Landscaping rocks can be used to create eye-catching designs as well as for retaining moisture in soil and creating pathways around your garden or outdoor area. When you start shopping for landscaping rocks you may see more choices than you imagined, which can make deciding on the right type difficult. Note a few factors to consider so you can create the landscape of your dreams on your property.

1. Decomposed granite

This is granite that has broken to the point where it has shaped into small pebbles. It can be used around walkways and for edging a landscaping feature. Its advantage is that you are recycling granite material that might otherwise be discarded since it's no longer one long slab, such as used for countertops. The disadvantage is that it does tend to leave marks on the bottoms of shoes and feet.

2. Pea gravel

Pea gravel refers to small round rocks that are about the size and shape of a pea. Pea gravel is very inexpensive and because the rocks are rounded, they're softer on bare feet than other types of gravel. They are good for walkways and also for paving between larger stones, or even for creating a rock lawn such as is common in the tropics or areas where grass doesn't grow easily.

3. River rock

River rocks are rounded but much larger than pea gravel; they are usually at least a full inch in diameter. They have a very natural and rustic look that make them a good choice for borders around ponds and fountains, and because they are round they are also more comfortable for walking than other types of rock. However, it is difficult to pull weeds that grow up between river rocks and when stacked in layers, they can be heavy and sink into very soft or moist soil.

4. Paver stones and flagstones

Paver stones and flagstones are flat and meant for walking. The difference between the two is that flagstone is typically left with a natural finish which may be pitted and grooved. This can be more aesthetically pleasing, but may not work well for patios where you want tables and chairs to sit flat on the surface. 

5. Boulders

Boulders are any large rock that is meant for visual interest and not walking; boulders can actually be artificial and created onsite using clay or poured concrete, and then painted or stained to look like natural rock. This can be less expensive and easier to manage than transporting actual boulders from your landscaping supply store to your property, but these may not work as well for retaining moisture or soil on your property as real boulders.

To learn more about your different options for landscaping rocks, check out a landscaping supply company like Elite's Rock Sand & Soil.