August 27, 2010, Newsletter Issue #181: Choosing Rocks for a Garden Rock Waterfall

Tip of the Week

Rock garden waterfalls create a natural backyard waterfall setting and add visual appeal to landscapes. Pebbles are typically used to cover the bottom of waterfall ponds. The larger the pebbles the less likely they will be stirred up by flowing water and large pebbles are also less prone to algae attacks. Medium-sized rocks and large stones serve as edging of a waterfall and strategically channel water flow. Large boulders, although difficult to maneuver, provide a dramatic frame at the top of the water path. Note: Boulders should be buried or covered by water for one-third to one-half of their surface to look the most natural.

When natural boulders are not practical or available, man-made (hollow) boulders serve the same purpose. Light-weight and easily moveable, “fake” boulders with their flat bottoms look surprisingly natural.

Rocks and smooth stones introduce yin and yang elements to the garden. Use a combination of large, textured rocks (yang) and smooth small stones (yin). And, choose dark to light natural colors that blend and complement rather than contrast rocks in a home garden waterfall.

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