Using Stone in your Garden

One of the easiest ways to decorate your garden is to use stone in and around your lawn and garden. The idea of using stone in the garden is not a new one, but the stone being used has changed over the years, as have the ideas of ways to use it.

Stone pathway

Stone Pathway in Hidcote Garden
Courtesy: Dave Catchpole via Flickr

Kinds of Stone

There are a variety of types of stone that can be used in the garden, all with different properties. These properties lend specific types of stone to be useful for different purposes.

  • Decomposed Granite – Very fine granite that has broken down into particles and silt, it starts as a reddish-tan color and will fade to plain tan over time.
  • Pea Gravel – Small, rounded rocks that are about the size of a pea, they will be smooth and light.
  • River Rock – Similar to pea gravel in composition, river rock will be much larger, rounded off and one inch or more in diameter.
  • Crushed Granite Gravel – Similar to decomposed granite, it tends to be a bigger mix of pieces, ranging from small chunks that are the size of pea gravel, to silt and sand.
  • Mexican Beach Pebbles – Smooth, rounded, grayish-black stones that are generally smaller than river rock, their color lends them to being used more for decoration.

Uses for Stone

There are a variety of ways to use these types of stone throughout a garden. Here are some ideas, and the types of stone that are best for such ideas. These are just recommendations of course – the best way to find what is right for you and your lawn is to experiment.

  • Pathways – Using stone to create pathways is a perfect use, as it helps to avoid tracking mud around, and allow moisture to sift through a path. Finer stones that compact are good, such as decomposed granite or crushed granite gravel. The only problem is that, in some cases, silt will stick to the bottom of shoes and be tracked in, which rather defeats the purpose.
  • Dry Creek Beds – Having a decorative pathway that looks like a dry creek bed running through a garden is a great little feature that is easy to maintain. River rock is the best bet for this – Mexican beach pebbles won’t stand out as much due to their coloring, while the other types are too fine to create an effective bed.
  • Water Features – Stones are great for using as a base in a water feature. For something like a miniature waterfall, a koi pond, or a similar feature, Mexican beach pebbles and river rock looks great. The polished grey and black has a great glint in the sun, especially when wet. River rock allows for splashes of color, and is great for highlighting the bottom of a pond, especially if the pond has darkly-colored animals that you would like to be visible.
  • Xeric Gardening – Plants that need little in the way of moisture can use stone as a highlight, instead of mulch. Desert plants tend to look good with the reddish tint of decomposed granite surrounding them. Pea gravel and crushed granite gravel are great for spreading around these plants.

Using stone throughout a garden is a great way to add color, texture, and vibrancy, while adding feature. At only a few dollars per bag, it’s not an expensive product to experiment with. Give it a shot!

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.