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What Size Rock Is Best for Landscaping?

What Size Rock Is Best for Landscaping

Landscaping your garden, lawn, or yard is one of the challenging aspects of gardening, but, at the end of the day, gives a sense of fulfillment with the creation of your very own paradise. 

Choosing the right material for landscaping comes in a lot of categories, including the design you have been vying for, whether it be Zen, English, Oriental, Butterfly, Organic, or a mix of any of these styles with your very own. The rocks that come with what you have in mind also depends on the terrain and the needs of your garden. Rocks and stones can prove beneficial not only for making a serene sight and deterring unwanted visitors but also for improving the irrigation and water retention of your grounds.

Though for some, merely laying down cement is one of the go-to solutions in landscaping, nothing beats the satisfaction that is brought by doing the labor in your garden with dirt, sand, and rocks in designing your scenery. These rocks and stones can be bought cheaply or even free if found in the vicinity of a nearby river or mountain.

Rocks present a variety of choices from different sizes, types, and colors. Rock sizes can range from small pebbles to big boulders to set up the look and feel you want for your garden. Not only that, but landscaping with rocks in your yard, lawn, or garden offers a lot of functions that help protect your garden as well as relieve some pressure in maintaining it.

For this article, we’re going to classify rocks by their size and the decorative trait they give to your garden perfect landscaping view.

improvements in your garden

Large Boulders & Landscape Rocks 

Because of their size, these cause major changes and improvements in your garden. These usually serve as attractive centerpieces to highlight certain plants in your garden or make elevations to wider gardens for larger landscapes that make these aesthetically pleasing. These are prominent figures in your garden since they also have distinctive patterns and colors. 

Large rocks are usually for creating degrees of elevations to your garden for different kinds of slopes or even framing small ponds or fountains. 

Rocks that come in humongous sizes are often used for making walls in your gardens. These can be made with boulders or segmented wall blocks. Segmented wall blocks vary in their insulation patterns, techniques, and selection of blocks. Choosing a block comes easier than with boulders since segmented blocks are already pre-cut and easier to install. While boulders have different sizes and cuts that are harder to do, they offer a much more adventurous, rugged and natural look since they won’t be able to follow a traditional line than those with segmented blocks. 

The trick to making use of boulders for walls is to embed them into the dirt like patchworks, so they come out as part of the whole landscape. These will help prevent soil erosion and give the nature-loving vibe you want to exude in your gardens. 


Stones can come out in sizes that range from the size of a big coin to the size of a football. Stones are the handier versions of rocks, and some types have surfaces that are smoother than rocks. These are bought by the sack or truck to cover whole surfaces of your yard like walkways and garden beds and create a decorative feel to the place. 

Much like rocks, stones have a variety to choose from differing in their sizes, color, weight, shape, and material where they’ve come from. Commonly for landscaping, it is split into two major branches–aggregates and flagstone.


Aggregates are quite common and inexpensive. These come in rounded and smooth forms, and you can easily find these on ordinary biomes. This consists of gravel, sand, beach pebbles, crushed granite, pea gravel, and river rocks. 

Pea gravel, decomposed granite, and crushed gravel can take the place of mulch instead of wood chips and can be used to fill gaps in the crevices of your patio and walkway. 

Crushed gravel and decomposed granite are comparable to one another since they are both chunkier with sharp edges. Decomposed granite (DG) is a fine powdery granite with mixes of silt and rocks, while crushed gravel is made up of bigger granules. DGs are indicative of their reddish tan hue to yellow-gold shades. 

Pea gravel is a small, smooth rock that is smaller than river rocks and comes in all sorts of colors and sizes. It has 3/8, 5/8 1/4 inch, and 1/2 inch. Its color includes tan, brown, and white, which gives an elegant accent to your kids’ playground, swimming pool, grounds, and pathway.

Quarry spalls are functional large, bony rocks and are the go-to rocks for decorating and landscaping. These vary in size, ranging from two to four inches, and are mainly used to stabilize and provide security to muddy and moist areas while promoting water permeability in the soil. 

Bigger quarry spalls are often found in construction areas and residences for their versatility and can be used to build small retaining walls for your flower beds.

Beach pebbles and river rocks are quite popular to set up as walkways because their light color gives off sophistication, which would be perfect for Zen and Oriental gardens. River rocks can come in 3/4″ to 5″ in size and is a type of smooth gravel that comes in an array of collections. River rocks are commonly used as mulch for flowerbeds and highlighting flower beds and the lining of pathways. These can also be used as ground coverings of dirt roads for rural areas.

You can be creative with these since you can make a retaining wall or an irrigation system and drainage out of these, or even a special addition to your yard like a fountain or a dry creek bed.


On the other hand, flagstones are cut flat and come in diameters depending on how you’re going to use it. This includes limestone and sandstone. Sandstones, specifically, bluestones, are known to be a great choice for outdoor hardscaping. Both sandstone and limestone are mainly used to add an aesthetic feel to your patio or walkways. 

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Carlos Warren

Growing up in Texas, I was fascinated by the world of science and invention, thanks in large part to my father's work at Dow Chemical Company. However, my true passion lay in the natural world, and I became an expert in organic gardening and composting at a young age. I spent hours studying the microbiological communities in our family garden, using a microscope to define the quality of the soil. My love for farming and gardening led me to explore new techniques and methods, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible.