20 Rock Garden Ideas That Will Put Your Backyard On The Map

Organic and natural materials should be anyone’s first choice when decorating the outdoors and having a rock garden should definitely be on your wishlist this summer. Use rocks to transform your plain and boring backyard into a beautiful and relaxing oasis. Use their sculptural beauty to create eye-catching designs and try to make them look as natural as possible in the setting you’re providing.

View in gallery

One natural resource we love in the backyard is rock. There are so many varieties in the rocks themselves, and even more variety in the possibilities of using those rocks to your advantage.

View in gallery

Here are 20 fantastic uses of rocks for your backyard landscape inspiration!

View in gallery


1. Large slabs of rock make a perfect outdoor “staircase” for sloping backyards. For a more informal look, vary the sizes and shapes of the rock steps.

View in gallery

2. Mix and match sizes and colors of rocks on the same pathway to create visual interest and landscaping depth. And, geography permitting, surrounding said mismatched pathway with various greens increases its beauty exponentially.

View in gallery


3. Beautiful river rock forms a “triple threat” in this backyard oasis, designating an intuitive walkway and juxtaposing nicely against the wooden fence and lush green grass.

View in gallery


4. Various sizes, shapes, and colors of rock combine to create a soothing yet energetic waterfall for the Zen backyard.

View in gallery


5. A “bridge” of bluestone passes through a “river” of smaller rocks for a delightfully scenic and water-friendly backyard.

View in gallery


6. Rock walkways and patios are durable and easy to maintain, plus they add so much to the natural beauty of a backyard.

View in gallery


7. A simple but quite beautiful large-rock retaining wall has timeless appeal. Perennials soften the transition from rock wall to lawn.

View in gallery


8. Plant a rock garden. With or without a water feature, rock gardens (interspersed with climate-appropriate plant life) are a lovely way to transform that useless, troublesome backyard corner into a focal point.

View in gallery


9. Mortared rock walls combine with tinted and stamped concrete to create a textured, unique, and beautiful backyard feature. A lovely accentuation for xeriscaping.

View in gallery


10. Incorporate the look and feel of water in the desert (without wasting the real resource) by laying light and dark rocks in a flowing two-tone formation.

View in gallery


11. Opt for bluer-toned rocks to enhance the green of your backyard space. Some foliage can be planted directly into the rockway itself, creating a more seamless space.

View in gallery


12. Give backyard visitors (and yourself) an inherent and obvious place to walk by laying a flagstone walkway.Bright flowers alongside the pathway make for a pleasant passageway time and time again.

View in gallery

13. This Asian-inspired rock wall serves as a gorgeous backdrop for lighted plants but in no way takes the backstage in aesthetics.

View in gallery


14. Set your landscaping apart (and make it easier to mow your lawn) with rock dividers. Oh, and if you can throw in some gorgeous mature trees to arch overhead, all the better.

View in gallery


15. For a low-maintenance twist on backyard plant life, embrace the concept of growing things in pots that sit atop a nice easy-to-manage rock bed. Bonus: You can color-coordinate, due to the huge variety of rocks to choose from.

View in gallery


16. Nothing lengthens the relaxation of a summer’s evening like a well-suited backyard firepit. Rock is an easy, functional, and aesthetic choice for a firepit.

View in gallery

17. Use rocks as small retaining walls for beautiful backyard terraces. This provides a huge visual bang for your acreage buck.

View in gallery


18. Sometimes, the best backyard isn’t a “yard” at all, but rather a strategically designed and landscaped mecca, complete with seamless rock walkways, comfortable sitting areas, vibrant plant life, and subtle privacy factors.

View in gallery


19. Plant perennials (flowers, succulents, berries, shrubs) in the nooks and crannies of your rock wall and watch it come to life each spring and summer. Beautiful simplicity.

View in gallery

20. Get creative with rocks as flower bed borders.Depending on the size of the rocks, you can double or triple them up for a fluid, eye-catching edge.

What’s your favorite way to use rock in your backyard landscape?