Choosing the Right Rocks for Your Water Feature

Rocks, like plants, have a dual role in both the aesthetics and function of a water feature. Different types of stone can greatly affect the design of your pond. Let’s talk about how to choose the right rocks for your next project.

With so many types from which to choose, and taking into consideration the dramatic difference in indigenous rock across the country, it is impossible to name one type as the best for a water feature. However, there are some general guidelines to help you choose the right rock for the situation.

Use Rock that Occurs Naturally in the Area

When you use rock that’s indigenous to the region, you’ll be better able to tie the features in with the surrounding landscape.  An added bonus is that the rock won’t have far to ship, thereby reducing your cost of materials.


Granite rocks in backyard waterfall


Avoid Mixing Different Types of Rock

You want a cohesive, natural look to the water features you create, so it’s best if you use the same type of rock throughout the project. Too many types make the pond look thrown together and unattractive.


Aqua blue boulders in water feature


Use Varying Sizes of Rock

Make sure to get a variety of sizes when choosing rocks for your next project. A good rule of thumb is to use the 1:2:1 ratio.  1 part small rock, 2 parts medium rock, and 1 part large rock. The varying sizes of rocks help to give each other scale. The large stones look large because there are smaller stones around it, and vice versa. Not to mention, this is the most natural look for a pond or waterfall.


Backyard waterfall and stream



So what about the role that stones play in a water feature? Rocks add support to the structure, and when used to line the bottom of the pond, help protect the pond’s liner from harmful UV rays. Finally, rocks and gravel give beneficial microorganisms a place to grow.

Take these guidelines into consideration, and then enjoy choosing the color, texture and shape of stones that appeal to you and your customer.

For more information, read The Artistry of Stone.


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