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What Rocks Are Best for Backyard Landscaping?

If you want to add beauty, diversity, and functionality to your outdoor space, decorative rocks could be the solution you’re looking for. In fact, decorative rocks can instantly add the texture, color, and depth you need to give your landscape the look you’ve always wanted.

However, choosing the right rock can be tough, especially if you haven’t done it before. So, what are some of the most common types of rock for landscaping, and which ones are the best for filling in garden beds, building retaining walls, and creating pathways?

Types of Rock for Landscaping

There are tons of different types of rock used in landscaping including pea gravel, lava rock, river rocks, polished stones, boulders, sandstone, limestone, flagstone, and many more. All of these different types of rocks have their advantages and disadvantages, so the best rock for backyard landscaping really depends on what type of project you’re planning.

That being said, below you’ll find a few of the most common landscaping projects that homeowners take on and the types of decorative rocks that are best suited for each one.

The Best Rock for Flower Beds

Flower beds are a popular feature in backyard landscaping and they’re one of the easier projects that most homeowners can handle on their own. However, while many homeowners use mulch in their garden beds, decorative rocks are also a great choice and require even less maintenance.

The best types of landscape rocks for flower beds need to be small enough not to crush any plants underneath them while also allowing space for water and air to seep into the ground below.

Pea gravel, crushed granite, lava rock, and river rocks all work great as ground cover in garden beds as well as any other place you want to cover up including tree rings and the area around bushes and shrubs.

The Best Rock for Retaining Walls

Building a retaining wall is a great option for anyone that wants to add tiers to their garden or lawn, but the landscape rocks needed to build one are much different than the ones used to cover flower beds.

The rocks used to build retaining walls need to be large, durable, and flat, so that they can be stacked on top of each other, support immense weight and resist weathering over extended periods of time.

Concrete blocks, flagstone, limestone, and sandstone are all ideal choices when it comes to building retaining walls. They all offer the strength and durability needed for this type of project, so the only thing you’ll need to decide is which one you think looks better.

The Best Rock for Pathways

Pathways is another very common landscaping project and unlike retaining walls, they’re relatively easy to make. The landscape rocks used to make pathways need the strength and durability needed to support high-traffic areas while also providing enough traction for people to safely use them.

The best rocks for building pathways include flagstone, pea gravel, lava rock, and crushed granite. However, while all of these options work great, these rocks all look very different so again, the one you choose will depend on what you want your pathway to look like.

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