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Best Stone for Landscaping: Top Picks & Tips

what is the best stone for landscaping

When it comes to landscaping, choosing the perfect stone can make a world of difference in the overall look and feel of your outdoor space. With so many landscaping stone options available, it can be overwhelming to select the best stone for your specific needs. That’s why we’re here to help! In this article, we will explore some of the top-rated stones for landscaping projects and provide you with valuable tips to ensure optimal results for your outdoor design.

From popular stones for landscaping to ideal choices for outdoor projects, we have curated a list of top stone recommendations based on their aesthetic appeal and performance. Whether you are looking for landscape stones to enhance your garden beds or create stone pathways, we’ve got you covered. By selecting the right stone and considering factors such as size, texture, climate, and intended use, you can transform your landscaping into a visually stunning masterpiece.

Top Picks for Landscaping Rock & Gravel

When it comes to landscaping with rock and gravel, there are several top picks that professionals recommend. These include:

1. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite offers a natural and rustic look to your landscape design. It can be used for pathway construction, ground cover, and as a base for paving stones.

2. Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a versatile option that comes in different sizes and colors. It works well for pathways, drainage areas, and adding texture to garden beds.

3. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed granite gravel provides a durable surface and natural appeal to your outdoor space. It is ideal for driveways, walkways, and garden accents.

4. Lava Rock

Lava rock is a bold and striking option that adds a unique touch to your landscape. It is commonly used for decorative purposes, such as in flower beds or around water features.

5. River Rock

River rock is smooth and rounded, making it a popular choice for water features, dry creek beds, and landscaping borders. It comes in various sizes and colors to suit your design.

6. Flagstone

Flagstone is a flat, natural stone that can be used for patio flooring, pathways, and retaining walls. It offers a timeless and elegant look to any outdoor space.

7. Brick Chips

Brick chips provide a classic and vintage flair to your landscape design. They are commonly used for pathways, borders, and accentuating garden features.

8. Marble Chips

Marble chips offer a luxurious and sophisticated appearance to your outdoor space. They are often used for decorative purposes, such as in flower beds or around statues.

Each of these stones has its own unique characteristics and can be utilized for various purposes in your landscape design. From soft and rustic looks to bold colors and textures, these top picks will surely enhance the beauty of your outdoor space.

Choosing the Right Stone for Your Landscape

When it comes to selecting the perfect stone for your landscaping project, there are a few key factors to consider. These factors will ensure that the stone you choose not only enhances the aesthetics of your outdoor space but also meets your specific needs and preferences.

  1. Size and Texture: The size and texture of the stone play a crucial role in determining its visual impact. Larger stones can make a bold statement and create a dramatic effect, while smaller stones offer a more delicate and intricate look. Similarly, the texture of the stone can range from smooth and polished to rough and natural. Consider the overall design of your landscape and choose a stone size and texture that complements it.
  2. Climate and Environment: Different stones have varying degrees of durability and weather resistance. It’s important to choose a stone that can withstand the climate and environment in which it will be used. For example, if you live in an area with harsh winters, opt for stones that are frost-resistant. Similarly, if you have a garden that receives a lot of direct sunlight, choose stones that won’t fade or discolor over time.
  3. Intended Use: Think about how you plan to use the stone in your landscape design. Are you looking for a stone to create a pathway, a patio, or a retaining wall? Different stones have different inherent properties that make them more suitable for specific uses. Consider the intended purpose of the stone and choose accordingly.
  4. Budget Considerations: Your budget is an important factor when choosing landscaping stone. Some stones, such as flagstone or natural stone, can be more expensive compared to others like gravel or crushed stone. Set a budget beforehand and explore options that fit within your financial means. Keep in mind that investing in high-quality stone can provide long-term value and durability.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right stone for your landscape. Whether you’re aiming for a rustic and cozy ambiance or a modern and sleek design, the perfect stone can bring your vision to life.

Expert Tip:

Consider using a combination of stones to add variety and depth to your landscape design. For example, you can mix and match different sizes and colors to create a visually stunning and dynamic outdoor space.

Stone Type Size Texture Climate Suitability Intended Use Budget Range
Decomposed Granite Varies Crushed, gritty All climates Pathways, driveways, ground cover $$
Pea Gravel Small Smooth, rounded All climates Garden paths, borders, drainage areas $
Lava Rock Medium Porous, jagged Warm climates Garden accents, water features, xeriscaping $$
Flagstone Irregular Smooth, natural All climates Patios, walkways, stepping stones $$$

Key Takeaways:

  • Consider the size, texture, climate suitability, intended use, and budget when choosing landscaping stone.
  • Combining different stones can create a visually appealing landscape design.
  • Always choose stones that can withstand the climate and environment in which they will be used.
  • Set a budget and explore options that fit within your financial means.

Tips for Installing Landscaping Rock and Gravel

Once you have chosen the right stone for your landscaping project, it’s time to tackle the installation process. Proper installation ensures that your landscaping rock or gravel will not only look aesthetically pleasing but also provide long-lasting functionality for your outdoor space. Here are some essential tips to consider:

Calculating the Amount of Stone Needed

To determine the amount of stone you’ll need, it’s crucial to calculate the coverage area accurately. Take into account the size and depth of the area you plan to cover. While online calculators can assist you in estimating the required quantity, consulting with a professional landscaper can provide more accurate measurements. Their expertise can ensure you don’t over or underestimate the amount of stone needed for your project, saving you time and money.

Professional Installation for Optimal Results

While some DIY enthusiasts may be tempted to go the self-installation route, professional installation is often recommended for optimal results. Landscapers possess the knowledge and experience necessary to properly prepare the site and ensure proper drainage of the area. Their expertise in compacting the ground and creating a stable foundation is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your landscaping rock or gravel.

Bug Prevention and Maintenance

One significant advantage of using landscaping rock or gravel is its resistance to bugs. Unlike mulch, which can decompose and attract insects over time, rock and gravel provide a less hospitable environment for bugs to thrive. This bug prevention feature not only reduces the need for pest control measures but also contributes to the low maintenance aspect of these materials.

Rock vs Mulch

When considering materials for your landscaping project, it’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons of using rock or mulch. While both have their advantages, landscaping rock and gravel offer certain benefits that mulch may not. Rocks are less likely to degrade over time, have a longer lifespan, and require less frequent replenishment. Additionally, rocks and gravel can provide a more contemporary or natural aesthetic, depending on your design preferences.

Lifespan of Landscaping Rock and Gravel

With proper installation and minimal maintenance, landscaping rock and gravel can last anywhere from 8 to 10 years or even longer. This longevity makes them a cost-effective choice for your landscaping needs. Regular inspection and cleaning can help maintain the appearance and functionality of your rock or gravel, ensuring many years of enjoyment for your outdoor space.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful installation of your landscaping rock or gravel. Whether you opt for professional installation or tackle the project yourself, taking the time to plan and execute the process correctly will result in a beautiful and long-lasting landscape that enhances your outdoor living area.

Tips for Installing Landscaping Rock and Gravel
Calculating the Amount of Stone Needed
Professional Installation for Optimal Results
Bug Prevention and Maintenance
Rock vs Mulch
Lifespan of Landscaping Rock and Gravel

The Main Uses of Landscaping Stones

Landscaping stones can be used in various ways to enhance your outdoor space. Some of the main uses include stone pathways, garden beds, drainage areas, and landscaping borders and edging.

  • Stone Pathways: For pathways, small stones like gravel or pebbles are often used for a solid foundation to walk on. They provide a durable and visually appealing surface that can withstand foot traffic.
  • Garden Beds: Garden beds can be adorned with a variety of landscaping stones to add aesthetic appeal and functionality. River rocks, lava rock, crushed stone, or pea gravel create a unique and natural look while also helping to retain moisture and prevent weed growth.
  • Drainage Areas: Stones like river rock or crushed stone are commonly used in drainage areas to prevent erosion and ensure proper water flow. These stones help to redirect water away from sensitive areas, protecting your landscape from water damage.
  • Landscaping Borders and Edging: Lava rock, river rocks, fieldstones, or even brick chips can be utilized for creating borders and edging in your landscaping design. These stones serve as a visual boundary, defining the space and providing a clean and finished look to your landscape.

By incorporating landscaping stones into these various elements of your outdoor space, you can achieve a cohesive and visually pleasing landscape design that not only enhances the beauty of your property but also serves practical purposes.


Landscaping with rocks and gravel can greatly enhance your outdoor design, providing both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality. By carefully selecting the right stone for your landscaping project and considering factors such as size, texture, climate, and intended use, you can achieve optimal results in creating a visually stunning and low-maintenance landscape.

Whether you opt for the rustic charm of decomposed granite, the versatility of pea gravel, or the bold allure of lava rock, professional advice can be invaluable in ensuring the best outcome. Consulting with a landscaping expert can help you make informed choices and receive guidance tailored to your specific needs and preferences, leading to a successful project.

With the right stone selection and proper installation, you can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful landscape that will be enjoyed for years to come. So, embrace the beauty of landscaping with rocks and gravel, and let your creativity and professional advice guide you in creating the outdoor oasis of your dreams.