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Best Rock Designs for Arizona Landscapes Featured

“…don't forget the non-living features of the yard."

  • Landscape ideas designs with rock.
  • Ideas for rocks in the yard.
  • How to landscape with boulders.
  • Right rocks increase property value.
  • Patio ideas for Arizona

A lot of time and care are put into the plants of your landscape but don't forget the non-living features of the yard. While your plants may be the focus of your design, hardscape provides structure and serves as a framework holding the landscape together. Click here for some Watters Pinterest ideas for using rock in the yard.

Don't have time to view the entire article, see the highlights below:

  • Stone, pavers, and retaining walls turn ordinary into extraordinary landscapes.
  • Extending patios is one of the most rewarding DIY projects with dry-stack or flagstone.
  • Raised beds have an updated look when built from colored retaining block or stones.
  • Meet your landscaper at the rock yard to handpick large boulders.
  • Stone fountains are a striking way to use rocks and water.
  • Planting ground cover in the cracks between the cobblestones brings out a beautiful walkway.
  • Watters Pinterest Board for more local design ideas with rocks.

What separates exciting mountain landscapes from the ordinary is the creative use of stone, pavers, and retaining walls. Their artful use brings out the beauty of your plants, accentuates your home's appeal, and increases property value. Rocks are friends to a landscape, but not always easy to use in creating a design.

For many homeowners, a boulder at a driveway is a good start. But the possibilities are limitless, held back only by your imagination and pocketbook.

Patios and Rocks – Extending patios is one of the most rewarding hardscape projects for Do-It-Yourself homeowners. Decide whether dry-stack pavers, flagstones, or rocks are best for you and the project. Determine if mortar is needed to secure the patio in place.

Whether made of gray concrete, decorative stone, tile, or some other material, patios are a wonderful way to tie the indoors to the outdoors. They lower maintenance and cut down on water use. They are a compelling alternative to lawns as they extend into the yard creating courtyards, play areas, resting and entertainment spots with outdoor furniture. Soften large stone patios with large resort-size pots overflowing with colorful flowers and shrubs.

Raised Beds – Wood is so 1990's unless in combination with the impact of boulders or tumbled retaining block. Wood products have a lifespan of several years, maybe a decade, then quickly rot and need replacing. Rock boulders and concrete retaining block last a lifetime with minimal maintenance. Colored concrete retaining block is in style and immediately updates an old home.

Walls of Stone – Walls have many uses, from dividing street from lawn, lining driveways, marking property lines, and enclosing vegetable gardens. Many of us live on steep mountainsides and need walls of stone to prevent erosion and to terrace the property for proper planting.

Round rocks are not as stable as flat rocks or retaining blocks so they require the use of mortar. Larger retaining blocks are engineered to simply stack up to 3' in height without the use of mortar. Check with the manufacturer for exact specs for your project.

Size and Shape as Factors in Rock Selection - For all of your rock work, the size and shape of your stone will be central to achieving the desired look and feel. It's essential to choose your hardscape carefully, so I recommend meeting your landscaper at the rock yard to handpick large boulders.

Natural stone is not the only possible choice as a building material for retaining walls. Lovers of the natural look may not like the look of cinder block but prefer natural stones or roughed-up retaining block. Large retaining block is far easier to use and less expensive. It is easy to transport and deliver, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install professionally or by yourself. For all these reasons, retaining block is popular with homeowners, even though it lacks the impact of natural rocks. Go directly to the source here in central Arizona; that's Yavapai Block and Precast.

Rock & Water – Stone fountains are a striking way to use rocks and water in combination. There is something magical about the combination of rock and water in a landscape, and it doesn't have to be a large fountain to make a big statement. Simple rock fountains can have a significant impact on a small property.

Landscapes on a Solid Path - Stone walkways can be pleasant, but they can also be a bit monotonous. Carefully chosen stones and how they are used can add an attractive variety of texture and design. For instance, cobblestones are charming but because of their uniformity, they can result in a ho-hum walkway. Planting a small ground cover in the cracks between the cobblestones is an excellent way to break up the monotony.

Flagstone, on the other hand, is a building material that has a lot of variety because of its irregular shapes and colors. Plants look good growing between the cracks of flagstone walkways and patios.

See picture ideas from local gardens and more from Watters Pinterest Board.

Until next week, I'll be helping local gardeners here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .

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Garden Classes



September 14 @ 9:30 am – Succulents Succulents are all the rage right now, and a great choice for container growing! Most are tough, drought-tolerant, and will grow like gangbusters in a tight space with very little after-care. Students will learn how to create a container that brings warm color and texture to their homes even at the coldest time of the year. The class is free to onlookers, but the first 12 students to sign up can create their own design with professional guidance for a $25 fee (pots provided).  Call 928-445-4159 to sign up.



September 21 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Evergreens for Mountain Landscapes – Evergreens can be the anchor of any landscape, providing color and privacy year-round.  We'll dispel the myth that the only evergreens are pine trees, when in fact they can be a multitude of different shapes, colors, and sizes—there are even evergreens that aren't green! FREE

September 28 @ 9:30 am – Planting for Success in our Mountain Soil – We've planted thousands of plants throughout northern Arizona, and now we're going to share our secrets with YOU. Watters' Ella Amos, gets her hands dirty every day planting new landscapes for our wonderful customers. Years of planting success and the knowledge she's gained through her experience make Ella the perfect Guest Instructor for this class. She'll share the techniques and trade secrets she's learned to help you be a smarter, savvier, more successful gardener. FREE



October 5 @ 9:30 am - Gardening for Newcomers  Learn all the mountain secrets to local garden success.  This is an information-packed class guaranteed to increase garden blooms and fruit this year.  Learn about growing zones, frost dates, soils and more; you'll know exactly what to do in the gardens after this class. FREE

Michele and Doug


October 12 @ 9:30 am - Autumn Colors Best Enjoyed at Home - Landscapes in autumn can be stunning, but only with proper planning.  This easy-care advice will bring the silver and blues out of the evergreens, showcasing brilliant bright foliage and crazy colored flowers.  Make this the brightest fall of all!  FREE


October 19 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Trees and How to Plant them -  Privacy, shade, color, evergreen, and blooms. We cover trees from every angle. With so many choices, picking the perfect tree can seem overwhelming, but not after this class.  Our horticultural team will be on-hand after the class to help with individual tree situations.  Free tree planting guide to all attendees.  FREE


October 25 @ 9:30 pm - Fall ‘To-do‘ list for a Healthy Yard - Get the most out of your landscape with this easy to use checklist of fall care.  Bring the color out of your fall gardens, reduce bugs next spring, or simply put your landscape to bed with these easy to use ideas.  FREE

Ken Lain


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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 September 2019 04:04
Ken Lain

Ken Lain the Mountain Gardener, is attracted to sunshine, beauty, happiness, success and health through gardening, and wishes to point the way to others. Throughout the week Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center located at 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or contacted through his web site at www.wattersgardencenter.com

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