How To Lay Landscape Boulders

Posted on: 22 October 2017

Add height and interest to your boring landscape without doing a complete design renovation by adding boulders. However, boulders should be planned carefully in advance so they blend with your yard size and soil.

You also need a good way to transport them around the yard, since they are heavy. Follow these steps to place boulders in your landscape.

Prepare to Install the Boulders

To lay the boulders, gather:

  • work gloves 
  • tape measure
  • chalk or hose graph paper 
  • digging tools (shovel, tamper)
  • rake
  • landscape fabric 
  • boulders in various sizes

Draw the land design on graph paper, including water features, pathways, and fences, then mark desired boulder locations avoiding above-ground pipes and septic tank locations. The site should not interfere with public utility lines, shared routes, or emergency personnel access. 

Shop for Boulders

When you scour rock supply stores, look for natural-looking boulders in odd sizes and amounts for a natural appearance. They should likewise be similar in color to existing boulders, or they will seem out of place. 

You may be able to find boulders on your land, but it is ideal to choose one close enough to make moving them easier. Buying boulders locally helps to save on delivery costs. 

Lay the Boulders

Check with your local building codes department for laws regarding boulders, and have your utility company mark underground pipes before you lay boulders. This is usually a free service. 

Map the outline with hoses or chalk, then clear debris and weeds. If you are going for a natural look, dig a space one-third to one-half the boulder size. 

Move the boulders with a winch or assistants, then cut and lay landscape fabric around the bottom for weed control. Plant various plants or flowers in assorted colors and sizes around the boulder. Lay boulders of similar sizes around objects a similar size. For example, lay small boulders around flower beds.

If you need ideas for boulder placement consider one of the followings:  

  • Fill empty garden spaces or separate plant varieties, or set a large boulder for a seat in a shaded areas, since boulders attract heat.
  • Lay small boulders around a pathway to add definition
  • Place boulders around a fire pit to use for roasting marshmallows. Large boulders with flat tops can be used for seating.
  • Hide unattractive areas of the yard.
  • Set three to four feet tall boulders about a foot apart in your front yard to protect your property from runaway vehicles. 
  • Control water drainage by placing boulders on a hill.
  • Enhance the look of an entryway by placing boulders on each side.

Visit a site, like, for more help.