Out of all the stone products that are used for landscaping, river rock is one of the most popular. It comes in large or small sizes and many different colors. Although all stones are different from one another when it comes to shape, size, and color variations, there is one thing that they have in common. They all have a soft and smooth finish. Their edges are smooth from years of water currents wearing down the jagged edges and points, giving them a refined and rounded appearance. This water-aging process gives them interesting shapes and colors, causing some to look like gems or precious stones. River rock can add a unique and colorful element to your landscaping project and often the appearance is enhanced when wet, which is why they are often used in designs that incorporate water (e.g. fountains, creeks, waterfalls, etc.).
Using river rock in your next landscape project is a great idea as it is versatile and adds a nice finishing touch to any design. It can be used as a focal point of a project or it can be used as background material. Here are some different ways to incorporate river rock into your landscape.
River Rock Walkway or Path
To start, you would want to consider a smaller sized river rock as this will determine how comfortable it is for walking. The smaller the river rock, the softer it is underfoot. Not only for those wearing shoes but for those who prefer to traverse the landscape in their bare feet. Although it is not necessary, a border or landscape edging should be considered along the walkway or path. This will help keep the rock in place and is especially important if the walkway is bordering a grassy area that is mowed. A border will provide a defined boundary and will reduce the number of stones that may get kicked into the lawn, thus limiting the number of stones that could end up in mower blades.
Dry Creek Bed
One of the most common uses for river rock is the creation of a dry creek bed. The appearance is completely natural because after all, river rock stones were shaped by and came from rivers, streams or oceans. Whether flowing water is present or not, a creek bed gives the appearance of a water feature running through your landscape. The visual element of a dry creek bed can be enhanced by winding it around other features such as plants, boulders, or walkways.
If you aren’t a fan of mulch, don’t like the annual replacement of mulch, and are looking for a lower maintenance option, use river rock. Similar to mulch, adding river rock around your plants can give your landscape a nice, finished look. It can add contrasting color and accentuate landscape features. Because river rock is longer lasting you won’t have to replace it and it will be less expensive over the long-term. Rocks still keep the weeds away and are definitely more wind-resistant than mulch. River rock does not provide the same benefits to plants like mulch does (i.e. mulch breaks down and plants receive nutrients from decomposition) and rock will heat up faster than mulch, leading to thirstier plants. And, of course, river rock is much more cumbersome to remove if you decide that it was not a good substitute for mulch.
As one of the most versatile landscaping materials, there are many ways to use river rock in your landscaping plans. But it is not the easiest material to transport. Thankfully, Fra-Dor Landscape Supplies offers delivery of river rock. Check out our river rock options and give us a call at (651) 484-8180 to set up your home delivery.