How Do You Choose Landscaping Rock?

Anyone planning landscape design these days is spoilt for choice when it comes to rocks and stones. There are so many options in terms of materials, finishes, and sizes, you are almost certain to find the perfect rocks for your project.

How do you choose? Well, be clear about what your needs are, understand your budget, define the style you are going for, and make sure you understand the purpose and use you have in mind for the landscaping rocks, and not just how they look.

Let’s go over several popular projects in more detail.

Stone for Walkways, Paths & Stepping Stones

A garden path made with stepping stones is natural, soothing and engages all the senses. There are many natural stones that are suitable for this purpose, slate being one of the most popular. Use large, flat stones instead of concrete pavers or paths for a beautiful, layered look in your garden.

Conversely, you can use large, irregularly shaped rocks to delineate where you don’t want foot traffic and to discourage pets from walking in certain areas. 

Smaller rocks, such as beach pebbles, are ideal to create gravel walks - the crunch under your feet when you walk on them is incredibly satisfying, and they are gentle for dog paws. If you like the look of larger paver stones, you can always use gravel or small crushed rock between them as a sort of grout. 

Rock as Mulch & Ground Cover

Bark mulch and chipped wood are the most traditional mulch and ground cover materials, and they are beautiful and good for your plants. However, if you’re an experienced gardener you probably know that landscape architects recommend replacing wood mulch twice a year: it discolors, decays and disintegrates with time and rain, and while some of that is desirable, after a while it just looks ragged and can put your plants at risk of disease. Enter stone mulch: a permanent ground cover solution that will not fade or change with time and never needs to be replaced. In the long run, this makes for great savings, both in terms of money and effort.

If you’re using landscaping stone as ground cover, keep the use in mind when you choose the size:

Large rocks are better for drainage, and to add weight to your flower beds, however, they do limit the kind of plants you can use to those with tall, strong stems. 

Small rocks are better for compaction and weed control, and they allow more flexibility when planting. Just remember they may slow drainage.

Stone for Fire Pits

The fire pit has made a comeback, and now they are sleeker and more convenient than ever before. If you have an outdoor space, you can have a fire pit! 

You don’t have to go all-out with a built-in gas-fueled fire pit, although it would certainly be nice. There are many trendy DIY tutorials online, showing how to make a stylish fire pit with as little as river rocks and a can of chafing gel.

Since they are totally fire-safe, landscaping rocks are a great option to keep your fire pit stable, secure and ready for happy hour. Go ahead and make a fire pit the focal point of your patio or terrace!

Rock for Gardens & Pond

Water features bring a garden to life wonderfully, with motion, sound, and an incomparable sense of peace. River stones are naturally suited to water features, and their colors look vibrant when they are underwater. Use them to line the bottom of your ponds or creeks, or to create small fountain or waterfall features. 

We have seen some minimalist DIY fountains in which water just pours out of a hole in the middle of a large river stone, and the effect is mesmerizing. You can also place river rocks under a trickle of falling water, and enjoy the soothing sounds they make. 

Rock for other Decorative Purposes

As a nationwide seller of decorative rock, we’re always fascinated by how different types of rock are more popular in certain locations than others. That said, we have some all-stars like salida, black Mexican beach pebbles, and desert gold, which are popular nationwide for their beauty and versatility.

Gravel & Crushed Rock

Not everybody knows that gravel and crushed rock are man-made, so they can be made to measure to whatever size or dimensions you require. We have many colors available, some are even exclusive to us! A very popular crushed rock is desert gold - it looks great on driveways and as a ground cover.


Nothing beats the feel of cobblestone for a traditional or antique-looking path or driveway, and we have many styles for you to choose from. The most popular among them are multicolor, salida, and Washita - whether you prefer warm or cool tones, darker or lighter stone, we have it.

River Rock


river rock


An absolute classic, river rock comes in tones ranging from golden to bluish. With a wide range of sizes and uses, you cannot go wrong with river rock for contemporary, minimalist or more natural styles. Clean river rock is the one we sell the most of, because of its natural beauty.

More Colors and Sizes

We get our rock from the best sources, and we have colors and types of decorative stone you won’t find anywhere else. We can also make crushed rock to any size you desire. Just remember the old laws of the market: the more specific your requirements are, the higher prices are likely to be. 

What's Trendy in Landscape Stone?

Designing outdoor spaces with landscape stones is more than a trend - it is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, beautiful way to enhance your spaces. Take a look at what designers are doing with decorative stones these days, maybe something will inspire you! 

Click here to learn about the 5 Trends to Watch

Decorative Stone for Traditional Design

If you favor the traditional style, we have many types of rocks and stones that will flatter and compliment your spaces, such as clean river rocks and Aztec. These types of rock come in more traditional shades of brown, and their slight color variation makes them blend in beautifully - nothing monotone about them.

Decorative Stone for Modern Design

For those who prefer to be at the forefront of design trends, our recommendation would be crushed white marble - it is simply gorgeous, luminous, and really in right now. 


salida rock


Forget about lava rock, which had its day in the 70s and 80s, and think of salida river rock instead, or anything else in whites, grays, and solid colors.

A really hot trend right now is using two contrasting kinds of rocks to outline a pathway - choose from salida, granite, desert gold or any of our beautiful gravel options, and place two complementary colors side by side for a very modern look.

Looking for a Timeless Design?

Trends are fun, but you're might be looking to do a decorative rock installation that won't go out of style in two years. If that is the case, let us advise you - we have been in this business since 1958, and there are many types of rocks that stay at the top of out best-selling list decade after decade. For a timeless design, you might want to consider crushed granites, Aztec, naturally-colored river pebble and what we call “native” colors, which are a warm, hearty blend of tans and browns.

Decorative Rock Near You

Minick Materials has been providing America with sand, rock, soil and other landscaping materials for generations. Give us a call to talk about your landscaping projects, and remember: we ship nationwide.