Boulders and Natural Stone
Landscape ideas for Rochester NY homeowners
Boulders & natural stone
Add impact to any landscape project
Hi, my name is Bill Carr, owner of Woodstream Landscape Inc. I am a NYSNLA landscape Designer in Rochester NY. We design and install high quality Landscape projects throughout Monroe County.
The information on this entire site is based on my formal education in Landscape Architecture combined with over 25 years of professional experience, designing inground pools and backyard living environments in Rochester, NY and Hilton Head, SC.
- To see some of our Rochester area projects that include Boulders or natural stone Jump below to our portfolio of natural stone & Boulders.
- Or jump to here If you want some quick tips on how to properly use boulders in landscape composition.
More information on this website
Our website has landscaping information and plenty of ‘real world’ pictures from our Rochester area landscape projects.
Some pages found on this website include information on:
- Learn more about Front yard Landscaping & see some leading University studies on the impact curb appeal has on your Home’s value and your projects cost recovery.
- See Pictures & information on how we can help you re-design & renovate your existing Front yard to create curb appeal and increase your Home’s value.
- Visit here, if you are considering having a design done for your landscape project, but want to learn more about the typical process.
The 'Real Value' benefits of using boulders in landscaping.
At Woodstream Landscape we use natural stone in many of our projects. The use of natural stone creates a timeless “Authenticity” that no other material can match.
Due to the overall weight and the cost of obtaining, transporting, and placing boulders, they may seem like an expensive addition. However, the “look” and impact is worth the extra expense.
If you do it right, there are benefits to using boulders in your landscape other than just aesthetics. There are also some ‘Real Dollar Benefits’ to using boulders in a landscape composition, including:
- Because they boost the overall look of a well done design, they can pretty much pay for themselves with the increased ROI. Read more about how your landscape design influences perceived home value.
- Another benefit that will offset some of your initial cost is the fact that “Boulder Accents” will replace some of the plants needed in a landscape composition. So you will save on plants right from the beginning.
- AND over time, you will save on Maintenance (time or cost) because once they are in, you literally never have to touch them ever again.
How to use Boulders
- Use large enough boulders to achieve proper ‘scale’, otherwise it will…just look wrong.
- “Plant” your boulder: Always bury your boulders a few inches at least. You don’t want it to look like it ‘landed’ there, It should seem like part of a larger outcrop that has yet to be exposed.
- Group Boulders: It’s rare to find just one boulder by itself in nature. They tend to exist in groups of varying shapes and sizes.
- Also, use the same type of stone: In nature you would find a group of stones linked by the same parent material.
- Light boulders at night as part of an outdoor lighting display….a softer wash light will emphasize the natural ‘texture’.
- Work plantings in tight to achieve a natural look. This technique can also add ‘scale’ by creating the ‘perception’ that the boulder is larger than it really is.
“…..Using the right type of natural stone, you can create a timeless look, right from the start……”
Natural stone for Landscape Renovation
Add timeless impact to any project
Natural flagstone gives a project a timeless look of quality and is unrivaled in the way it looks, lasts, and resists fading. It used to be very expensive (material wise and labor wise) to install flagstone.
We now can use Thermal Gauged Flagstone which is cut stone that is gauged to provide a consistent thickness. It saves money because it is less labor intensive to install than old fashioned natural cleft flagstone.
More about renovating an existing landscape
Check out our pages relating to re-landscaping your Front yard:
- See Pictures & information on how we can help you re-design & renovate your existing yard to create curb appeal and increase your Home’s value.
Improving your home's curb appeal by Renovating your existing landscape can pay for itself, in most cases.
Here are a couple of links to some informative university studies on the relationship between Landscaping and Home Value:
Natural Stone for outdoor living areas
Boulders and Natural Stone are great for creating a very natural and relaxed ‘feel’ to your outdoor living area project.
We often create unique backyard living space using a type of “Adirondack Style”, which has a European ‘lean’ as far as organization and underlying framework, but is influenced by the native Adirondack landscape & scenery.
This “Refined Natural” blends better than a true native landscape in typical neighborhoods. It’s also very easy to maintain and we find that it’s easier to ‘read’ for most homeowners.
Check out our these pages relating to landscaping your backyard:
- See Pictures & information on how we can help you design your entire backyard and inground pool project.
Water feature Mistakes
common mistakes and a few tips for creating a natural looking water features:
- Don’t overuse flat stone.
- Don’t use perfectly smooth round boulders to create water features, especially the rock outside the basin.
- Create the proper ‘scale’ by using some larger individual rocks, or group & bury rocks to create perception of larger rock.
- Don’t use rock that is all pretty much the same size.
- Integrate “softscape” or plantings into the project to create age, authenticity, contrast and even influence ‘scale’.
- Use more natural plantings
- Use plants that are “NOT Perfect” to help create authenticity
- Once Again……………….Don’t overuse flat stone !!
Natural boulders can be used in place of man made blocks to create retaining walls. They are much longer lasting and add a natural ambience to your project. We directly source this material creating a cost effective solution for retaining walls and grade changes.
“Natural Stone can add Authenticity to a landscape project.”
we can help you design your space
Why are our projects always so different? Partially it’s the quality of the materials we use and the care we take in our installations, but mostly it is about creative and thoughtful design.
The right design will maximize the overall function and appeal of your entire property. It helps clarify your expectations, establish your budget and helps you to visualize and prioritize multi-phase enhancements.
Extensive time and detail is put into these plans so that your landscape will continue to add curb appeal, function & increased Home Value, Not maintenance and frustration.
It is for this reason we charge a fee for design work, which is around $200-$400 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most front or backyard landscape Projects.
Backyards that include a Pool run about $395 Total due to the extra time involved, such as measuring and laying out grades, drainage, setbacks etc.
Visit our home page to for information on 6 University studies which show impact of curb appeal and front landscaping on home value.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Reach out.
Landscape Design : Questions and Answers
Around $250 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most Frontyard landscape Projects. We do offer 3D renderings for about $200 – $300 extra, but it’s more for visualization and not critical for planning and layout of the project.
Around $295 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most backyard landscape Projects. We do offer 3D renderings for about $200 – $300 extra, but it’s more for visualization and not critical for planning and layout of the project.
$395 for a traditional 2D architectural plan which is what is used for planning and layout of the pool and surrounding spaces for your project.
You choose the pool builder. They will install the pool, including backfill, rough grading and fence.
On projects where we are doing some of the installation work (like landscaping)….. we lay out fencing and concrete so it gets done according to plan.
We actually will be working for you. We manage a project with your best interests in mind. With that said, we work with whoever you choose as your pool builder.
We do Planting, Landscaping & Hardscapes installs, (other than concrete). We will provide estimates for any of that work. We don’t accept every install, usually depends on our backlog.
No problem! As long as we are doing some of the other work (like Landscaping) I will layout the design for the mason to ensure it gets put in according to the plan.
Not at this time. We don’t always ‘take on’ every installation, even if we do the drawing. We’ve instead opted to keep the design fee reasonable in order to keep it “Fair”.
Sometimes, yes. But it depends. More so in winter. Just shoot me an email. The fees will usually be a little higher because there is no installation aspect. I’m pretty familiar with plants in the East down to about zone 8. I worked in Hilton Head, SC. for 7 years.
Woodstream Design & Landscape
Over 25 Years Designing and Building Unique outdoor spaces