All About Garden Rocks

A large waterfall next to a rock

When a garden is left barren and unloved without plants or flowers, it’s a sad sight to see. The best way to spruce up your garden would be by adding decorative pieces such as rocks and other forms of stones. These stones will give the impression of an organized space with fresh flowers blooming here and there.

To get that look, you must first consider the area available in your garden before going out into buying rocks for landscaping purposes. Different areas have different requirements when choosing what size to pick from among the different kinds of rocks. It helps if you go for bigger ones from time to time because they can be used in several ways depending on where you put them; whereas smaller ones are needed if you’re looking for a packed well appearance.

The different kinds of garden rocks are as follows:

A screen shot of a window

Gravels are popular because they can be used in several ways, perhaps to fill up the holes that have been left by the plants that you pulled out or it can also serve as a pathway if you wish for your guests to walk around your place without getting their shoes dirty. They come in different colors so you can easily pick one that goes with your desired theme.

When looking for larger pack pieces, pebbles are what you need. They have more surface area compared to gravels which means they’re lighter and easier to carry around when doing landscaping work. Moreover, they’re less likely to rot unlike other stones since it absorbs water well during rain.

At times, gardeners prefer creating a pathway using pebbles. It’s cooler to walk on especially during hot summer days when you’re wearing your heels or other kinds of shoes that are not that comfortable. The problem however is that they get loose over time which means there will be a need to replace them after some time or else it’ll be worse if somebody trips and gets hurt because of it.

Crushed stones are what you should go for if you wish to save money in the long run since they last longer compared to other stones available in the market today because of their compact nature. They are also perfect for steep slopes where gravels can’t usually flow down with ease as compared to crushed stones which make them great for pathways.

The different kinds of stones come in different colors according to their nature, therefore it’s up to you which one you will go for depending on the look that you wish to create; be it a bright or even dark theme. You can always go online and check out what kind of rocks are available which would fit your taste.

After choosing the right kind of stone, then comes the work on how they should be placed that is why garden rocks are used just so everything looks good with time instead of taking several days until they’re finished. Crushed stones are perfect for steep slopes whereas pebbles are great as pathway material since it’s cooler during summer days where people usually don’t wear shoes when stepping outside so won’t damage their feet unlike gravels and other stones.

Garden rocks should be carefully chosen and placed so everything will look tidy and fresh in time because adding plants and flowers can always wait until you’re done with the landscaping work.

What are garden rocks?

A close up of a rock

Garden rocks are used to prevent soil erosion, provide a base for other plants, drop weight from overhead tree branches and add interest to your garden.

Where can I find garden rocks?

You can take a trip or get on the Internet to search for rock quarries that sell them at rock yards. You can also buy garden rocks at home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. If you want to look natural in your yard, it is best to go with granite rocks because they come in wider variations of shapes and sizes. Other types of stones like limestone only come in very large sizes which makes it harder for people who have smaller gardens or lawns.

What should I do before installation?

Before you install any rocks, make sure you have a drainage system. This is important because if water builds up underneath the rock it can cause your grass to rot or grow mold. It’s also not a bad idea to lay down weed barriers underneath the rocks before putting them in place.

How do I layout garden rocks?

Layout rocks to build small steps that lead up to your door, use them as edging for other plants like agapanthus and patios for sitting areas.

Do I need any special tools?

To put together garden rocks you will need basic construction equipment like shovels, wheelbarrow, level, and straight edge wooden boards along with regular gardening hand tools like trowels, rakes, and forks.

What if I don’t want to build garden rocks myself?

If you like the idea of having a beautifully landscaped yard but don’t want to put in all the work or hire someone, you can create your rock wall. Most home improvement stores will make custom walls for a reasonable price and they will only take a few days to complete. To do it yourself, just buy a bag of mortar mix and follow the instructions on how much water to add to each bag. Then just start stacking rocks one by high until you reach your desired height. If this is going to be an exterior wall, be sure not to build it out more than 4 inches from the house so that it doesn’t give critters easy access into your attic.

Do garden rocks work for drainage?

Garden rocks can be used as a ground cover to prevent soil erosion and also provide a base underneath plants that need consistent moisture. Stone absorbs water from the soil naturally keeping your plants hydrated longer. When using gravel or river rock as mulch, you will have to keep on top of it so weeds don’t take over because they will grow through it quickly. It is important to use a weed barrier before laying out rocks so grass doesn’t grow between them either.

What kind of stones should I use in my yard?

The best type of stone to use in your yard depends on what your purpose behind the landscaping is. If you want a natural-looking yard with lots of small and large stones to give it a country feel, you should opt for granite. If you want to use the stone as edging for other plants, marble works best because its light color shows off flowers better than darker colored rocks. River rock is usually used as mulch around perennials or bulbs but they are harder to maintain because weeds will grow easily throughout them.

Can I move rocks after installation?

Once installed, garden rocks are very stable and strong which means moving them is nearly impossible without specialized equipment like a shovel jack or crane. Before building your wall make sure you have already planned out how the rocks are going to the layout before you start building so that way there aren’t any gaps once finished.

How do I dig up rocks?

Digging them up is the hardest part of building rock landscaping. Professional landscapers use shovel jacks or cranes to lift the rocks but if you are trying to be cheap about it then you will need to rent an electric jackhammer from equipment rental stores. You will also want to find someone with experience on how to properly use one because they are very heavy and dangerous when used improperly. Once you have broken through the ground underneath it, pry bars can sometimes help remove large boulders by wedging them underneath and having another person pull them out using ropes. If all else fails, you can always break apart the rock with a sled hammer and use it that way.

Can I paint garden rocks?

You can paint your garden rocks to give them a specific theme which will also help you if you work in landscaping and need to maintain uniformity across multiple properties. There are special stone paints available for this purpose but most regular exterior house paints will do the trick as well. Just be sure to first clean off any dirt or debris from the surface of the rock before painting, then be prepared to repaint every year or two depending on how much foot traffic they experience.

Other uses for the different kinds of stones available in the market today:

  • Rock gardens
  • Plant stands and pedestals
  • Fireplace surrounds
  • Decorative planters are great for succulents, small trees, etc.
  • Natural-look retaining walls
  • Stone cherub fountains – Be sure to use sandstone or marble instead of porous stones that can hold water

Types of rocks commonly used in garden decor:


Extremely durable, but large slabs are difficult to find. Very popular as a path surface because it’s very naturalistic looking. Slate is not usually cheap. It comes in green, blue-gray,yellowish-green, and yellowish-green colors with black markings called “slate penciling.”  If you don’t have the space for slate slabs try using smaller sizes as stepping stones.


Comes in many shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. The most popular flagstone is the thin-cut shale or sandstone flagstone used for patios; they are an inch to 3 inches thick. It comes in red, brown, gray, and yellow colors. Thin-cut flagstones make great paths through gardens because they’re easy to cut through with a trowel to accommodate plants that require different planting depths. If you don’t have the space or budget for full slabs try using smaller pieces as stepping stones around your garden beds.


The golden color is very distinctive but can be pricey. Best used as accent pieces like urns or pedestals to give height to flower beds. Granite comes in many different colors so explore your options even if you don’t like the golden color.  The golden color is due to iron, not gold, but it sure looks pretty!


This soft rock makes very nice walkways and paths through gardens because of its rounded edges. It’s best to buy crushed limestone when using it as a path material because it doesn’t compact down hard as angular stones do.

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