A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping

Published: 23/03/2023 | Updated: 25/05/2023

A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping - Shrubhub

Decorative landscaping rocks are one of the most consistently popular hardscape materials homeowners use to decorate their landscapes.

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The combined benefits of landscape rocks make them irresistible to more and more homeowners every day!

If you've wanted to get into it or have just been curious, then we have all the information you need to decide and purchase some great decorative rocks we'll recommend!

Why Should You Use Landscape Rocks?

Landscaping rocks overlap with mulch when it comes to uses in the garden like suppressing weed growth and water retention, but they have qualities that make them a better choice to many homeowners and gardeners.

Those include:

Low Maintenance

Aside from some little maintenance of the soil around and underneath the soil to prevent them from overheating, rocks require little maintenance.

At most, every once in a while, you'd have to clean away the fallen leaves and debris that stick between decorative rocks if they are placed underneath trees or the wind takes the leaves their way.

But overall, for all the practical and aesthetical functions they serve, they won't be extra work for you to do around the garden.

Long Living

Like most other rocks, decorative landscaping rocks have a long life without loss in quality or beauty.

So when you're purchasing landscaping rocks for your outdoors, you'll know you'll have no reason to go shopping for them again in a year. Unless you want to add to them or change the style of your garden.

A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping - Shrubhub

Cost Effective

Landscaping rocks might be more expensive than mulch, but they are considered highly cost-effective for the benefits they provide and the added stunning look they give to your garden.

Also consider that in most cases, as you won't have to replace any rocks for similar newer ones, every purchase is a lifetime investment. Which makes any landscaping rock inexpensive.

Better For Dry Climates (Non-Flammable)

One of the best and most important qualities of landscaping rocks is that they are not flammable. Unlike mulch, that is the reason behind many fires annually.

Of course, mulch can be handled safely when people become aware of their flammable qualities, but if you choose landscaping rocks instead, this wouldn't be something you'd have to worry about at all.

You could combine your rocks with fire pits to get your desired aesthetic without worrying if this could go badly!

Especially if you live in a dry area that is more susceptible to fires. Landscaping rocks wouldn't add to your troubles.

Types of Decorative Landscape Rocks

There is a huge variety of landscaping rocks that vary depending on origin, color, texture, and even usage.

Those recommendations we have for you are the best in the market and you'll find among them the best for your needs and personal style!

River Rocks

River rocks refer to a diverse group of rocks that have all been sandstone collected from moving bodies of water, most commonly rivers.

One of the main similarities between river rocks is their texture. Any river rock is most likely rounded and has a smoothly worn texture.

But otherwise, you can find those many types of rocks in different colors and shapes including boulders and gravels.

You can mix different types for more interesting and creative results.

And while you can use them in anything from garden beds to lawn edgers, they are naturally best combined with water features.

Or in water-wise landscapes, as a river rock can be used in dry creek beds to control water movements and collection points, like around waterfalls.

A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping - Shrubhub

Lava Rock

Like a river rock, the term lava rock doesn't refer to a particular shape or type of natural stone, but to the place of origin.

In this case, the place of origin is volcanos. Those are rocks that formed in the aftermath of lavas, intensifying due to extreme heat and pressure.

They can mostly be found in black and red, among rarer colors. Due to its classic colors, this decorative rock can fit any landscape design.

The elegant, strong-in-character, decorative rock is a favorite among homeowners to add an accent to their landscape fabric and can be easily found!

Crushed Stone

Also known as angular stones, crushed stones are rocks resulting from crushing mined rocks down to a smaller size.

Crushed stone is like gravel rocks in size, except crushed stone is artificially reduced to that size, while gravel rocks have been reduced through nature and weathering processes. Which also makes gravel more rounded.

In landscaping, this natural stone is optimally used as rock ground for walkways and functionally as fillings for impermeable pavers. Inorganic crushed stone mulch can also be used inside the garden to suppress weeds and retain moisture.


The term flagstone refers to the shape rather than a type of rock. They can be made from any type of natural stone, most often sandstone, bound together by minerals and flattened.

The main purpose of flagstone explains its shape is to be used in rock ground for passageways and walkways as a paving stone. Or even pavers for driveways, as flagstone is especially long-lasting and sturdy.

But this decorative stone can also be used creatively in garden walls to complement a rock garden or contrast beautifully with flower beds.

Beach Pebbles

Beach pebbles are another lovely type of natural stone that can be beautifully used in a landscaping project.

Especially in areas in your landscape or yard where you'd normally walk barefooted, as they are round and soft to the touch. Because, like river rocks, they have eroded and softened by water.

In rock gardens or mixed with a water feature, beach pebbles as decorative stone can add a warm touch to your backyard that will give your house a permanent feeling of summer.

A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping - Shrubhub

Mexican Beach Pebbles

Mexican beach pebbles are one of the most sought-after subtypes of beach pebbles right now. All for good reasons!

In the landscape fabric, they are beyond elegant. They are sourced from Mexican beaches and take the term "natural stone" to a whole other level as they are handpicked!

The reason behind this is to prevent any machinery from harming or disturbing the ecosystem.

So if ecology is your passion, you'll have the extra comfort of knowing you did not harm the environment while making your landscape design even more beautiful!

In landscaping, you can use them either as rock mulch or in paths leading up to your pool.

Pea Gravel

Like the other landscaping rocks that have been smoothened, pea gravel is great for any area in your landscape fabric with high traffic like paths or patios.

Brick Chips

With the attractive color of bricks and the smoothness of pebbles, brick chips are the best of the two worlds and can have endless usage in your landscape design.

Ranging from rock ground in paths to material for planting beds, brick chips will add a layer of vividness to most gardens, no matter their particular style.

Crushed Gravel

While crushed gravel is most often and most optimally used as added material to poured concrete in underground projects, you can also take them above ground in your landscape design.

You can arrange them around a flower bed to accentuate the colors while also being safely walkable landscaping rocks.

Marble Chips

Marble chips are another great landscaping rocks that are currently beating organic mulch in the market.

As rock mulch, they are optimal due to their heavy weight that can stand strong winds without blowing away.

And as a general landscape rock ground, the elegant and royal-ish look of marble on your patio or around a tree will elevate the style of your whole landscape!

A Full Guide to Decorative Landscaping - Shrubhub

Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is another great landscape rock option for you that behaves perfectly as much and as purely decorative natural stone in your outdoor space.

As natural stone mulch, they can keep the soil and plants warmer in winter and offer good drainage of water.

And due to their natural but elegant and mature color, they can perfectly complement the green of your outdoor space.

Any decorative landscaping rock on this list has a lot to offer you on both the functional and aesthetical levels. Whichever landscaping rock you choose based on your personal preferences will be a good investment for your garden!

But better than anyone, we perfectly know what it's like to be unsure about landscaping projects and additions as you can never be fully aware of what they will look like mixed with everything else! This is why we offer 3D depictions of your landscape after any desired changes or additions at shrubhub.com

Now is also the optimal time for you to sign up here from the comfort of your couch as we offer a 70% discount offers on all our design services for a limited time!



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