Rocking Your Landscape: The Best Rocks for Landscaping

by | Apr 30, 2020 | Blog

There are a million different things that go on during a landscaping project, whether it’s for a small residential backyard, or a large commercial establishment. From plants, to patios, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in all the details.

Not to scare you off of an already daunting task, but here’s one more thing that you need to consider for a beautiful, seamless, and functional landscape- rocks. Yes, rocks. The kinds of rock you incorporate in your landscape affect the style, functionality, and appeal of your backyard.

There’s no need to worry, however. We are here to guide you on choosing the best and most suitable rocks for your landscaping needs. Here are the different types of landscaping rocks, and how each one works for you:


Types of landscaping rocks


Large stones

When we say large stones, these are rocks with a diameter ranging from a couple of inches to a foot long. These rocks are both decorative and functional- they draw the eyes in, which makes them strong focal points, especially when placed among plants and water features. Large stones can also create natural barriers for the edge of your lawn, driveway, or garden.


River rock

These ones range from about an inch to six inches in diameter, and are round in shape. River rocks make for a great looking dry river bed that can serve as a garden path, or as mulch for heat loving plants and shrubs. They can also be utilized as loose drains, or as simple decorative elements around your backyard.



There are two types of gravel that you can use for landscaping- crushed gravel and pea gravel. Both are roughly an eighth to a fourth of an inch in diameter. Crushed gravel is roughly edged perfect for driveways and drains, while pea gravel resembles small and smooth pebbles, which is best for decorative purposes, natural pathways, and mulch. Plus, these also come in many different shades of white and brown.


Lava rock

If you want something more interesting, vibrant, and unusual, lava rock may be the perfect answer, especially if you have a dessert type landscape to fit the bill. This type of rock comes in bright red, is rough to the touch, and is perfect for driveways, easements, and around cacti and succulents. Plus, it works wonders in managing temperatures for dry climates.



This one is quite different from the rest, as these rocks are mostly flat surfaced with wide faces. With these properties in mind, flagstones make for the best landscaping rocks to use for hardscapes, such as pathways, steps, patios, and retaining walls. When installed over a bed of sand, these rocks are stable, and offer good drainage.


Decomposed granite

Down to our smallest option for landscaping rocks, we have decomposed granite, which is quite like sand in terms of texture, but is more reddish brown in appearance. It creates for that “fall all year round” look, while being just the right touch of rustic. It’s also a nice and affordable option for creating garden paths and ground covers, and looks fantastic around trees.


Tips to remember

The color, shape, and size of the rocks you use will affect the overall look of your landscape, as well as how functional it can be.

Sleeker colors make for a modern and elegant landscape, while bolder and more vibrant colors create a charming rustic appeal. Rough edged rocks, while natural looking, are not suitable for walking paths or near kids’ playgrounds.

In terms of size, bigger rocks are more attention grabbing and serve as decorative pieces on their own, while smaller rocks work better as replacement for mulch in serving as a natural weed barrier. Combining different sizes and rock types make for a natural looking landscape, not to mention a more stable and compact one when you are making pathways and retaining walls.

Choosing the best types of rock for your landscaping needs doesn’t have to be a difficult task. As long as you know your budget range, the style you are going for, and what purposes you want the rocks to serve, you are well on your way to picking out the best rocks for your backyard.


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