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Creative approach to Landscaping with river rock

Creative approach to Landscaping with river rockToday river rock is one of the most popular stones which are used for landscape design. This is all because river rock has wide range of shapes, sizes and colors. So, no matter what idea comes to your mind, it can be always easily implemented.

If you are a fresh man in landscaping design then definitely choose river rocks for decorating. This stone has many advantages and looks beautiful in any garden or yard.



Different sizes of river rockRiver rock is a special type of stones which can be found near riversides and lakes. These are mostly rocks which were influenced by water for a long time.

Weather conditions made these stones round and smooth as pebbles and nice to the touch. In addition, there are many different landscape river rock sizes, so you can choose the best option particularly for your design.

There are different types of river rocks: limestone, sandstone, pebble, boulders, etc. That’s why river rock can be of different colors (grey, green, black, blue, red and orange); may have spots or stripes; and has the shape of pellets, roundstone or cobble.

Due to river rock variety these stones are loved by all landscape designers. Furthermore, river rocks look even more attractive if they are wet: that’s why they become irreplaceable in design of waterfalls, fountains, pools, etc.

Notice! River rocks can be found not only in rivers, but also in seas and oceans. So, you can always start collecting them if you are having a holiday on the seashore.

Pros and Cons

Is river rock good for landscaping? River rock is believed to be one of the best options for landscape design due to its advantages:

    Advantages and disadvantages of using river rocks in landscape design

  1. High rock strength. River rock can stand temperature drop, physical impact and is not influenced by ultraviolet and moisture.
  2. Ecological compatibility. It has been proven that landscaping with river rock is environmentally friendly since it is natural stone.
  3. Fancy appearance. Different sizes, shapes and colors make the stone perfect for design. Furthermore, soft river rocks’ colors add warmth to the landscape.
  4. Protective properties. If you decide to use river rock for flowerbed or path, the stone will protect plant roots from temperature drop, will keep the moisture and will help to avoid over drying ground. River rock usage for paths will not let undesirable plants (weed) grow up.
  5. Fire resistance. In case of fire danger river rocks will not let the fire spread.
  6. Low price. Natural and fancy river rock will cost a little, and will work for years.

But there are several disadvantages of river rock for landscaping that should be mentioned as well:

  1. Stone laying difficulty. If you have decided to make a complicated composition using fixing materials, laying river rock will take plenty of time and effort (tip: basics of installing river rocks).
  2. River rock type which is available. River rocks can be easily found in your local stores. The only problem which may appear is the available rock type. Usually that depends on your area. The point is that river rock has to be trucked locally.
    Advice! Before starting your landscape project check your local stores in order to find out which stones are available in your area.
  3. Because of river rocks which are used as mulch plants may need additional plant food. Usually regular mulch subsides into the ground, providing plants and trees feeding which is needed. If you replace natural mulch with rocks, plants will not get extra nutrition.
Learn more information about rock types for landscaping: for pool, crushed rock, small, large and flat rocks, white marble, gravel, granite, slate stones, glass landscaping rocks, lava rock and it’s pros and cons. Also fake rocks.

Landscaping Ideas

There are different ways how you can use landscaping river rock for design. The only thing that may stop you is your imagination.

Landscape edging with river rocksIf you have decided to make your landscape brighter and more interesting, here are some ideas of landscaping with river rocks:

  • filling in the space between big boulders;
  • making paths and walkways;
  • waterfall and fountain decoration;
  • flowerbed decoration;
  • rock island;
  • creation of dry creek beds;
  • Japanese garden decoration;
  • pond decoration;
  • making a border between house and garden;
  • river rock usage instead of mulch;
  • making any kind of edging.


These pictures demonstrate you that smooth river rocks for landscaping look really good any design:
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Video tutorial

This short video demonstrates the simple and inexpensive way of using river rocks:

More concepts of using river rock in front yard landscaping.


Usually river rock stones for landscaping do not need any special care or cleaning. But if you feel that you stones have to be cleaned, here are some important advices which you should remember:

  1. Sometimes water cleaning may be enough for landscape river rock. In this case you may use regular garden hose.
  2. Try to avoid cleaners which contain acid. Acid will damage rock surface, and you may notice that only several months after.
  3. There are special cleaners for rocks in stores. You can always ask for a professional advice in the store, where they can help you to find the best cleaner depending on dirt type. Make sure you have read specification carefully. You should also remember that you will have to wash the cleaner off the rocks in a right way.
  4. Sometimes it is much easier to replace dirty stones with new ones (when cleaning process seems to be very hard).

So, landscaping river rocks is exciting experience but do not forget clean them in order to maintain the beautiful view.

Landscape river rocks calculator

Rockery creation takes much time and effort. It is very pivotal to choose the right amount of stones for your specific landscape design.

Remember: this kind of landscape design is supposed to have many stones and boulders, and sometimes small rockery (about 3×1,5 meters size) may need about 1 ton of stones which may cost from $100 to $700 (depending on rock type).

So, in order to avoid lack or surplus of decorative river rocks for landscaping make sure you that you have made the picture of your rockery. You can ask for an advice in the store as well. Don’t forget that the higher the volume of stones you need, the more money you will have to spend.

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