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A Guide to Choosing Decorative Stones for Your Garden

Adding stones to your garden might be the upgrade you've been looking for. Click here for a guide to choosing the right decorative stones for your garden.
Photo of a mulched garden with green plants surrounded by decorative stones and brick patio pavers and stones

Getting outside is vital to people’s health. When people are outside, their heart rates slow and they feel less stressed. The relaxing qualities of being in nature can even reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease.

One place to reap the benefits of being outside is in a garden. You’ll want to craft a beautiful garden space to ensure you’re spending the most time there. One way to achieve this is through the use of decorative stones. 

Decorative stones are a versatile choice for your garden landscaping. They add new textures, colors, and visual interest to your outdoor areas. 

If you’re hoping to add garden stones to your outdoor space, you’re in the right place. We’ll cover everything you’ll need to consider when choosing decorative stones for your garden in our guide below. 

Types of Stones

The stones that you use for your garden come in many varieties. Each of these varieties has its own properties and can give your garden a specific look. You can find these stone types all around the world.

The most common types of stones are as follows: 

Granite

Granite is a common garden stone. It’s an igneous rock that forms in the Earth’s crust. Most granite is a lighter shade, although some rarer granite has vibrant colors. 

Marble

People know marble for its elegance. Marble starts as limestone but turns to marble with heat and pressure.  

Slate

You’ll find this metamorphic rock cut in flat sheets. People often see slate on roofs, but slate chips are great in gardens.  

Limestone

This type of sedimentary stone is softer than other stones. Most limestone comes in a lighter gray or ivory color. 

You’ll see people use limestone for pathways and driveways. If you use limestone gravel, it has a unique, jagged shape. 

Garden Stone Options 

One of the best parts of decorating your garden with stone is how many stone options there are. Decorative stones come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and sizes. This will ensure you get exactly the look you are going for in your garden space.  

Crushed Stone

Crushed stones come in so many variations. You’ll most often find this kind of stone in garden pathways. The most common type of crushed stone is granite, although you can find other crushed stone rocks as well.

Crushed stone makes for a good mulch alternative. If you use crushed stone as mulch, make sure to use it around plants that don’t mind the heat. Crushed stones can get very hot in the sun. 

River Rocks 

River rocks are smooth rocks taken from river beds. You can find river rocks in all types of sizes and colors.  

These rocks do especially well if you have water near or in your garden. They are a brilliant choice for any drainage features you may have. 

Lava Rocks 

This kind of rock may sound exotic, but you can find lava rocks at many garden stores. They come in a popular red or black color. 

Lava rocks make excellent accent stones in a garden. White flowers and succulents pair especially well with this type of garden stone. 

If you’re looking to make a statement, try adding lava rocks to your fire pits. They do very well near the hot temperatures of your fire.

Cobblestone

You can’t beat the charm of cobblestone for your garden paths. These stones usually come in irregular square shapes. They most often come in granite, limestone, or basalt types.  

Most people use cobblestones in garden pathways. Although they look great, they are usually uneven and can be rough on the feet. 

Flagstone

If you’re looking for a quaint style of garden stone, flagstone is your best bet. These types of stones are flat and durable. Most people use these stones for patios or garden walkways. 

Flagstones come in irregular shapes. Most people use a mix of colors when they use flagstone in their gardens. They add more character to a garden than regular concrete. 

Boulders 

Garden rocks don’t have to be small. They can be big, statement-making boulders! 

A boulder is a rock that is at least a foot wide. They can range from something you can move yourself to a rock that is very large and heavy. 

You can find boulders in many kinds of rocks. Marble, granite, limestone, and quartzite are the most common types of boulder rocks. 

If you want a boulder for your garden, you’ll find them most often in a stone yard. Here, you can choose the boulders you think will best fit your garden design. 

You can use boulders in many creative ways. Flat boulders make an impressive set of steps for your garden. You can use boulders to define your garden space. 

Boulders and larger rocks also make excellent fillers for areas that are harder to grow plants in. Because of the unique shape of a boulder, you’ll be able to fill up almost any size spot. 

If you want to install an enormous boulder, you may need to call in professional help. They can use equipment to lift and place your boulder in the perfect spot. 

How to Choose a Garden Stone 

When you are in the market for a garden stone, you have to keep a few considerations in mind. You need to have an idea of the overall look you’re going for and how much you are looking to spend. 

Rock Size 

You can find garden stones in a wide range of sizes. You’ll need to know what purpose you want your garden rocks to serve before picking the right kind.

Tiny stones work best anywhere water may need to drain. You can treat these stones like mulch.  

Flat stones do best as walkways and paths. The smoother the rock, the better they will feel on your feet.  

Larger stones are perfect for walls and anywhere that needs structure. Large stones add a great focal element to your garden. 

Color

Stones come in many shades and ranges of color. You can find a color to fit whatever design you have in mind.  

You can find mix-and-match colors for a more vibrant look or stick to a traditional one-color style. The stones with the most unique color may come at a higher price tag. 

Warmer-colored gravel is perfect for purple and blue flowers. If you have paler-colored blooms, cool-toned gravel will make them pop. Greenery looks great with all styles of gravel. 

Cost

When designing your garden space, the cost is a big factor in the stone you will end up getting. Stone prices can vary, so you’ll want to know what you can afford.  

Make sure to start with a budget. When planning your garden design, figure out what you want to spend on your garden stones. This will help narrow down your stone options and prevent you from overspending.

Before buying stones, double-check the size of the space you’ll need stones for. You’ll want to know the exact size of the space you need decorative stone for so you can make sure to buy enough. 

You can always compare prices when you go stone shopping. Research and compare stone prices from different stores. Keep in mind that high-quality stones may be more expensive.  

Some stones may need maintenance, while other stones you won’t need to worry about. Some stones with a higher upfront cost may end up saving you money in the end.  

Installing Decorative Stone

Before buying your stone, make sure to think about how you are going to install it. If you are going to put it in an area with greenery around it, think about weeds. You may need to use landscaping fabric as a base to keep it looking its best. 

If you’re using stone near water, do your homework before installation. You may need to consider erosion. Rocks here may need a little trench so they don’t fall out of their place. 

If you’re hoping to cover a lot of ground, smaller stones do the job well. Stones like gravel or slate chips cover extensive areas well and aren’t hard to maintain. 

Decorative Stones Add Pizzazz to Any Garden

Decorative stones instantly transform your garden from bland to polished. Put your own personal stamp on your garden space with garden stones.  

If you’re looking to add decorative stone to your garden, Fox Landscape Supply can help. Our family-owned company has been helping people get their dream garden since 2020. Contact us for a quote today! 

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