Landscaping Rocks

How to Choose The Best Landscaping Rocks?

There are certain points to consider when choosing landscaping rocks, like their types, function, your home’s style, and the balance of your landscape. Edenapp explains all these reasons in this article, along with reasons you should choose to install landscaping rocks.

Landscaping rocks enhance the look of any landscape they are installed in. They add depth, character and personality to a landscape, turning a monotonous outdoor space into a visually interesting one. However, there are many different types of landscaping rocks available like pea gravel, river rocks, large boulders, etc., and this can make it overwhelming to choose the right type. Edenapp shares four tips on how to choose the best landscaping rocks below.

1. Research the Different Types of Landscaping Rocks Available

There are many different types of landscaping rocks available in the market, and it is essential that you research all of them properly to choose the best rocks according to your needs and preferences. 

They are small landscaping stones like river rock and pea gravel and large rocks like boulders, flagstone, and cobblestone. Even within these categories, there are various colors and textures available. Having proper knowledge of the types of landscaping will also help you choose the type that fits your budget.

River Rock

2. Determine the Function You Want the Landscaping Rocks to Serve

You need to decide what function the landscaping rocks would be serving before you purchase them. If you want to design a walkway with landscaping stone, you should choose the stones that are easy to walk on, like pebbles or river rock; gravel will not be a good choice for this purpose as they are rough and sharp.

If you want to layer your fire pit with landscaping stones, you need to choose stones that can handle the high temperature inside the fire pit, like lava rocks. River rock or pea gravel will not be a good choice for this purpose.

Therefore, create a design plan for the areas you want to install landscaping stones so that you can choose the ones that will serve the function you are installing them for.

3. Ensure the Rocks Complement Your Home Style

Your landscape is an extension of your home. Therefore, it is important that the design of your landscape complements your home style and does not clash with it. The point of installing landscaping stones is to enhance the aesthetics of your property and not reduce it.

For example, if you have a modern-style house with a sleek design and clean lines, choose landscaping stones like flagstone in cool shades of gray or other muted colors. If you choose multi-colored river rocks for the walkways of a modern-style property, they will stick out like a sore thumb.

4. Aim to Create a Balance

Landscaping rocks, as previously mentioned, are installed to uplift the look of your outdoor space. This is accomplished when you install a variety of rocks in your landscape instead of spreading one type of rock in all the areas.

Aim to create a balance of sizes, textures, and colors with the type of landscaping rocks you choose. If you are choosing to install small, smooth pebbles in your walkways, then you can install large boulders for a waterfall or a focal point. If you have a fire pit, you can choose to install pavers around it for a seating area.

If you install only one type of rock everywhere, it makes the landscape visually less interesting. But including different types of landscaping rocks adds depth and character to your outdoor space. 

Types of Landscaping Stones

There are three types of landscape stones available to choose from for yards and lawns. Let’s check them as given below.

1. Small Landscaping Stones – These are also known as gravel and are found in two types: 

  • Crushed gravel – As the name suggests, this type of gravel comprises crushed stones per your choice. You can find it in different colors.  
  • Pea Gravel –  These are naturally processed (weathered) and thus remain smooth, round and soft to touch. They are found in different colors and are pea-sized.

Pea Gravel

2. Medium Landscaping Stones – These are bigger when compared to gravel (around 1-2 inches). These come in the following types: 

  • River rock – These are naturally processed or weathered and are smooth and round. They are found in different colors. 
  • Lava Rock – The name suggests a volcanic rock recovered from dead volcanoes. These are lightweight and rough and have a volcanic appearance. They are found in black, gray or reddish-brown colors. 
  • Crushed stone – These are rough-edged and angular rocks created by crushing stone to your preferred decreased size. You can find them in different colors, aesthetics and sizes.

3. Large Landscaping Stones – These are found in the following types: 

  • Boulders – These are big-sized, naturally processed rocks. These are primarily used for structural and decorative purposes in landscape design. 
  • Flagstone – These are flat pieces of natural stone used as stepping stones or for any stone pathways. These are known to have rough edges and irregular shapes and are found in various colors, sizes, and types.
  • Outcropping – These are available in large slabs or naturally processed quarried rock. They are primarily used for decorative purposes or stone walls with several steps added to the landscape design.

Choosing Landscaping Stones According to Home Style

As mentioned above, it is essential to choose landscaping rocks that complement the existing style of your house to ensure that the entire property creates a complete picture without clashing elements. Edenapp explains what kind of rocks you should choose for different house styles in this section.

1. Landscaping Stone for Traditional Design 

If you have an older-style property in an area that was established a few decades ago, traditional-style rocks like Aztec stones and river rocks will complement it the best. You can find these rocks mostly available in traditional shades of brown with slight color variations that can help make the blend appear beautiful. 

Traditional design projects can easily incorporate numerous rock sizes, including mixing the large landscaping rocks with gravel and pebbles. It can help add exciting texture and contrast to the landscape without clashing with the existing style to achieve your design vision. 

2. Landscaping Stone for Modern Design

If you have a modern property built in the contemporary style, then you can choose to install the landscaping rocks that are currently trending. One such style is using crushed white marble chips. They are bright and luminous and will look stunning with the clean lines of the contemporary design style in the background without sticking out in a bad way.

Another modern style for landscaping rocks is outlining a pathway with two contrasting colors of landscaping stones. This can be done with crushed granite or any multicolored gravel options.

3. Landscaping Stones for the Timeless Design 

If your property has an ageless look, then the landscaping stones you install should also be something that will not go out of style in three years. The best choice of landscaping stones for a timeless design are ones that have natural colors, which range from tan to brown and river rocks. 

Crushed granite and Aztec can also be used to create a look that will remain relevant no matter which landscaping trend is hot at the moment.

Choosing Landscaping Stones According to Their Use

It is essential to choose landscaping stones according to the purpose you want to fulfill using them. Edenapp explains the type of landscaping rocks you need to choose according to where you will be installing them in this section.

1. Landscaping Stone for Walkways, Paths, and Stepping Stones

Using landscaping stones for walkways, paths, and stepping stones is a great option to create a gorgeous and layered look in your yard. You can find many flat and large natural stones for this option, like slate and flagstone.

You can also use smaller rocks like beach pebbles for creating gravel walkways. The crunch under the feet when you walk over them creates a happy and satisfying experience. Additionally, these types of landscaping stones are gentle on dogs’ paws. 

2. Rock as Mulch Ground Cover

Organic mulch like wood chips and bark are the traditional choices for mulch. While these serve the purpose for which you install them, over time, they decay and disintegrate. This makes the yard look untidy and puts plants at risk of disease. 

This is where stone mulch comes in. Landscaping rocks provide you an option for mulch that won’t decay or lose its color or quality with time. Thus, landscaping stones as mulch saves you time, money, and effort.

Large landscaping stones are a better choice if you want good drainage, but they confine the type of plants you can employ. If you are using large stone mulch, it is always good to place them on beds with tall plants that have solid stems. 

Using small stones as mulch helps manage weeds better and widens your plant palette. It is important to remember that small stones slow down the soil drainage and retains soil moisture instead.

3. Stone for Fire Pits

You can construct aesthetically pleasing fire pits using landscaping rocks, but you need to remember that not all kinds of rocks can be used in and around fire pits. Rocks like gravel, river rocks, sandstone and limestone should not be used to construct a fire pit as they will explode in the heat.

The best landscaping stone options for in and around fire pits are hard rocks like granite and marble or fire-safe stones like lava rocks, lava glass and fire-rated bricks.

Stone for Fire Pits

4. Rock for Garden Ponds

If you have a water feature in your yard, then you can use landscaping rocks to enhance the aesthetics of the water feature. You can place small landscaping stones at the bottom of the creek or pond or use large rocks to create a waterfall or a fountain. River rocks can also be placed where water is trickling down to fill your yard with the soothing sound of water flowing over rocks.

Why Choose Landscaping Stones?

Landscaping stones have many benefits and uses and can enhance the aesthetics of any landscape. Edenapp lists all the reasons why you should install landscaping stones below.

  • Developing focal points – Landscaping stones help create focal points in your yard, which in turn helps create an ordered harmony in the landscape.
  • Low maintenance proposition – Landscaping stones require minimal maintenance. Regardless of the stone you choose, all you have to do is to install them in the right place and then wash them with water from time to time to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Enjoy natural pathways – Choosing to install landscaping stones in your space is the best way to create colorful natural paths in the front and backyard.
  • Mulch alternative – Organic mulch has a couple of issues, including giving an untidy look when it breaks down and getting washed away in the rain. Installing landscaping rocks as an alternative to organic mulch helps give a clean and polished look to the yard.
  • Variety – Landscaping rocks come in various sizes, colors, and textures, and this gives you various options to choose from to enhance your landscape according to your preference.
  • No need for mowing – If you are using rocks in your yard, they can easily replace some of the lawn areas. This helps save your efforts, time, and money as you don’t have to mow a large lawn area anymore.

In conclusion, landscaping rocks remain an exciting element of garden design. These are used in different spaces within your property. There is no shortage of opportunities to install landscaping rocks from your yard to the driveway and sidewalks.