
This idea shows that front yard landscaping can be relatively simple but still make a statement. In this design, a meandering garden bed forms a divide between the lawn and the pathway to the front door.
The garden bed is covered with a thick layer of mulch and then large boulders are placed randomly along the bed. Notice that there are also large rocks placed on the garden bed next to the house and the one adjoining the fence.
The plants are kept to a minimal with a couple of tall, slim poplars to give some height and a scant collection of smaller shrubs. This clean and modern landscape would work well with modern home styles but could also look great with older homes.
You can stick to the minimalistic look with the scant plantings or add a bit more greenery or color by incorporating a few more plants of varying heights.
3. Go For A More Natural Look With A Flat Rock Wall
For something completely different, this low flat rock wall perfectly compliments the mass plantings of day lilies and other cottage style plants. As you can see, the rocks are stacked fairly randomly to give a flowing border to the garden bed.
This is the perfect style to show off a gorgeous cottage garden but would work equally as well with a more formal planting of low-growing shrubs with some taller one planted at the back.
4. Combine Different Types Of Rocks To Define Your Front Garden
This design shows how you can add a bit of color and texture to your garden using different types of rocks and just simple plantings. The edges are defined using pieces of treated pine. The gray gravel path is a complete contrast to the garden bed that is covered with warm-colored river stones.
The planting is kept simple with a lovely dark green cycad. This idea would also work well with a planting of succulents in different heights as the river stones would ensure good drainage.
5. Blending Natural Flow With Formal Style
This design shows how easy it is to combine the natural flow of the landscape with a more formal design. The random placement of the large rocks invokes an image of a flowing creek while the beds are separated from the lawn with some more modern concrete edging pieces.
The plantings are kept fairly uniform with large shrubs at the back and smaller ones at the front. Notice that the shrubs seem to follow the line of the “creek bed” created with the placement of the large rocks.
To complete the look, the garden beds are completely covered with gravel. This helps to minimize weeds and adds to the illusion of a creek bed.
6. Create A Stunning Stone Walkway
Here’s another stunning idea to add some interest to your front yard. This attractive stone path is created with river stones or gravel and large pieces of slate that mark out the steps. The entire path is edged with concrete. This is further enhanced with a single planting row of dark green, variegated bromeliads.
It’s a fairly simple design but incredibly effective. You could even play around with the design a little to get different effects. For example, the plain concrete edging could be colored with maybe an oxide to make it more distinctive.
Or, instead of the bromeliads, you could plant some tall grasses to flow over the edges of the path or even some come colorful annual flowers.
7. Create A Desert Landscape With Large River Stones
This design would lend itself beautifully to a desert garden. The entire garden bed is covered in large river stones and there are a few rocks placed randomly around the garden bed to give the illusion of a natural landscape.
The garden bed is then planted with drought tolerant plants such as succulents, a couple of olive trees and other flowering shrubs. Notice the varying heights of the plants to add to the illusion of a natural landscape.
8. Using Large Rocks To Take Advantage Of A Sloping Yard
Many people struggle with how to landscape a sloping yard but this design handles the slope beautifully with the stepped rock walls that hold the soil in place. Notice the river stones that are placed between the rocks and the stepped path to keep any weeds out and the mulch on the garden beds that does the same.
The roses in the top bed along the path would love growing in that position as they would receive good drainage and plenty of warm sunshine. But, if you’re not a fan of roses, you could easily substitute these with a lovely row of lavender or some colorful azaleas.
9. Use Simple Lines To Compliment A Striking House
If your house has some striking features, you want to tone down the landscaping by using simple lines and minimalistic plantings. This unstructured rock wall tends to work well with the more striking colors of the home. The plants are kept small and unimposing so as not to distract from the more imposing architecture.
Notice too the feature section in front of the letterbox. Large paving stones are laid as steps and surrounded with gravel. The edge between the lawn and the garden bed is defined with thin pieces of treated pine to provide nice clean lines.
10. Create A River Bed In Your Front Yard
If your front yard is fairly long, you could easily recreate this design using large river stones to create a dry creek bed that meanders along the length of your yard and follows the slight sloping of the land.
In this design, the garden beds are topped with sand to give the illusion of a desert garden. The plants are well spaced and include some desert varieties such as the tall cacti and the agave in the foreground.
This design shows how different types of plants can be grown together in harmony without distracting from the overall landscape design.
11. A Stunning Front Courtyard Garden
Not every home owner has a large front yard that is exposed to the street. Here’s an interesting design for a small courtyard garden using some large rocks and planks of timber to create a path.
Another feature of this design is the artificial turf that is quite popular these day for people with small gardens. Notice how the rocks are strategically placed at both ends of the garden so that the center is free for some seating and reflection in the sun.
Hardy plants such as palms and tough succulents do well in this type of setting. If you’re not a fan of the artificial turf, you could easily replace it with some gravel or river stones for a more natural look.
12. Create A Stepped Garden With Large Rocks
Here’s another example of how large rocks are used to turn the gentle slope of the land into a stepped garden. The large rocks are placed to define the different “steps” in the garden in front of the house.
Interest is added by creating wide stone steps up to the front door in two places. This accentuates the presence of the circular driveway that runs in front of these garden beds. Notice that there’s also the illusion of a waterfall near the top right of the design. And, in the lower bed there’s the simulation of a dry creek bed that is directly in line with the “waterfall”.
The dark colored mulch works really well with the light color of the rocks. And, the stone bench in the lower bed would be a great spot to sit and watch the world go by.