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Best Gravel for Landscaping – Top Choices Reviewed

what is the best gravel for landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, adding rock and gravel can provide both appeal and practicality. It can enhance the look of your outdoor space while also saving you money on water and maintenance. In this section, we will review the top choices for landscaping gravel and explore the different types available.

Are you wondering, “What is the best gravel for landscaping?” Look no further! We’ll discuss the various types of gravel for landscaping, including options for your garden, backyard, and driveway. Whether you’re aiming for a decorative look or need gravel that offers functional benefits, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and find the perfect gravel for your landscaping needs!

Top Picks for Landscaping Rock & Gravel

When it comes to landscaping rock and gravel, there are several excellent options to choose from. Each type of gravel brings its own unique features and advantages to enhance the overall look of your landscaping. Whether you want a soft, rustic look or bold, vibrant colors, there is a perfect gravel for your garden, pathways, or hardscapes. Let’s explore some of the top picks for landscaping rock and gravel:

1. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is a popular choice for landscaping as it provides a soft, rustic look. It is a finely crushed rock that creates a natural, textured surface. Decomposed granite is versatile and can be used for pathways, patios, and mulch. Its earthy tones blend seamlessly with garden plants and create a visually appealing aesthetic.

2. Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a versatile option for landscaping. It has small, smooth stones that are perfect for covering driveways and filling spaces between stone pavers. Pea gravel allows for good drainage and is easy to maintain. Its neutral colors complement various garden styles and hardscape designs.

3. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed granite gravel offers a natural look for your yard. It can be used as a transition between garden plants and pathways or as decorative ground cover. The crushed stones provide a stable and durable surface that can withstand foot traffic. With a range of sizes and colors available, crushed granite gravel can be customized to suit your landscaping needs.

4. Lava Rock

Lava rock adds bold colors and an eye-catching element to your landscaping. It is ideal for drier climates as it retains heat and helps with water retention. This type of rock is lightweight and easy to work with. Lava rock is often used to create striking accents or as a mulch alternative.

5. River Rock

River rock is smooth and larger in size, making it a popular choice for garden borders and drainage. Its rounded edges give a polished look to any landscape design. River rock comes in a variety of colors and can be used to create natural-looking water features or pathways.

6. Flagstone and Brick Chips

Flagstone and brick chips are excellent options for creating pathways and hardscapes. Flagstone is a flat and durable stone that adds a unique touch to outdoor spaces. Brick chips, on the other hand, offer a rustic, old-world charm. Both options come in different colors and sizes, giving you creative freedom to design your ideal landscape.

7. Marble Chips

If you’re looking for a sleek and classy touch for your container gardens, marble chips are an ideal choice. These smooth, white stones create an elegant and sophisticated look. Marble chips provide excellent drainage and are low-maintenance, making them perfect for planters and garden beds.

These top picks for landscaping rock and gravel offer a variety of options to suit different preferences and design styles. Whether you’re aiming for a natural, rustic look or a more vibrant and modern aesthetic, you’re sure to find the perfect gravel for your garden or outdoor space.

How to Choose the Right Gravel for Your Landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, choosing the right gravel can make a significant difference in the overall look and functionality of your outdoor space. With a wide variety of options available, it’s essential to consider several factors before making a decision. Here’s a guide to help you select the perfect gravel for your landscaping needs.

Usage and Traffic

First, think about how you intend to use the gravel in your landscaping. Are you looking for a gravel that can handle foot traffic in a backyard or a driveway that can withstand wheel traffic? Certain gravels, like crushed granite or construction gravel, offer stability and durability, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. On the other hand, decorative gravels, such as river jack or Mexican beach pebble, are great for adding aesthetic appeal to low-traffic areas.

Budget and Availability

Consider your budget when choosing gravel for your landscaping project. Different types of gravel can vary in cost, so it’s important to find a balance between quality and affordability. Additionally, check the availability of local gravel options. Choosing a locally sourced gravel can be more cost-effective and easily accessible, saving you both time and money.

Compatibility with Existing Features

If you plan to mix gravel with existing features such as pavers or stone pathways, take into account the color and size of the gravel. Select a gravel color that complements your existing hardscape and garden. For example, if your pavers have warm tones, consider using gravel in a similar color palette. Additionally, choose a size that won’t travel onto your pavers, creating a cohesive and visually appealing look.

Color and Aesthetics

The color of the gravel plays a significant role in the overall aesthetics of your landscaping. Take into consideration the color scheme of your existing outdoor elements, including plants, hardscape, and architectural features. Gravels come in a range of colors, from earthy tones like brown, beige, and gray to bolder options like red or multi-colored varieties. Choose a color that enhances the overall theme and style of your outdoor space.

Specific Purpose

Finally, consider if you have any specific requirements for your gravel. Are you looking for a gravel that provides good drainage or acts as a ground cover in a low-water garden? Some gravels, like pea gravel, offer excellent drainage properties and are suitable for areas where water runoff is a concern. Others, such as decomposed granite, can be used as mulch, ground cover, or even for creating patios and pathways.

By considering these factors – usage, budget, compatibility, color, and purpose – you can make an informed decision and choose the right gravel for your landscaping project. Remember, the perfect gravel option will not only enhance the appearance of your outdoor space but also provide the functionality and durability you need.

Popular Types of Gravel for Landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, choosing the right type of gravel can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your outdoor space. There are several popular types of gravel that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape while serving functional purposes. Let’s explore some of these options:

River Jack

River jack gravel is characterized by its smooth, tumbled stones in earthy tones. It is commonly used as a decorative ground cover due to its natural and rustic appearance. This type of gravel adds texture and visual interest to gardens, pathways, and other landscaped areas.

Mexican Beach Pebble

Mexican beach pebble is known for its smooth and natural stones in various sizes. It works well in low-traffic areas and is often used to create visually appealing accents and borders in gardens. The sleek and polished appearance of Mexican beach pebble adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.

Rip Rap

Rip rap gravel consists of larger, angular stones that are commonly used for retaining walls and erosion control. Its size and shape provide stability and durability, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to erosion. Rip rap gravel is both functional and visually appealing, adding a rugged texture to landscaping projects.

Construction Gravel

Construction gravel is a cost-effective option that is often used for creating stable paths and driveways. It offers excellent drainage properties and can withstand heavy foot or wheel traffic. With its versatility and affordability, construction gravel is a popular choice for both residential and commercial landscaping projects.

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a favorite among landscapers due to its small size and smooth finish. It is commonly used in various applications, such as pathways, patios, and garden accents. Pea gravel is easy to work with and provides a clean and polished look to any outdoor space.

Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is a versatile option that is finer than traditional gravel. It is often used for patios, paths, and mulch due to its natural and organic appearance. Decomposed granite is available in a range of colors, making it easy to find the perfect shade to complement your landscape design.

Each of these popular types of gravel has its own unique characteristics and can be used to achieve different aesthetic and functional goals in your landscaping. Consider the overall look you want to achieve and the specific needs of your project when selecting the right gravel for your landscaping endeavor.


Gravel is a versatile and affordable choice for landscaping, providing both beauty and functionality to outdoor spaces. Choosing the right gravel for your specific needs can greatly enhance the overall look of your garden, pathways, driveways, and more. Whether you’re aiming for a rustic charm or a smooth elegance, there are various types of gravel that will suit your style and preferences.

Throughout this article, we explored the best gravel options for landscaping, such as decomposed granite, Mexican beach pebble, and more. Each type of gravel brings its own unique features and characteristics, allowing you to create the desired aesthetic for your outdoor space.

When deciding on the best gravel for your landscaping project, it’s important to consider factors such as usage, budget, and color. Think about how you plan to use the gravel and its intended behavior, whether it’s for foot traffic areas, driveways, or ground cover in low-water gardens. Additionally, be mindful of the budget you have allocated for your project and choose a gravel option that aligns with it. Lastly, choose a color that complements your existing hardscape and garden, creating a cohesive and visually appealing landscape.

By making an informed decision and selecting the right gravel, you can create a stunning outdoor space that requires minimal maintenance and offers long-lasting beauty. So, go ahead and explore the wide range of gravel options available to transform your backyard landscaping into a space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.