Landscaping Rocks: Which Rock is Best for Your Block?

flagstone pathway in flower garden with river rocks

Rocks are an incredible landscaping tool. They prevent weeds, they look nice and they are pretty much zero maintenance. Rock gardens take far less work than many other options and they're very environmentally friendly.

So start using rocks in landscaping to create pathways, garden beds, and low-maintenance, beautiful outdoor areas. With the right rocks, you'll create amazing outdoor spaces.

Ways to Use Rock

Landscaping rock can be used in a number of ways to beautify your outdoor spaces. Rocks can be used to build fencing and walls to separate garden beds. It's a beautiful option for pool borders.

It works for pathways and it's beautiful around trees and other garden and landscaping features. Use it around water features, playground areas, pet areas, anywhere. Rocks are a part of nature so it's easy to get creative and design beautiful outdoor areas with this material.

All types of rock are weather-resistant and low-maintenance. You need to do very little to them to keep them looking great. Over time, however, all landscaping rocks can change color slightly and develop a patina.

Some rocks may need to be hosed down, cleaned off, and even re-polished to keep them looking their best. But rocks are still one of the easiest and most hassle-free options you have for creating beautiful pathways, garden beds, and interesting outdoor areas.

Size Matters

Landscaping rocks come in all sizes, from little tiny pebbles to large round stones to flat rocks to enormous boulders. So what size rocks do you need? That depends entirely on the types of projects you have planned.

large natural stone steps


Large rocks, boulders, are hard to move and place. You may need extra people or even specialized equipment in order to move boulders. A large boulder or two can be quite dramatic and striking in any outdoor environment and become a focal point.

These large rocks are a great way to dress up any garden bed or to add a cool element to any infrequently-used area of the garden.

Chipped Rock

Rough around the edges and not uniform in shape, chipped rock has a distinct look to it. This rock adds texture to landscaping areas and it's very interesting. Because it's not smooth and polished like other types of landscaping rock, chopped rock is not suitable for walking paths.

Chipped rock is available in a variety of colors but white is the most popular. Some type of border or edging is needed to keep chipped rock where it is because you don't want jagged rock drifting around your property.


A very popular landscaping rock, flagstone is flat and highly durable. The beautiful natural striations in flagstone make this a beautiful choice for creating a path.


garden landscaping with pebbles and evergreens

Made with very small rocks, gravel is a popular landscaping choice. The rocks are multicolored and very smooth. Gravel is a great solution for small spaces because the small rock won't overwhelm the area.

You must surround gravel with edging material of some type, whether this is larger rocks or actual small walls. Gravel is smooth and small, so it's easy to walk on.

Lava Rock

This rock is literally lava that is broken up into jagged pieces. Lava rock is distinct for its red color. This rock can be great for adding details and pops of color to any rock landscaping design.

River Rock

smooth river rock stones

Somewhat larger than gravel, river rocks are small, smooth rocks in multiple colors. You can get them all in the same color or choose a specific color combination, depending on the look you want.

This is a pretty, highly decorative rock that is very suitable for garden beds and areas of landscaping that are the most visible. River rock is not as suitable for walking as gravel, so it's best not used on paths. River rock needs borders so that it stays in place and doesn't spread out or drift.