When it comes to landscape your yard, there are wide ranges of options. But most of the traditional landscaping options need consistent care and maintenance.
As time goes by, the traditional garden and its required maintenance start to lose its appeal. This is where you have to use landscaping rocks to give your lawn a fresh modern look without needing to spend a fortune on it.
You can use rocks regardless of how much space you have. Rock has been traditionally used to build houses and castles.
This post has looked into several common questions people have regarding using rocks for landscaping purposes. We have also included 25 rock landscaping ideas for your inspiration.
Let’s get started
Are rocks good for landscaping?
Rocks are a great low maintenance option for landscaping. There are several designs and practical use of stones. The most popular is to use it as a ground cover or support feature wall.
There are several types and designs of rocks available. You can use stones for ground covers of your lawn, backyard, and patios.
Gravel, natural stones, and crushed pebbles are some popular choices. Here are some reasons to use rocks for landscaping.
As there are several good reasons to use rocks for landscaping, you should also know when you shouldn't use them for landscaping. Rocks are heavy and sink in the soil.
You can always use smaller and lighter rock where you want the ground not to sink. Rocks are also a good sunlight absorbent and reflect heat off from exposed surfaces.
Using excessive landscaping rocks at hot places could make the temperature around your home rise up. But you can always plant larger shade trees to keep them from heating.
What are the different types of landscaping rocks?
When it comes to landscape design using rocks, several different options are available depending on the stone’s source and size. Here is a list of different types of rocks that you can use for landscaping.
Pea Size Rock pebbles
These are small-sized landscape rock, usually 2 inches to 3 inches in diameter, and different colors from white to brown. These are used as decorative pebbles sourced from the river beds. These are very smooth and have a rounded appearance.
You can use it for garden pathways, decorative steps, or even indoor designs. When used outdoor, it helps soil retain moisture and prevents erosion.
These are small-sized granite landscaping rock that provides a perfect addition to landscapes, gardens, and potted plants.
It looks very natural to use it along the edges of garden pathways for a nice blend between plants and rocks.
Brick chips are long-lasting and have a reddish hue that makes them suitable for low maintenance landscaping. The brick chips are made by crushing the bricks in a machine and have different sizes available.
When using outdoor, you can use it with heavy-duty landscape fabric that prevents the soil from sinking and reduces the yard’s weed growth. These are great to use in driveways or creating garden pathways.
Decomposed granite is a combination of smaller granite rocks and silt. It’s called decomposed granite due to its weathered look and presence of mud with stones. These are very loose that makes them great to use on paths or patios.
You can mix it with other types of rock for added stability to the construction. You can use it to place it around flower beds that blend perfectly and reduce soil erosion.
Lava rock has a very bright red, black, and grey color appearance that makes it ideal to use on driveways and pathways. It has a coarse texture and a bit rough to walk on it without shoes.
Lava rocks are very porous and lightweight. It allows water to flow them without obstruction and retains moisture. You can use it around the pond and other waterfall type design landscape.
It’s an excellent barrier against weeds and bugs and available in a variety of sizes. Here is a chart for rock size that you can pick depending on your needs.
Extra Small Rocks
Less than 0.75 inch
0.75 - 1.5 inch
1.5 - 2.5 inch
2.5 - 6 inch
Extra Large Rocks
More than 6 inch
Flagstones are large size rocks, cut and ground for a smoother appearance. These are used for stepping stones and pathways.
You can lay down flagstones on top of a sandy surface to add stability to the surface. For a permanent structure, you can bond it with cement to last it long.
What to put under rocks to prevent weeds?
Landscape fabric or small ground covering of decomposing granite establishes a barrier between the weed and soil and prevents weed from growing.
There are several types of weed barrier that can be used under rocks. You can rake any existing gravel or dirt from the surface and install landscape fabric or plastic as underlayment.
You should remove weeds from the ground before putting the landscape fabric layer on the top. You can roll it around the bushes and place a lava rock layer or chipped granite for aesthetic purposes.
To hold the fabric to the ground, you can use bulkier, more giant rocks at a distance.
Where can you collect landscaping rocks on public land?
If you’re in the United States, you can look at the designated “common use” areas or “community pits” as determined by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to collect landscaping rocks for non-commercial or small-scale collection.
You may need a permit if you need more than what you can reasonably take in a bag. You get issued specific use permit or mineral material permits that may allow hand loading or excavating.
The other place to gather rocks is new construction sites where the builder often has to remove the ground and rocks underneath it. Be sure to ask for permission from the person responsible to avoid any trouble.
25 Landscaping Rock Ideas
Do you need some inspiration to get started with your landscape design? Check out our list of favorite rock designs to get started.
1. Rocky Stone Patio
The use of rocks around the sitting areas and the ground creates a landscape separation between plants and patio.
You can place a couple of chairs and sit under the shade of a tree. The use of tiles for pathways and a large slab as a sitting place can hold several guests at your home.
2. Granite made pathways
This is an adorable landscaping design pathway using granite. Each granite block of different sizes and textures create an appealing route to follow.
These pathways are easier to maintain and create a separation between the garden soil and the walking trails.
3. Rock and Gravel Pathway
The lovely blend of river rocks and granite slabs for the pathway is impressive to look at. The differing path design looks excellent and unique. The curved path adds some design elements to the landscape.
This looks far better than a plain blend of cement made pathways that often get cracked or have the problem of weeds growing underneath them.
4. Night Light Pathway
Here is another straightforward way to change your pathway using stones. The nicely laid out rocks and the floor make it smooth to walk. The stone edges give you nice tracking while walking or driving through it.
The night light bulbs embedded in stone makes it easier to use pathways even at night. The granite wall looks good, separating the green bushes behind. You can get creative to experiment with a different type of landscape.
5. Large Rocky Pond
A backyard pond is a great attraction for visitors and homeowners alike. Pond made of heavy boulders and stone pathways gives you a natural feel.
If you have a bigger backyard and some money to spend, choosing this design is the best option.
Tip: you should always release a couple of koi fish in the pond to keep it naturally clean.
6. Dry Creek Bed
This is an excellent design for people looking for a classic feel. You can place a wide variety of rocky boulders in the middle, like water flowing through it.
Spread small gravels around it to give the appearance of sand. The use of gravel is less expensive than a more tailored option as it’s easy to spread and can be leveled out with a rake.
7. Gravel made inexpensive patio
Here is another excellent use of cheap gravel rocks for landscaping. You can use it where you have lots of dirt that you don’t want to handle.
Dirty and dry ground patches look unsightly and hard to maintain when it rains. You can pour concrete, but that is expensive. The cheaper alternative is to use gravel for pathways that give you a much more tailored option.
8. Rocky Outdoor Space
Using rocks and tiles in a sitting area is an inexpensive way to bring some color to your yard.
You can lay down stones of a different color to add some pattern to your pathways. Install a green sod and keep it nicely trimmed that look lovely on their own.
9. Big Rocky Look
Do you want your home to stand out on its own with a rock garden type looks?
If that’s the case, then check out this Asian garden design idea. The big rocks around the corner give a distinct look. You can add granite made pathways and steps.
Stone stairs are the best option because they're tough and last long. You can also put different plants and trees around to give some feature look to your garden.
10. Small river rock design
If you want your pathway to not look like any other, you can arrange these in your personal design choice. These rocks will retain the color and texture for a long time to come.
Arranging these small river rocks is labor-intensive work, but the result speaks for itself after you have finished it.
11. Paving Pathways
Do you have some narrow garden side areas that you want to know what to do with it? What about something a little extraordinary?
Instead of laying down the grass, you can add natural rocks as pathways and mix it with small pebbles to give an appearance of water flowing through it.
The shrubs around the garden add variety and green color to the area. Keeping stones at a medium-size will add symmetry to your landscape.
12. Landscape Boulders Made Pond
A private pond is a sight worth to maintain. Have large rocks lay around the stairs, and the boulder arranged on top of each other.
It looks unique and gives a natural appearance to the pond. You can also place small lights around the pathways to make it safe to walk at night.
Keeping the flat rock at the top can polish the design while also giving space to sit and enjoy water flowing into the pool.
13. Small gravel path walkout to a hillside
What would be more beautiful than turning a hillside yard into a lovely small gravel pathway?
If you want a low-maintenance option, add rocks and gravel with a mulch covering the rest of the ground area. The split pathway design allows you to walk dry even when it rains.
14. Using rocky stairs to your yard
Don’t want to use wooden or cement made stairs to your yard? Try using rocks instead. This will give your hillside yard a nice look.
The medium-sized rocks arranged to hold the soil and the flat granite slab add a nice touch to the landscape.
To add some color to your landscape, you can plant flower plants around the stones. These plants also hold the soil to prevent erosion.
15. Gravel and Rock Pathway
There is no doubt that landscaping pathways requires more effort than other areas of the garden. That doesn’t mean pathway landscaping can’t be exciting.
A layer of brick and rocky gravels on the side gives the perfect opportunity to fabricate a beautiful scene out of a flat pathway.
16. Rocky wall and stone steps
You can make a nice-looking scene with big rocks arranged nicely to stop soil from falling. It gives you a natural look that will blow your mind.
You can place chairs to sit around and relax. The small step made of rock blends entirely to the theme of a hilly area.
17. Ultimate Rocky Fireplace
If you need some inspiration to build an outdoor fireplace, then consider this. You can use granite rocks and brick stones to build a fireplace.
Place a couple of chairs around it, and it becomes a perfect gathering place for your family and friends.
18. Rock stomp
When it comes to landscaping with rocks, there is no shortage of ideas. The design choice you pursue depends entirely on your taste and imagination.
Using rocks for design gives you so many options that you can't go wrong anyway. Merely placing stone vertically with a spread of river rocks and a cluster of red flowers at the border gives a nice appearance for your yard.
19. Inspiring Rock Waters Pond
No one likes to look at the bland-looking pond. How about Zen out your landscape design further that becomes worthwhile to look into.
Place a rock around the pond to give a natural look to your yard. You don’t have to take the above design choice to be granted. You can further enhance the look by placing raised garden bed flowers to refine the design further.
20. Modern Rocky Wall
It’s part of everyone’s dream to have a beautiful, perfectly landscaped home. If you're not much into plants or having grass on your lawn, what about doing something minimalistic.
River rocks arranged as a wall and fenced together with a net give your landscape a lovely appearance. You can plant flowers or other ornamental plants to let them bloom on the rocky soil surface.
Get creative when it comes to fun designing your yard.
21. Artistic Stony Pathway
There are so many options when it comes to design pathways using stones. Lay down stones and rocks in a curved path for a low-maintenance garden.
A stone path to go to your backyard enhances your garden’s look while creating a unique mesmerizing view of the home.
22. Rock and Fire
You may have visited stone-themed parks where the pathways are made of stone trails and arranged like stairs. These look great for a home with a large backyard.
You don’t have to settle for simple looking backyard anyway. Place the fireplace between and bring your marshmallow to spend the weekend in your backyard with friends and family.
23. Rocky Pool
Another rocky theme pool that you can build around your backyard. The small waterfall feature from rocks is mesmerizing and gives the appearance of natural bliss in your backyard.
You can plant larger, bigger trees around the pool to give a refreshing look to your home and attract birds as well. Nothing can be more beautiful than this.
24. Lavishing Rocky Frontyard
A crossway at the front of your garden can look very scintillating. It adds a special effect to your home front. You can place rocks on your garden bed and plant flower and other bushes around it.
It increases your home’s side appeal and lets visitors stop by and appreciate how beautiful your lawn looks.
25. Spacious Rocky Path
Do you like something simple but elegant with natural beauty? The rock steps can be very appealing. These give you easy access to the home.
You also need to set up it once and enjoy for the long time the hassle-free stone patio view in your backyard.
Who said rocks couldn’t add beauty to your home? You need an idea and access to stones to get the feel of a modern-looking landscaping design.
Best Landscaping Rocks for sale
As now you have seen what can be done with rocks and the types of landscaping design ideas with stones, let’s check out some decorative rocks that you can buy to get started.
#1. Emsco Group Landscape Artificial Rock
The rock has a natural stone appearance and comes in a different color. It’s lightweight and easy to move.
This is an artificial rock that you may use to hide electrical boxes’ water pumps for your pond. The polymer made rocks have two stakes included to anchor them for installation while keeping them stable on the ground.
See More Information about: Emsco Group Landscape Artificial Rock
#2. Mexican Beach Pebbles
These are 100% natural rocks handpicked from the shores of Baja, California. These are smooth round pebbles that come in different colors and are used for rock landscaping. It helps retain moisture in the soil and prevent erosion.
See More Information about: Mexican Beach Pebbles
#3. Mighty Grey Pea Gravel
If you need something in uniform muted color flat rocks, Mighty Grey Pea Gravel is a great option. It comes in color tones of gray, blue, tanks and while that complements almost every landscape.
It’s great to use as decorative ground cover, pathways, ponds, and more. The gravels are small and sharp that makes them great to use in drainage and aquarium.
See More Information about: Mighty Grey Pea Gravel
#5. Spectrastone Shallow Creek for Aquarium
Small rocks in your aquarium is a great option to add some design element indoors. It doesn't affect water pH that keeps fish healthy. This is very fine gravel, a lot smaller than regular fish aquarium gravel.
See More Information about: Spectrastone Shallow Creek for Aquarium
#5. Decorative Stones and Gravel for Landscaping
If you want to order some rocks for landscape makeover without spending too much money, consider ordering it from here. You can order stones that are 20 pounds to 2000 pounds, enough for a small landscaping project.
The rocks are in a different size range from 3/8 inch to over 12 inches in diameter. These are a great addition to drought-resistant gardens that won’t require much maintenance.
See More Information about: Decorative Stones and Gravel for Landscaping
Over to you
Landscaping rocks is an excellent material to use for any garden design projects. These are sustainable and low maintenance option for gardens and outdoor space.
It may be a bit costly to install it first, but it’s a far cheaper landscaping option in the long run. Unlike other landscaping options such as grass, mulch, and ground cover plants, it can last several years without further care.
You can always add a weed barrier and cover the ground with landscape rock to let your garden stay precisely how you designed it for several years to come.
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