Decorative rocks are taking over movies, tv shows, and outdoor decorative magazines, and with good reason: they are durable, versatile, and fit any home decor and garden style. Landscaping with rocks can look classic, edgy and everything in between, and let’s not forget how convenient and low-maintenance decorative stone is!
If you are into arts, crafting or decoration, you are likely to have already seen some of these ideas in Pinterest, Instagram or your favorite TV show. Let’s dive into the top 5 trends in decorative rocks for landscaping.
#1 Gabion Baskets as a Decorative Statement
Originally used for building retaining walls, gabion baskets have earned their place in finer environments thanks to their cool industrial aesthetic. The river rocks often used to fill gabions have a pleasant color variation, and they add a nice bright gray to your garden and outdoor areas.
Not just a pretty face, gabion baskets are stable and sturdy, so use them to create low walls, raised garden beds, steps, or for any other structural and decorative purposes. You can choose to keep them clean or plant some ferns and moss to give them a lush look.
Appropriate Both Indoor & Outdoor
Did you ever consider bringing gabion baskets inside? They can make a quick and easy partition wall, or if you stack them low you can create a kitchen island or ad-hoc bar or buffet - imagine how cool a gabion basket with a glass topping would look as a coffee table!
The river pebbles will inject natural materials into your home, while the metal wires make it look edgy and cool. And although it is hard to move and place, you won’t have to worry about maintenance for years.
#2 Decorative Gravel as Grout in Between Flagstone, Pavers & More
Pouring concrete is expensive, messy, and can make for drainage issues if it rains hard where you live. Consider using small decorative pebbles or gravel as “grout” between your pavers or flagstone. The look is natural, but still very tidy, and you get much better drainage for stormwater.
Word to the wise: remember to lay down some landscape fabric under the gravel to prevent pesky weeds from popping up.
#3 Colored Stones for Driveways & Walkways
Using colored decorative stones is a trend that is only rising all over the country. Paved driveways are a thing of the past - small gravel comes in lots of attractive colors that can enhance your home’s curb appeal and set it aside from the neighbors.
This may be an odd selling point, but we find the crunch of gravel under feet or wheels really soothing! And there is no need to worry about stray pebbles nicking your car - driveway gravel is made in the correct size to keep it on the ground and not flying about.
Stones That Are Sized to Fit can Help With Crowd Flow
Crushed stones are made to spec, meaning you can choose the precise size of the gravel you want to lay down. Use this to your advantage, by placing larger decorative rocks where you don’t want any foot traffic. You get all the benefits of a cohesive look and good drainage, and you will discourage people and pets from walking too close to your prize azaleas.
Stabilized Gravel Is a Great Alternative to Concrete and Asphalt
We’ve spoken about looks, crowd flow, and drainage, but did we tell you that decorative rock has a great price? The cost of spreading stabilized gravel is a fraction of what it would cost you to pour asphalt or concrete, not to mention that the job is done in hours at most and requires no setting time or aftercare. Convenient and beautiful, just how we like it.
#4 Stone "Mulch"
More and more gardeners are joining the stone mulch ranks, for superior looks, neatness, and convenience. Stone mulch is basically very fine decorative rock that is used to cover the soil and protect it from weeds and evaporation.
Among the various options, pumice stone is the kind preferred by most gardeners, because its porous nature means it can retain water, thus keeping the soil moist for longer. Stone mulch does not disintegrate like organic mulch, so it doesn’t enrich the soil, but you can make up for it with compost tea or fertilizer.
It's Mulch that You Won't Have to Replace Twice a Year
Stone mulch has a few great advantages over traditional mulch; one of which is that it doesn’t change color, keeping your garden looking great year round with no effort.
But the biggest advantage by far is that stone mulch doesn’t have to be replaced ever. Like, ever ever. Regular mulch must be removed and replaced twice a year, both because it looks ragged and because it can make your plants sick if you don’t remove it. Stone mulch is forever: no removal, no replacement, no maintenance effort, and no added expense. Who can argue with that?
#5 Dry Creek Beds
Gardens in TV shows tend to have spectacular water features, such as creeks or streams running across them. If you don’t have that kind of budget, you can still achieve the visual effect by creating a long, winding trench and filling it with stones of varying sizes. Add some larger rocks and plants on the edges, and you will have your very own dry creek bed!
Using Rock instead of French Drains
Besides looking great, dry creek beds can serve a purpose, controlling erosion and facilitating drainage. The traditional French drain involves a ditch and a perforated tube that carries stormwater away from your garden, but you can achieve a similar effect with a trench that has a good impermeable base and is filled with large rocks, of a size that promotes drainage.
Your utilitarian ditch will also look fabulous, with so many colors and types of decorative rocks to choose from.
From Outdoor Decorative Rock to Custom Sized Crushed Rocks and Boulders
As you can see, decorative rock is one of the most versatile and trendier options for your landscaping dreams. From a statement boulder or lava rock, to custom-sized crushed rocks and stabilized gravel, we have lots to choose from. Let us advise you on what works best for your projects, and remember we ship nationwide.