Rock elements are a big feature when landscaping, and can do a lot for an outdoor space. Adding small rocks for decorative touches and placing huge boulders to backdrop a water feature are a couple of uses; but what about fake rocks? Can using fake rocks benefit a gardener or landscaper in anyway, or should real rocks and boulders win out every time? Whether or not to use fake rocks depends a lot on what the rock elements are to be used for; under the right circumstances, fake beats real every time.
When using fake rocks in your landscaping, one question you should ask is, “how fake do I want this rock to look?” You might think that wanting the rock to look fake is counter productive; and you would be mostly correct. However there are certain uses that will make the rock’s artificial nature unavoidably obvious. When using fake rocks you can so things that would be difficult, if not impossible, with real rocks. Adding lighting features inside the rock, for example, can produce beautiful thematic effects, but will certainly call attention to the fakery. If the over all effect makes this observation a small matter, then you needed be concerned.
Arguably the best use for fake rock is to cover unsightly elements of the yard that can’t be removed or otherwise hidden from view. A water valve, an electric control box, exposed piping, and a water main cover are all examples of eyesores that cleverly shaped fake rocks could cover, turning a headache into a treat for the eyes.
Another popular use for fake rock is their addition to water features. Real rock is often used, especially large boulders to frame and give character to a pond or fountain. However, real rock can be impossible to use when considering special features. With fake rocks, the rock can be shaped to provide a cover for the workings of a fountain, resulting in a stream of water that shoots majestically from an imposing boulder, or perhaps bubbles serenely from the center of a flat, smooth rock surface.
As in all elements of landscaping, having a plan will give you the best benefit from fake rocks. Lighter than most real rocks, and sometimes cheaper, the fake variety could give you the budgetary edge you need to complete your project. At the very least you could add a fake rock or two to provide the flexibility you couldn’t get from the real, helping you to fine tune your space to fit your goals.