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Various Types of Landscaping Rocks for Decorative Purposes

Various types of landscaping rocks for decorative purposesUse of the decorative stones is a long-lasting trend in landscape design. You can create your own rock garden, pool or just make a pretty walkway to the house – all win the use of decorative stones.

In the following passage we will be speaking about different kinds of landscape rocks thus, you will have an opportunity to choose the best option for your landscape design. In addition, we will give some recommendations and advices that will help you to create beautiful and cozy atmosphere in the garden or yard.



Depending on the purpose, you will use the rocks of different size in your garden. There are many names for different shapes and sizes but generally, in the most stores you will find:

Now we will discuss different types of landscaping rocks separately in order to help you to choose which one suits your landscape design better.

Pea gravel

The pea gravel is the smallest crushed rocks or the tiny river pebbles that can be used for the spots that are too small for the larger rocks but still in need of decorative touch or as a mulch.

Here is the example of using this specific decorative landscape rock:
Easy and interesting landscape idea with pea gravel

River and rainbow rocks

These decorative rocks for landscaping are the middle of the size scale. The river rocks come usually in shades of gray and brown, while the rainbow rocks are offering more vibrant color. Rounded up as the pebbles they will be perfect for creating a false riverbed.
Example of false riverbed from river rocks


The boulders are the largest rocks you might want to use. You are lucky if you have one on lawn naturally and can build the composition around.
Landscape design with boulders
But otherwise this central piece should be well chosen as it gives the spirit to the whole decoration. If it’s a huge lava rock it asks for the desert atmosphere around it, if you choose the water washed granite, you’d better set up a small stream and create a riverbed next to it.

Landscape rocks

Not all the rocks are suitable for the landscaping. Some landscaping rock types have a tendency to get destroyed too easy, others don’t look the part.

Here’s a top choice for any composition:

  • shale;
  • granite;
  • sandstone;
  • limestone.
Important! The limestone tends to influence on the overgrowth of the moss.

In order to help you to choose the best decorative rock for landscaping we will discuss rockery rocks separately.


Granite is one of the most popular decorative landscaping rock. It has plenty of different color shades – from grey to dark ruby with disseminations of the quartz, mica and spar, that creates a unique pattern for each stone.
Decomposed granite on landscape design
For this combination of the endurance and looks the granite stone might be one of the expensive options


These decorative landscaping rocks have the same technical qualities as the granite and can be used in many different ways in the rock garden. It has porous structure and comes at color range from foggy-grey to black and green-black.
Fountain in the garden from basalt


Sandstone is slightly less enduring rock type. These rocks for rockery have a very diverse color palette and it includes the shades of white, green, red, beige, grey, brown and blue.
Simple stairs in the front yard from sandstone


Limestone is a sedimentary rock, that is not very enduring. So it’s better to use these decorative landscape rocks in form of gravel to make a fresh and clean impression due to its white or yellow color.
On this picture, you can see the example of rock decorations for landscaping with this stone:
Landscape idea of using limestone


Shale is definitely one of the most popular stone from the list of colored types of landscape rocks. The stones can come in gray, dark red, toxic green, yellow, blue and so many other shades.
Shale in the front yard
Though the structure of the shale is a bit tricky: is consists of the thin layers and with time can be breaking off.

Lava rock

These natural rocks for landscaping are light, porous and irregularly shaped, comes in red or black hues. As it allows a good drainage it’s nice to use around the flowers, for better growth.
Landscape design with black lava rocks


One more stone that is included in the list of different types of rocks for landscaping is marble. It is inferior to granite in the endurance, but it’s compensated by the noble white look it has. It can be used to create a monochrome composition, or add some clean Japanese look to your design.

Attention! Do not use marble around plants that require high levels of acid as it will change the pH of the soil.
Learn more information about rock types for landscaping: for pool, small, large and flat rocks, slate stones, glass landscaping rocks, lava rock and it’s pros and cons. Also fake and river rock.

Different types

The natural rocks are beautiful and enduring, but also expensive. So there’s no shame to use some fake rocks. Depending on the design of your choosing it can spice up the color scheme or add some fun feature:
Different types of decorative stones

  1. Brick chips – can be used as an alternative to crushed gravel for your garden. Being used primary as a mulch it adds a nice terracotta color that is hard to get, using only natural stones.
  2. Light stones are relatively new to landscape design. They have a light color and slight transparency, so in a completely natural looking garden they might look a bit alien.

    But carefully incorporated in your design they will make your creation visible even on the darkest night.

  3. Luminescent stones – are the natural or fake stones painted with the luminescent paint. Such kind of faux rocks are also as known as plastic rocks for landscaping.
  4. Artificial rock – is an environmental friendly option. It can be created from the small pieces of quarry rocks and road base mixed with glass and soil fill and then shaped into a boulder of your liking.
  5. Glass rounded colorful stones can be used in the garden design as well. Though for their obvious fakeness you should be careful with the impression you’d like to make.

There are plenty of colored rocks, for example: red, blue, gray, brown, green and of course black or white.

If all of this seems too complex, do not despair. Give it a try, and surely your first decorative rock project will bring a lot of satisfying moments to you. Even if it’s just a pathway paved with limestone – that’s only the beginning!

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