How to Enhance Your Landscape with Decorative Landscaping Rocks
If you’re new to the landscape world, you might not be aware there’s a consistent, never-ending debate that amateurs and professionals alike have been having since the beginning of landscaping time—decorative landscaping rocks or mulch?
While there are a lot of landscapers out there who take pretty staunch stances on either side of that debate, we’re happy to say that we believe there’s a time and a place for both rocks and mulch in a landscape—it all depends on your goals, your landscape, your soil, and a few other factors.
We’re so pro-rock-and-mulch that we have an entire blog post dedicated to diving into the benefits and costs of both (check it out right here!)—but today, right here and right now, we’re talkin’ rock and rocks only.
So, if you’ve ever been curious about adding rocks to your landscape, are seeking out inspiration for how to create the ultimate rock landscape look, or simply want to learn more about your rock options, keep reading!
What Are Decorative Landscaping Rocks? (& How They Can Benefit Your Landscape)
It’s important to make a quick distinction here before we dive into the whole rock debate—when we say decorative landscaping rocks, we’re not (usually) talking about tiny little pebbles that are going to mess up your soil, annoy you, get stuck in your shoes, and make your landscaping life more complicated.
Decorative landscaping rocks or decorative landscaping stones are a natural type of rock that can be used as groundcover, a substitute for mulch, or for adding a little decoration and texture to your landscape.
Rocks can be an exceptional choice for any landscape for a lot of reasons. For example:
- Not only are decorative rocks great for things like strangling weeds (and preventing them from growing in the first place), they’re also wind-resistant, which can tack on major benefits for soil erosion issues if you live somewhere particularly breezy (we’re looking at you, coastal businesses and residents).
- Rocks are fireproof! There are no flammable issues you need to worry about here.
- Rocks are low maintenance—think about it, they’re rocks. They don’t decompose, they don’t mold, they don’t rot—they’re just sitting there, doing their job, never causing you any issues. You might need to give them a good spray or clean every now and again, but past that, there’s not much you need to worry about.
- Large rocks are great retaining walls. In other words, they can hold landslides back, keep plants off the road, and create interesting textures and patterns in your landscape.
Decorative Landscaping Rocks: Our Favorite Types
Not super interested in the “rock” look but still aren’t crazy about mulch? We don’t blame you. But guess what—there are plenty of alternative options. And none are as perfect for a Florida landscape as crushed shell. The best part? Shells are super versatile. You can use them for walkways, paths, ground cover, walls, parking lots, and more! Shells are a great, affordable option that can add a little coastal, tropical flair to your landscape.
Cedar Bark Stone
Another high-end option, cedar bark stone is kind of the best of both worlds. While it looks like wood or bark, it’s actually a rare stone. This rock makes a great groundcover and is typically used as a decorative touch added around plants. This high-end stone rarely needs replenishing and is incredibly low maintenance.
Black and charcoal with traces of white, granite rocks can add a flair of texture and a touch of drama to your landscape! Granite rock is an affordable, low-maintenance, gorgeous addition to any landscape—especially when that granite is sealed and color enhanced to give off a glowing, black sheen.
Lava rock is considered a higher-end, premium type of landscaping rock. But, while the price might be a little on the higher side, the benefits certainly pay for themselves. Lava rock is a porous, light rock that’s easy to transport and even easier to spread (so it’s a great DIY project). Not only is lava rock beautiful (it comes in black, red, and more), it’s also shown to be more porous than other types of rock, meaning it can retain and regulate moisture better than other types of rock (and especially mulch).
Multi-colored and smooth, river rock is reminiscent of those beautiful stones you’d pick up in your youth at the bottom of a riverbed to skip across the water. These affordable, beautiful stones will add accent and sophistication to any landscape.
Lime rock is a popular choice for a lot of folks looking to use rocks as part of their landscape. Why? Because it’s beautiful, it’s interesting, and it’s exceptionally affordable. Lime rock is great for garden walls, shore lining, and decorative erosion control.
There are so, so many types of beach pebble varieties out there—and we’re here for all of them. From Red Mexican Beach Pebbles to White Mayan Sea Pebbles to Mixed Color Ocean Pebbles, and beyond (you can even use translucent pebbles!), there are so many gorgeous types of beach pebbles on the market that can add both color and texture to your landscape.
This high-end decorative landscape rock is 100 percent as exciting as it sounds. Because this red, black, and tan colored stone is so beautiful and so low maintenance, all it takes is a single application at the appropriate and desired thickness. After that, you’re basically done with maintenance. Used as groundcover, this will help to minimize weed growth, prevent erosion, provide protection and insulation for your plants (from both hot and cold weather), and much more.
At the end of the day, how you design your landscape is totally up to you. The beautiful thing about rocks is that, no matter what type of landscape you’ve got on your hands, they’re a pretty low-maintenance way to spruce things up in a snap. It doesn’t hurt that they’re non-living groundcover, so they won’t decompose (AKA, it matters less what type of landscape or soil you have).
Are you ready to get your rock on? We thought you might be. At Landcrafters, we know a thing or two (more than that, actually) about decorative rocks and stones. When it comes to landscaping, we’re the best in the biz, and we’re more than happy to help you create the landscape of your dreams.
For decorative rock design services, maintenance, quote questions, and more, reach out to us at (727)-201-3947. Or, contact us directly right here through our website.
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