Setting accent boulders?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by snap12.5, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. snap12.5

    snap12.5 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 288

    Are any of you guys experts in setting accent boulders?
    Any pictures or techniques in setting them that you could share?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Having a tractor, skidsteer or a mini-ex helps.

    One time I was doing some irrigation work at a new landscape install and the landscaper (young girl in her twenties) was really struggling to move a boulder.

    Eventually she gave up and decided it looked good where she dropped it. :laugh:
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Get a good idea for what you consider the face or presentation side of the boulder view it from different angles coming to the door and walking away from the door. They should be buried by 1/3, dig the hole deeper than you need then back fill it, it will be easier to wiggle back and forth to get the right angle this way. Use wood levers to move them around metal bars will scuff up the boulders. Have scrap carpet on hand when moving on dollies or skid steers cranes etc. to protect boulders. You can also move them Egyptian style on lodge poles and flat ground or from one end of the trailer to the other. Always have lots of labor on hand, setting boulders is very dangerous, charge enough for the risk.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    This is critical since you want boulders to look as part of the scene instead of just being dumped on top of the ground.
  5. snap12.5

    snap12.5 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 288

    Thanks for the replies.

    Also a big part of it is setting them in groupings. I have definately had the best of luck setting flatter/ledge boulders as accents. Round boulders set as accents are difficult to make look natural.

    Now when setting flatter accent boulders do u guys usually set them into a small slope? ...therefore having the back of the boulder against the dirt and exposing only the top and front of it?

    And one last thing...what is the largest (in size and weight) sandstone boulder that 2 guys with a dolley can move?


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    You could crush the boulder, carry it to the spot in a wheel barrow and then crazy glue all the pieces together again.....:):)

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