7 Natural Stone Landscaping Ideas

varieties of natural stone in a green landscape

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner - the perfect time of year to tackle that dream landscaping project. Hardscaping elements, like natural stone, harmonize outdoor spaces with your property, and they provide structure and an integrating medium into the garden design. 

From focal points in your garden and retaining walls to patios and water features, natural stone is the perfect material for transforming your landscape. Especially with freshly quarried stone that you can handpick in person, if your goal is to create a beautiful new dynamic to your yard (whether big or small), there’s no better team to work with than the professionals at the Rock Garden. Ready for some inspiration to get you started? Here are seven of the very best natural stone landscaping ideas. 

Why Natural Stone is Perfect for Landscaping 

Unlike composite materials such as concrete or brick (which are manufactured), natural stone is quarried from the earth, then split, crushed, or cut to produce different shapes, sizes, textures, and tints. You’ve seen it for yourself, and there’s no denying it: natural stone brings an authentic, timeless, and luxurious aesthetic to any project. Natural stone has been used for thousands of years throughout human history because it looks beautiful, but also because it is prized for its durability and longevity. If it is installed properly, it can last over a lifetime with little to no maintenance at all. 

Fortunately, natural stone is not just some archaic building material. It is impressively dynamic and able to be used perfectly for just about any project you have dreamed up. Its versatility can be seen in its many forms, from boulders, veneer, and flagstone steps to dry stack, strip stone, and even custom dimensional stone. Its natural beauty, wrought through the geological ages, is also witnessed in its vast variety of colors and textures, such as slate, sandstone, and granite. 

Your creativity is the limit when working with natural stone, and here are a few ideas to get you inspired for projects of your own. 

1. Garden Set Pieces

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Natural stone, particularly boulders, are a wonderful way to create set pieces and focal points for your garden. Using boulders in landscaping will spotlight areas of your home's exterior you want to feature in breathtaking ways, primarily by drawing the attention of visitors to the beauty of your home’s landscape. Boulders are strong and robust, standing firm amidst the flowing splendor of plants, bushes, and flowers. They should be strategically placed and should work in coordination with the surrounding flora and natural movement of the terrain. 

2. Classic Retaining Wall

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Whether for the garden itself or to help the transition between low and high points on your property, retaining walls are a great way to leverage the structural prowess of natural stone. Consider using bigger blocks of stone, either cut straight or with natural variance, and utilize flagstone steps for the perfect capstones. Retaining walls tend to bear a lot of weight from the raised ground behind it, making other building materials such as wood less suitable for the project. Therefore, if you want a retaining wall that will last the test of time, natural stone is the best choice. They work great for straight or curved walls, but it’s wise to take careful, professionally-guided steps to do it right. 

3. Patio/ Outdoor Kitchen

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Perhaps the most classic way of using natural stone is to create an outdoor patio. An outdoor patio is subjected to the elements all throughout the year, including rain, snow, hail, and periods of repeated freezing and thawing. It’s smart, then, to utilize a building material like flagstone steps that can withstand it all. Consider building an outdoor kitchen or even a quiet reading area to enjoy the natural landscape, but whatever its purpose, it will be structurally sound, exceedingly classy, and aesthetically pleasing when made with natural stone. 

4. Water Features

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Nothing defies the harsh, dry climate of Colorado like adding the rustic beauty and soothing sounds of a stone waterfall to your home or office. We offer a wide variety of stone features for your design preferences, using both hulking boulders and more elegant slabs of chiseled stone. You can also opt to build it completely from scratch and build out the perfect design from your property by hand-selecting rocks from the Rock Garden itself. 

5. Pathways

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A wonderful way to connect portions of your landscape is through the use of natural stone pathways. Getting from the patio to your garden, for example, might require stepping through rain-sodden grass, but with the help of a stone pathway using flagstone steppers, you can create the ideal way to traverse your yard. 

6. Firepits

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One of our most popular products at the Rock Garden is our natural stone fire features, because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love sitting in front of a fire? Perfect for late summer evenings or as a crutch to get outdoors in the winter, natural stone fireplaces are a great way to enjoy your outdoor landscape to the fullest without the limitations of the outside temperature. Create a custom-built design for family and friends to gather around, or select one of our hand-crafted options at the Rock Garden for sitting and reading comfortably on your own. 

7. Outdoor Furniture 

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Custom outdoor furniture is a remarkable addition of natural stone into your landscape. We’ve found that many people invest a lot of time and money in the perfect garden and natural landscape but have no way to enjoy it all! With natural stone furniture, you can evoke structure and stability with natural elegance by choosing a bench, table, or chairs to integrate into your landscaping. 

More Ideas at the Rock Garden

The best way to get inspiration for your landscaping projects is to come visit the Rock Garden in Fort Collins, Colorado. We built our very own rock garden to showcase world-class stone in a unique setting, and it allows our customers to see innovative uses of local stone so that they can be inspired to create a masterpiece of their own. We’ve helped our community make the greatest use of natural stone for their properties for over 20 years, and we look forward to assisting you too! 

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