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7 Great Ways to Use River Rock in Your Landscaping

Jul 17, '20

7 Great Ways to Use River Rock in Your Landscaping

Spruce Up Your Backyard With These River Rock Landscaping Ideas

River rock is a great way to add a stone element to your gardens and walkways. Check out these 7 amazing river rock landscaping ideas for inspiration!

Are you looking for fresh river rock landscaping ideas?

Landscaping with river rock is a cost-effective option that gives you beautiful, lasting results. It's a versatile landscaping material that you can use in a variety of ways throughout your lawn.

Check out these seven landscape ideas using river rock to refresh your yard.

1. Mulch Substitute

River rock can work as a mulch option in your landscaped garden areas. Mulching benefits include weed control, erosion control, and moisture control.

The rocks stay in place even in windy conditions. They also don't break down like wood mulch and other mulch materials.

The color of river rock provides contrast with the flowers and greenery in the landscaped area. This can help define the area and draw attention to your plants.

River rock also works around a container garden. Position the pots at different heights and locations. Then fill in the ground area around them with river rocks.

The rock base gives the container garden a finished look. It also helps control water runoff when you water the container garden.

2. Gutter Flow and Erosion Control

Running water on your property can erode the soil and make it difficult for grass to grow in those areas. Using river rocks where water frequently flows can solve the issues.

Place river rock where your downspout ends to ease the flow of water from your gutters. Run the river rock along the path where the gutter flow normally runs.

If water tends to overflow the edges of the gutter, you can install river rock along the drip line in a patch about 10 to 12 inches wide. This keeps the soil from being displaced when the water overflows.

Look for other areas in your yard where water runs frequently. You can often spot those areas on rainy days by looking for mini streams in your yard. Ruts and other signs of erosion can also point out areas with lots of water flow.

Use rocks to cover those areas and help direct the water through your property for erosion control. The rock gives the water a place to flow while keeping the soil in place.

If you have a hot tub or above-ground pool in your yard, you might consider using river rock as a border around it. Water often splashes out and can make the area soggy or cause ruts. The rock helps minimize problems from the splashing water.

3. Pathways

Walkways in your yard help direct foot traffic. They also add a whimsical look when you create winding paths to different landscaped areas.

River rock is a simple option for creating pathways. You don't have to hire someone to pour concrete or create concrete forms yourself. River rocks also fit in with the whimsical look.

Using a brick border helps keep the river rock within the pathway. This gives the pathway a refined look.

You can also use the river rock for driveways or parking areas. You can add river rock along the edge of an existing concrete or asphalt driveway for extra parking space. The rock can also prevent tire marks on the grass if you accidentally drive off the edge.

4. Water Features

River rock makes a beautiful accent in water features, ranging from small tabletop water fountains to large in-ground ponds. River rock in the bottom of fountains and ponds adds a natural touch to the water feature.

If you're building an in-ground water feature with waterfalls, the river rocks can help direct the water and create a cascading effect. You can also use the rocks around the edges of the pond to help integrate it into the yard.

5. Walls and Columns

Adding walls and columns can help define spaces and add architectural features to your backyard. River rocks work as a building material for these structures.

One option is to use mortar to hold river rocks together into a wall or column shape. Use plenty of mortar to create a sound structure.

If you already have a wall or column in place, you can cover it with river rock to give it a quick makeover. Use mortar to attach the river rocks to the existing structure.

You can also use galvanized steel wire forms for the structures. Fill the wire cages with the river rocks. This option is easier because you don't have to mess with mortar.

6. Decorative Rock Designs

Create the effect of a river in your yard by creating a dry river bed with the rocks. The small size of river rocks makes it easy to create various curves, turns, and designs on the ground. This lets you replicate a flowing creek or small pond without actually adding water.

You can also use the river rock as part of a rock garden. This option adds a decorative touch to areas where you don't want plants or areas that aren't suitable for plants.

River rocks create a good base for a rock garden because the pieces are small. It creates ground cover for the area.

You can use larger rocks and boulders on top of the river rock to create your rock garden design. Combining different sizes, colors, and textures of rocks creates visual interest in your rock garden.

7. Patio Borders and Fillers

Flagstone and paver patios are an easy way to create an entertaining area in your backyard. River rock can accent the design as a border or filler between the stone.

Some patios feature space between the stones or pavers. You can either use randomly shaped stones with irregular gaps or square or rectangular pieces with even placement in neat rows.

However you arrange the stones, river rock works well to fill in the gaps if you don't want to leave it as grass. It can keep weeds from growing between the stones and helps keep the patio stones in place.

If you have a patio with the pavers pushed next to one another, river rock works well as a border around the perimeter. It gives a little extra space and can help transition between the patio and yard. It can also prevent runoff and erosion along the patio.

Try River Rock Landscaping Ideas Today

Using various river rock landscaping ideas helps clean up your yard. It can also help prevent erosion and improve your overall landscape.

Explore our decorative stone products to find a stone landscaping option that fits your needs.