Boulders in water features
Nothing makes a pond or water feature look more timeless and natural than good, weathered, surface landscape boulders. These boulders generally have more character and appeal than rocks that are simply just dug up. Unearthed boulders are like broken glass, but good, weathered, unscarred surface stones are like diamonds.
In a water feature, the more boulders the better. At a minimum, a few boulders flanking the waterfalls and stair step falls. It sure looks nice to have some boulders partially submerged in the main part of the pond for a real natural look. Some big specimens in the landscape around the pond tie the whole scene together. A nice flat top boulder here and there around the pond make a nice perch to sit and contemplate your next pond.
Boulder retaining walls
There are many ways to construct retaining wall, from rail road ties, to split face concrete blocks, yuck!!! To natural stone, to the grandest of them all, natural, surface boulders. These walls are probably going to cost more, but for the purist paradise head, nothing looks more natural. A beautiful stone outcropping with plants oozing out of every nook and cranny cannot be beat. And nothing is going to look more timeless and permanent.
Getting a rough cost estimate of boulders can be done mathematically, if you are looking for a boulder for the flower bed, take a tape measure out to the area and estimate the footprint and height. Roughly calculate that into square feet. For example if your measurements are 2 ft. by 2 ft. by 18″ high, that’s 6 sq. ft.
Dense stone usually weights between 150 to 170 lbs. per sq. ft. multiply our 6 C.F boulder by 160 lbs. that equal 960 lbs. Our best boulders run up to ten cents per lb. 960 lbs. times ten cents is 96.00 dollars. Plus delivery. Of course every stone is weighed and you get charged for the exact weight.
If you are building a large retaining wall, by using some of these same principles, we can calculate the cubic feet of the wall. If the wall is 25 feet long, by 3 feet tall, and the average thickness is going to be two feet, then 25 by 3 by 2 is 150 square feet. 150 times 160 lbs. per cubic foot, that wall will weigh 24,000 pounds. Man, that 12 tons.
Big stately boulders in the garden can transform an otherwise dull tract home lot into a bit of wilderness. Homes built on a slope have so much more opportunities to naturalize there scene than the rest of us flat landers. Boulders can create the look and feel of some real wilderness.
Some other quick tips on naturalizing a dull pallet is to bring in a few loads of soil. Hardly anyone ever does this because is sounds so intimidating, but in reality, a dump truck load of fill dili cost practically nothing. The freight to get it delivered may cost a hundred dollars or so, and once its dumped in the street, it looks like it would take forever to move, but, a good hard worker who knows his shovel and wheel barrows well, can move 15 yards of dirt in about 4 hours. It may take you all weekend, or hire some neighborhood kids to do it, but the result is it transforms a flat yard into one big berm. Now you can really plan that stream and create a much more natural area. All for 200 dollars. Another big impact item that you can do cheaply is go find some old dead tree trunks. Dead wood is awesome. Throw it down and plant around it and Bingo, naturalization!