Rocking Your Landscape Design: Common Rocks And Their Less Common Uses

landscaping rocksA home’s resale value can be increased by 14% when there is quality landscaping on the property. A single yard’s landscaping can include dirt, trees, plants, water features, and more. Rocks can be used in nearly every part of a yard’s landscaping, and many companies offer a wide range of landscaping rocks that can be used in a variety of fun ways.


Types of Landscaping Rocks

Oftentimes, rocks just look like rocks. But in the world of landscaping, each type of rock has unique features that make it especially suited for certain purposes.

  • Pea Gravel: This is a small type of rock that is also referred to as beach couples, river pebbles, or pete gravel. Over time, these tiny rocks are worn smooth by wind and water, giving them an attractive finish. Pea gravel comes in a wide range of colors, enhancing its visual appeal and making it an ideal material for ground covering.


  • Lava Rock: Actually mined from volcanic lava domes, lava rock mostly comes from the American southwest. It is typically reddish in color, but can be almost all black and is considered to be one of the most versatile landscaping rocks. Many homeowners in the southwest who are not able to grow grass will fill their yard with lava rock, and other landscapers use it as an attractive ground cover.


  • River Rock: Similar to the polished style of pea gravel, river rock is smooth and shiny from being worn by water currents. These rocks also come in a variety of colors, mostly shades of blue, gray, and beige that you find naturally on the shores of a river or lake. River rock is often used to make rock paths in landscaping or as a dry creek bed.


  • Boulders: Boulders can be used as visual anchor points in your overall landscape design. As large, irregularly-sized chunks of rock, boulders make a statement in whatever yard they’re in. You can create a boulder patch in a bare grass area, or use them as a sturdy barrier around your above-ground pool.


Uses For Landscaping Rocks

Most variations of landscaping rocks can be used for ground cover. Beyond that, there are a few, more unique ways you can use landscaping rocks in your yard.

  • Potted Pebble Mulch: Instead of using only potting soil, use river rocks or pea gravel to add a more natural element on top of the plant and its dirt.


  • Walkways and Paths: Save money on pouring concrete by making a walkway of lava rock, river rock, or a mix of both.


  • Mosaics: Mosaic stone surfaces are a great way to decorate spaces like swimming pools, patios, interior floors, backsplashes, or walls.

When you’re looking to add interest to your landscape design but are tired of the standard bagged mulch and fill dirt, consider changing it up by adding landscaping rocks.