I am a former landscaper and real estate investor and we buy houses in Houston Heights area of Texas. So due to a lot of poor soil quality, we often use rocks in our landscape design to compensate for the lawn.
And one thing I hate to see is people using store bought “fake” stones. Natural rocks always look better in landscaping than fake rocks, which l equate to planting fake trees in your yard.
As a former landscaper for over eight years, I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would choose costly man-made rocks.
The only advantage I have ever seen in a man-made rock is if you want outdoor waterproof speakers built-in. Yes, they make “rock speakers” and as far as I see it that is the only reason I would ever purchase a man-made rock.
You are much better off designing your home garden and landscaping with rocks from nature.
Say you are out mulching the front of your house, trimming up the bushes, clearing weeds, whatever it may be; and you decide you would like stepping stones.
You decide you want to create a neat little design with a rock path. In all my years, I created dozens and dozens of rock paths and not one customer wanted man-made rocks or stepping stones.
Stepping stones made from real rock add to the “natural” look of your landscape. If you are using store-bought stepping stones, you are wanting uniformity in the steps which is understandable, but in the end creates an unnatural looking landscape in my professional opinion.
If you live near a lake, a rock quarry, or an area with easy-to-find rocks, then by all means go hunting!
Not only are the natural rocks free, but your selection is infinite as no two rocks are the same. Another plus to natural rocks is that you can chisel or “break” them into smaller pieces to go with your design.
Say you find a giant slate rock that would make a great step. Well what if you could break it into 4 pieces roughly the same size. It’s very easy and more importantly absolutely free.
Most landscapers will charge less for installation of real rock due to the free cost. Although from my experience, most customers already have their own rocks, saving themselves even more money.
Now say you mulched around some pretty trees you have in your yard and want to go around the tree with some rocks or brick.
The man-made brick creates a nice and uniform circle, but it also takes away from the natural look of your landscaping.
Landscaping is all about beauty with a natural look. If you used rocks to circle that tree, you would have many choices.
You could break rocks into uniform sizes similar to brick, or you could do what I call a random circle with different sizes, shapes, and of course the natural look.
Suppose you want some giant rocks in your yard. You could go with a man-made rock sculpture and pay thousands of dollars. Or you could pay someone to haul some beautiful natural rock and drop the pieces in your yard where you see fit.
You can then create gardens, flower, or mulch beds around these rocks. If you were to make the same garden or bed with a landscape sculpture rock, then you have already taken away the natural beauty.
I could bring in so instances where natural rocks are the better choice, but it is not necessary to get my point across.
Landscaping should look natural.
It should have a feel and look of minimal man-made areas.
If you were to create a pond, by far the pond looks ten times better with natural rock as you can create any shape, height, and width.
As I was saying, landscaping should look natural. When it doesn’t look more natural than man-made, I feel as if the landscaping work just is not done.