The Different Types of Landscaping Stone

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gravel ground coveringWhen designing a landscape, stone should be an important part of your plan. There are many different types of stone to use in many different ways for landscaping. Stone is a versatile, long lasting and beautiful material to use for walkways, planting bed borders, decorative accents, and patio surfaces. Depending on the area and use, some types of landscaping stone are better suited for your project.

How do you determine what type of landscaping stone to select with so many different types available? Each type has its differences. There are many factors to consider such as size, shape, weight, color, etc. Understanding the differences can help you decide which landscaping stone to use in your design. The two most common types are aggregates and flagstone.


If you love gravel and other small rocks in your garden, aggregates are a good place to start looking. This group of landscaping stone includes rounded aggregates, sand, crushed granite and boulders. They are great for solving drainage issues and adding texture to a garden. They are also generally inexpensive and easy to install. The rounded aggregates can range in sizes from pea gravel to beach pebbles and to river rocks. And if you want to add some size, opt for larger boulders.

Pea Gravel

These small, rounded rocks are about the size of a pea with 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch being common sizes. Their color can range from white to tan and to brown. Lay down pea gravel for pathways, in place of mulch for garden beds and in the crevices between flagstone for your walkway or patio.

Beach Pebbles

Another small, rounded rock that is slightly larger than pea gravel, beach pebbles are usually more uniform in color for a sophisticated option in a decorative garden. Line them along garden beds or patios. They are ideal for contemporary or Zen-like gardens.

Crushed Granite

Also good for covering and filling in spaces, crushed granite is small but not as smooth as pea gravel. Use it along pathways or in place of mulch for garden beds. It works well if you want a more refined and contemporary.

River Rocks

River rocks are larger aggregates, typically 1 inch on up in size. Use them for edging or pile them to create a structure such a retaining wall, fountain or dry creek bed. Depending on the look you want to achieve, you can use similar or different sized river rocks for your structure.


Large rocks that are found in fields or quarried, boulders come in any number of sizes. Use smaller boulders as an accent or border to a garden bed or water feature. Place large boulders near a property edge for a visual division or use a few for a statement piece to add natural variety to your garden.


A familiar landscaping stone, flagstone is widely used in a variety of landscaping projects. It is versatile for decorative and functional purposes. It is cut flat and available in a number of diameters to suit your intended use. Frequently, it is used for stepping stones, walkways and patios. It is available in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes depending on the rock. Flagstone encompasses a wide range of rocks that include limestone and sandstone.


Known for its earthy appearance, limestone gives softness to an area where you want to add subtleness in your design. It is a sedimentary rock that includes shells and corals, giving it a unique and rustic appearance. The color range is limited but the stone can be sanded smooth to provide a very soothing look. Limestone works well for patios and walkways.


Sandstone is noted for its loose grains and rough texture. It has an amazing range of colors, including multicolored stone. Bluestone is a specific type that is well known for outdoor hardscaping. Use if for patios or add bluestone steppers for an elegant entrance.

When you want to choose the stone that is perfect for your landscape, contact Fieldstone Center. We have a wide selection of aggregates, flagstone and other stone in a variety of styles, patterns, colors, and sizes available. Contact us at 770.385.7708 for more information.

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