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Which Stone is Best for Landscaping? Top Picks & Tips

which stone is best for landscaping?

When it comes to enhancing your landscape, adding rock and gravel can make a significant difference. Not only do they add a touch of natural beauty, but they also offer water-saving benefits. But with so many landscaping stones to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your project?

Whether you’re looking to create a stunning garden path, accentuate your flower beds, or build a beautiful patio, selecting the right stone is key. Different types of stones offer unique characteristics, colors, and textures, allowing you to customize your outdoor space to suit your preferences.

So, let’s dive into the world of landscaping stones and explore the top picks for your next project. From decomposed granite to river rock, we’ll cover the best stone options and offer tips for selecting the perfect choice for your landscaping needs.

Top Picks for Landscaping Rock & Gravel

When it comes to landscaping, choosing the right stone can make all the difference. The options for landscaping rock are vast, each offering its own unique benefits and aesthetic appeal. Whether you’re looking to create a rustic garden trail or a sleek container garden, there’s a perfect stone for every landscaping project. Here are some top picks to consider:

1. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is an affordable option with a soft, rustic look. It’s commonly used around trees and garden trails to add a natural touch. With its warm earthy tones, decomposed granite blends seamlessly into any landscape.

2. Pea Gravel

Pea gravel, as the name suggests, is about the size of a pea. It’s a versatile option commonly used for driveways, pathways, and filling spaces between stone pavers. The smooth and rounded texture of pea gravel creates a visually appealing and comfortable surface.

3. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed granite gravel provides a natural look that complements garden plants and pathways. It’s an excellent choice for adding texture to your landscaping design. The varied sizes of crushed granite gravel create an interesting and visually appealing surface.

4. Lava Rock

If you’re looking to add bold colors to your landscape, lava rock is the perfect choice. It’s ideal for drier climates as it absorbs and releases heat, helping to retain warmth in colder months. Lava rock creates a striking contrast against greenery and adds a unique touch to your outdoor space.

5. River Rocks

For a smoother texture and a natural look, river rocks are a great option. Due to their smoothness and roundness, they are commonly used for garden borders or directing drainage. River rocks create a soft and serene ambiance in any landscaping design.

6. Flagstone and Brick Chips

Flagstone and brick chips are perfect for stepping stones, garden paths, and walkways. Their flat surface provides a stable and durable walking surface, while their natural beauty enhances the overall aesthetic of your landscape. Add a touch of elegance and charm to your outdoor spaces with these versatile stones.

7. Marble Chips

If you’re aiming for a sleek and classy look, marble chips are an excellent choice. They add a touch of luxury to container gardens and other design elements. However, it’s important to note that marble chips should be avoided around plants that require high levels of acidity.

Choosing the right stone for your landscaping project can elevate its overall appearance and functionality. Consider the color, texture, and intended use when making your selection. Whether you opt for decomposed granite, pea gravel, crushed granite gravel, lava rock, river rocks, flagstone, brick chips, or marble chips, each stone brings its own unique charm to your outdoor space.

FAQs for Landscaping Rock & Gravel

When it comes to landscaping with stones, there are often questions that arise. In this section, we have compiled some frequently asked questions about stone landscape design and stone selection for landscaping. Read on to find the answers to your queries.

How do I determine the amount of landscaping rock needed?

To calculate the amount of landscaping rock required, you need to consider the square footage of the area and the desired depth of coverage. Larger rocks may require fewer layers to achieve the desired depth.

Do landscaping rock and gravel attract bugs?

No, unlike mulch, landscaping rock and gravel do not attract bugs. This makes them an excellent choice for those who want to avoid pest infestations in their outdoor space.

Should I choose rocks or mulch for my landscaping?

The decision between rocks and mulch depends on factors like climate and personal preference. While rocks are more durable and long-lasting, mulch needs to be replaced regularly. Consider the specific needs of your landscape before making a choice.

Is DIY installation of landscaping rocks recommended?

DIY installations of landscaping rocks can be labor-intensive and challenging, especially due to the weight of the rocks. It is recommended to hire professionals for the job to ensure a proper and hassle-free installation process.

How long do landscaping rocks and gravel typically last?

With low maintenance requirements, landscaping rocks and gravel can last between 8 to 10 years, providing long-lasting beauty and functionality to your outdoor space.

Now that you have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about landscaping with stones and gravel, you can confidently proceed with your stone landscape design project. In the next section, we will explore the types of landscaping stones available and their specific uses for creating stunning outdoor spaces.

Types of Landscaping Stones and Their Uses

When it comes to landscaping, choosing the right stones can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. Whether you’re looking for small stones for pathways and garden beds, medium stones for accents and mulch, or large stones for focal points and structural purposes, there are various options to consider.

Small Landscaping Stones

If you’re looking for versatile options that can be used in pathways and garden beds, consider these small landscaping stones:

  • Pea gravel: These small, smooth stones are perfect for creating a natural look in garden pathways and filling spaces between larger stones.
  • Crushed gravel: With its irregular shape, crushed gravel provides a unique texture, making it a great choice for pathways and garden beds.

Medium Landscaping Stones

For garden accents, mulch, and drainage areas, medium-sized landscaping stones offer a range of options:

  • River rock: These smooth stones are commonly used for garden borders, as they create a polished look.
  • Lava rock: Known for its bold colors, lava rock is ideal for adding a dramatic touch to your outdoor space. It is also excellent for drier climates, as it absorbs and releases heat.
  • Crushed stone: This medium-sized stone is perfect for creating mulch beds or accentuating specific areas in your landscape design.

Large Landscaping Stones

When it comes to creating focal points or adding structural elements to your landscape design, large landscaping stones can make a significant impact:

  • Boulders: These massive rocks can be used to create dramatic focal points or as natural barriers to define specific areas.
  • Flagstone: Ideal for walkways and stepping stones, flagstone adds a rustic charm to your outdoor space.
  • Outcropping: Use outcropping stones to create retaining walls, steps, or seating areas in your landscape design.

When selecting landscaping stones, consider factors like the intended use, safety and comfort, plant compatibility, and aesthetic appeal. Choosing the right size and type of stones can enhance both the functionality and visual appeal of your outdoor spaces.


Choosing the best stone for landscaping is essential in creating a visually appealing and functional outdoor space. When making your selection, it’s important to consider factors such as color, texture, size, and intended use. Each type of landscaping stone, whether it’s decomposed granite, pea gravel, crushed granite gravel, lava rock, river rock, flagstone, brick chips, or marble chips, has its own unique characteristics and uses.

By incorporating the right types and sizes of landscaping stones, you can achieve a stunning landscape design. Small landscaping stones like pea gravel and crushed gravel are versatile options for pathways and garden beds. Medium-sized stones such as river rock, lava rock, and crushed stone are suitable for garden accents, mulch, and drainage areas. Large landscaping stones like boulders, flagstone, and outcropping can serve as focal points or provide structural elements in your landscape design.

For the proper installation and maintenance of your chosen landscaping stones, it is recommended to consult with professionals. They can provide expert advice and ensure that your landscaping project is executed with precision and care. By carefully selecting your landscaping stone and seeking professional guidance, you can create a beautiful and enduring outdoor space that enhances the overall appeal of your property.