How to Incorporate Decorative Rock into Your Landscaping

How to Incorporate Decorative Rock into Your Landscaping

You’ve no doubt seen the beauty decorative rock like round rock, pea gravel, and even boulders can add to an otherwise ho-hum yard, but you may not be sure how you can incorporate this attractive hardscaping element in your own outdoor spaces.  You might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of functional and creative ways to add decorative rock to any yard.  Here are a few options to consider when you want an outdoor upgrade.

Use it in Place of Mulch

Trees and shrubs can cast enough shade that ground cover doesn’t stand much chance, in which case you could find yourself dealing with issues like water waste (from evaporation) and soil erosion.  Mulch is one way to treat this, but it quickly fades and starts to look shabby, and it requires regular replacement (and ongoing expense).  Decorative rock, ranging from small pea gravel to smooth, round rock of varying sizes, is an ideal alternative that adds permanent beauty to your landscaping and helps to eliminate issues like erosion and water waste.

Top Off Containers and Planter Beds

Just like you place decorative rock around larger plants in your landscaping, you can use tiny pea rocks in planter beds and containers to regulate moisture and keep topsoil from blowing away in the breeze.

Pretty Pathways

If the busted concrete slab running through your yard has become a major eyesore, it’s time to replace it with attractive and functional decorative rock that will stand up to foot traffic and inclement weather.  Smooth rock settles nicely and feels fine underfoot, and if you like pavers but you can’t afford to outfit the whole path, just settle a few stepping stones into pea gravel for a functional alternative with an elegant aesthetic.

Lounge Areas

Decorative rock is a great option for lounge areas like patios and fire pit surrounds.  When compacted, the surface is incredibly stable, and you can easily sink the legs of chairs and tables into the gravel surface so you never have to deal with wobbly, unstable furniture again.

Water Features

Whether you want to add a small pond, a river running through your property, or an upscale drainage ditch, you’ll find that decorative rock is the perfect complement to any water feature.  Use round rock of varying sizes to line a dry, decorative riverbed or choose boulders as a backdrop for a waterfall draining into a pond or pool.

While crushed gravel may be a better fit for practical drainage purposes, creating waterways in your yard can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  Simply ask your sand and gravel professionals about which options are best suited to your particular needs and preferences.

Artistic Installations

Boulders can serve functional purposes in your landscaping, acting as a retaining wall for slopes or ensuring that neighbors stop backing into your mailbox or driving over the edges of a lawn that abuts the street, for example.  They can also provide a decorative element, especially in drought-resistant landscaping, where artful arrangement near trees or nestled in smaller gravel can create unique focal points and increase visual interest.