How to Landscape With River Rock

landscaping rocks

River rocks are round, smooth stones found in bodies of water. Create a gorgeous border for your gardens and textured walking paths with river rock landscaping ideas. With several colors, shapes, and sizes, river rock offers an affordable landscaping solution.

In this article, discover tips for landscaping with river rock, the perfect river rock for your garden, and how to incorporate river rock with your landscape to give your space a beautiful look. 

Choosing River Rock

Are you looking for an affordable way to landscape your yard? If so, let our experts show you how to use river rock in landscaping to enhance your outdoor living space and make it feel more like an outdoor oasis you can brag about to friends and family. 

The first step is to create a vision of how you want to design your yard. Browse photos on the internet, or visit your local garden center for inspirational river rock landscaping ideas. Once you have decided how you want to landscape your yard, the fun of choosing the appropriate landscaping rocks can begin. 

Incorporating Size, Color, and Texture Into Your Landscaping

Local garden centers offer a selection of landscaping materials in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Selecting the right products for your garden space can ensure your landscaping looks its best. 

Mixing colored river rocks with larger decorative stones can be a beautiful combination once you have decided on the look of your overall yard design. 

Larger landscaping stones and boulders cost more than smaller river rocks. So keep this in mind when purchasing selections and completing your river rock landscaping ideas. Keep the larger stones in priority areas and use the smaller river rock as a budget-friendly alternative.

Sources For Purchasing or Getting River Rocks

The most convenient way to purchase river rocks is to visit your local garden center or landscaping company, select your rock choices and have them delivered right to your doorstep. 

If you are feeling adventurous and up for saving some money through manual labor, there are several other ways to find river rock, such as the following resources:

  • Visiting a construction site
  • Doing some rockhounding at a local rock quarry, or beach
  • Visit a local farm to pick rocks from the fields
  • Check classified ads for used products at a discount price

Tips For Selecting River Rock That Fits the Style and Scale of Your Landscape

A river rock garden is ideal for small outdoor spaces instead of planting grass, or for large open spaces to spruce up your landscape. They serve as an attractive year-round focal point for outdoor living spaces. 

Creating attractive flower beds with river rock requires some thought and preparation to ensure the results of your rock garden are visually appealing. Here are some suggestions to consider when planning your landscaping project:

Determine Your Landscaping Style

Carefully plan your landscaping project before selecting the perfect river rocks for outdoor spaces and achieving your desired look.

Planning your landscaping to match the surrounding natural rock formations will help to enhance the natural beauty of your outdoor living spaces. Decide whether you want a traditional look or a modern look for a sleek design. 

Select Suitable Rocks

When planning an attractive landscape, pick rocks that grow naturally in your geological area to make your garden look more natural and blend in with the surroundings. 

Another suggestion is to choose rocks similar in shape, color, and texture to look aesthetically pleasing. Bold or unmatched rock risks looking busy or cluttered and will take away from your garden’s curb appeal.

Shop Around 

Gardening with river rocks can add beauty to your outdoor gardens, but it can also be expensive. Shopping around for the best prices is beneficial for finding the most cost-effective solutions for gardening with river rocks. 

Placing River Rock

River rock makes excellent landscaping material. From borders and ponds to backyard patios, there are several ways to incorporate river rock into your landscaping projects with pleasing results. 

Tips For Positioning River Rock For Maximum Visual Impact

Carefully plan your landscaping project before selecting the perfect river rocks for outdoor spaces and achieving your desired look.

Planning your landscaping to match the surrounding natural rock formations will help to enhance the natural beauty of your outdoor living spaces. Decide whether you want a traditional look or a modern look for a sleek design.

Ideas For Using River Rock as Focal Points, Borders, or Accents

River rock is not only stunning, but it is also versatile and suitable for many landscaping projects. Whether you are transforming large spaces or adding an accent border, river rocks can add the finishing touches to your space, such as the following river rock landscaping ideas:

  • Borders used around ponds or creeks
  • Patio stones and decorative focal points 
  • Flower beds with river rock
  • River rock pathways or driveways

Techniques For Balancing River Rock With Other Landscape Elements 

Think about greenery and flowers to add to your river rock to bring out the best qualities in your landscaping projects. Do not overpower your project with rapidly spreading ground coverage or large flowery shrubs that hide the natural beauty of your river rocks. 

Carefully consider the positioning of the plants you select to enhance the aesthetics of your landscaping project. 

Landscaping With River Rock

Landscaping with river rock is a cost-effective way to spruce up your outdoor spaces and create an attractive backyard setting, which is suitable for friends and family to gather around the fireplace or patio.

How To Use River Rock and Incorporate it Into Your Landscaping

When incorporating river rocks into your landscaping, it is ideal to match the river rocks with your current landscaping, such as the following suggestions:

  • Selecting matching colors and shades or rocks
  • Picking a similar texture to your rocks found in the natural surroundings
  • Choose the proper size of river rocks for your particular project

River Rock For Functional Uses

Besides helping to make projects more aesthetically pleasing, landscaping with river rock has plenty of other benefits, including the following uses: 

Ground Cover

Using river rock as ground cover is an excellent way to save money compared to mulch ground cover that requires replacing each season. River rocks last for years without fading or changing colors from the sun or elements and are a cost-effective solution for ground coverage. 

Fire Pits

River rock makes an eye-catching border around fire pits that is heat resistant and beautiful to look at while you’re enjoying company while seated around the fire.

Gutter System

River rocks are useful for directing water away from your home by building a shallow trench out of the river rocks to divert the water. A river rock gutter system also helps reduce water from running into your basement.

River Rock Driveway

River rock driveways do not sink with heavy weight and are ideal for absorbing water and preventing spring flooding and runoff. They are also versatile and an excellent alternative to expensive concrete driveways. 


River rock is useful for basements to absorb water and runoff caused by leaky basements found in older homes or homes without a poured concrete basement floor. 

Tips For Maintaining and Caring For River Rock

River rock is a durable alternative to expensive landscaping materials and requires little maintenance to keep it looking tip-top all year long. Here are some suggestions for maintaining and caring for your river rock projects:

  • Remove dirt and debris
  • Weed often
  • Rake to keep gravel level

Elevate Your Outdoor Space With River Rock

Elevate Your Outdoor Space With River Rock

This brings our article about how to use river rock in landscaping. We hope we have provided you with resourceful information about the benefits of using river rock for your landscaping projects. 
River rock is not only affordable, but it is also aesthetically pleasing, resilient, and perfect for many yard projects. By choosing the right style, river rock can make any outdoor space into a warm and cozy oasis.

If you want to get the most out of river rock landscaping, make sure to contact the experts at ALD today.