Creative Ideas for using rocks and stone in the garden

Creative ideas for using rocks and stone in the garden

There are many ideas and ways you can utilize rock in the garden, when it comes to creating or renovating your current design. They range from pond-less water features with core drilled rocks, feature stones to walkways and patios. Below you can see some of the ideas and concepts we have created in peoples yards.


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Tiered rock wall for garden beds

K.V Granite

When dealing with slopes and grades in the garden, using rock to build walls can help to create level areas for planting and garden beds.

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Garden patio with rock

Columbia River Sage

Flagstone can be a great alternative to concrete or paving stone when looking to make a seating area or walkway in the garden. This rock comes in various thicknesses and can also be used as a wall stone

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Feature rocks to accent garden beds

Platinum Quartzite

Feature rocks can be a great accent to plants and flower beds around your garden. Available in many shapes and sizes and usually sold by weight. Rocks can also be used as ‘street number’ rocks by the side of the driveway.

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Rock seating for enjoying the garden

K.V Flagstone

When building a raised rock garden bed, save your large flat stones to create an in-wall seat for enjoyment of the bed once complete. Rock seating can be a great feature in itself..

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Core-drilled rock water feature

Basalt columns

More landscape supply stores are offering core-drilled or bubbling rocks for water features. In this picture, we created a reservior under the rock boulders so you can enjoy a pondless themed bubbling rock collection.

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Rock stepping stones

Mica Quartz

Sometimes its nice to have a path without the heavy look of concrete or paving stone materials. Flagstone stepping stones winding through a planting bed can offer a nice soft path and allow for a clean walkway as the same time.

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Decorative rock and garden stone path

Sunset Gold mica

A flagtone walkway can be a nice way to break up the unexciting decorative rock driveway. This walkway was going from the stairs by the pool to the changing room on the side of the house. But please use caution, rock pathways can be sharp and unfriendly to bare feet, especially if they are wet!

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Dry-stack rock garden waterfall

Rundle Flagstone

Not every water feature and waterfall has to be big. This waterfall was built using rock that was left over from building a retaining wall in the same courtyard. A small eye catching feature to give the pleasant sound of trickling water while enjoying the outdoors.

Different choices for Rock and Stone in the Garden

Rocks and stones are an excellent way to improve and enhance not just the style of your backyard, but the functionality and comfort of it as well. It’s an essential part of the design and flow of any landscape.

You can use many stone options in a few different techniques in your garden. They are not only very eye catching but long lasting and have many uses as well. They can be used for garden pathways, patio’s, step-stones, walkways, garden edging, ponds, retaining walls, steps, entrances to porches, as well as decoratively.

However, not all will work for the project you have in mind. The stone you’ll pick will depend on your area and how you use it. But with so many available options to you, how will you know which style or of stone to choose? Several factors such as coordination with your surroundings & plants, color, texture, landscape theme, stone layout pattern, size, and shape, to name a few, will come into play in your decision.

So, if you want to update your outdoor living space with texture and variety, you’ll want to consider these 7 different types of landscaping stones:  

  1. Decomposed Granite
  2. Pea Gravel
  3. River Rock
  4. Crushed Granite Gravel
  5. Lava Rock
  6. Flagstone 
    6a. Limestone 
    6b. Sandstone
  7. Boulder

1. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite has that rustic appeal thanks to its sandy texture and reddish-tan shade which mimics the color of the granite where it originates. This type can provide the surface of your deck and patio, yard, or garden trails with a soft and rustic charm. You can also use it as a ground cover, around the trees in your yard, or as topdressing around dried up plants.  

2. Pea Gravel

As the name suggests, these rocks are pea-sized. They are rounded and small and come in different sizes from half an inch to an eighth of an inch. They are available in a wide array of colors, including brown, tan, and white. You can use pea pebbles for covering your driveways, in between the crevices of your pathway, and garden beds instead of mulch. 

3. River Rock 

These landscaping stones, also called pebbles, are usually smoother and bigger than pea gravel – almost the size of your palm. Their costs may vary, as well as their shades and sizes. They are ideal for creating a structure like a fountain or retaining wall. You can combine different river rock sizes or use the same ones depending on what kind of look you’re trying to accomplish. You can also use them for creating direct drainage within your property or creek beds that are dry.

4. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed granite gravel are similar to decomposed granites but with larger particles and thicker texture. They’re also not as smooth as pea gravel making them an excellent choice for your garden and pathway or as a transition between your walkway and patio plants. It has a natural look that can give your space a contemporary but refined look. 

5. Lava Rock

These rocks are low in density and came from volcanoes that are no longer active. They possess a unique, bold appearance, and typically comes in black or red color. They may be a bit more expensive than some of the landscaping stones on this list, but they can provide your landscape with a lovely and one-of-a-kind accent. You can also use these lightweight rocks with whatever landscaping design you have in mind. The best thing about lava rocks is that they have the ability to absorb heat throughout the day and then release it as night time falls. 

6. Flagstone

Flagstones are one of the most common types of landscaping stones you’ll see in gardens. This type includes a variety of stones such as sandstone and limestone. You can use them in a wide range of landscaping designs. They normally have an irregular outline but versatile enough to use as both decorative accents and for functional purposes. They can be cut flat or in whatever diameter you want to suit your project. They are often used for patios, stepping stones, stair treads, and walkways.

6a. Limestone

Limestone, a type of Flagstone has an earthy character that can give your walkway or patio with some softness and subtle vibe. The most popular type of Limestone is Bluestone which is mostly used in hardscaping outdoor areas. It can range from corals to shells, and other sedimentary rocks. It may have a limited color selection, but when sanded and smoothened, it will provide you with a rustic and unique appearance.

6b. Sandstone

Sandstone, a type of Flagstone have a coarse texture and loose grain features and looked a lot like compressed sand. They are usually available in shades of brown and Tan, but they also come in a range of beautiful colors such as black, gray, white, and red. They are great at adding a natural vibe and texture to your landscaped areas for an even more pleasing look. 

7. Boulder

These massive landscaping stones come in all shapes and sizes, which you can buy by tons. Its color and appearance will depend mostly on the kind of stone you’ll get. They are perfect for creating an impactful statement in your landscape. You can also use smaller ones as borders, water features, and accent pieces.