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13 Types of Stone for the Garden

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Whether your garden is out there for aesthetic, recreational, or functional purposes, you cannot deny the appeal that comes with making it attractive. It becomes like a work of art in your outdoor space.

There are many ways to raise the visual appeal of your garden. One such method is the addition of decorative garden stones.

There are different types of decorative garden stones, and finding the perfect choice for the look you are trying to create is vital.

Below, we go over 13 types of stone for your garden. We discuss their features, uses, and much more.

1. Bluestone

Bluestone patio using mix color thermal Bluestone bordered with Bluestone treads

Bluestone is a type of sandstone, and as the name suggests, it is colored bluish-grey. Bluestone finds various applications in garden decoration/hardscaping. For one, you can use it in flooring the garden, and you may also use it for the walls.

Bluestone may also be used in edging and for outdoor steps. Its use in garden hardscaping is bolstered by its durability.

Bluestone may also be used in constructing structures for your garden. It is commonly used in creating benches for garden hardscapes.

2. Crushed Granite Gravel

Crushed stones in the hands of a man

Crushed granite gravel is almost the same as decomposed granite. However, it is relatively larger and coarser.

Crushed granite gravel is an ideal option for setting off xeric plants. But beyond that, you can use it in patios and walkways around the garden.

Compared to decomposed granite, crushed granite gravel offers a look that is relatively more sophisticated. However, it may be hard to come by in rural areas. This is why it may be more expensive in such places.

If you know how to maintain pea gravel and decomposed granite, you should have no problem with crushed granite gravel.

3. Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite is not as coarse as crushed granite. It has relatively finer particles, and this makes it an excellent choice for mulch material. Decomposed granite resists weathering for a long time, and it does not attract pests. Those two features are some advantages it has over the usual mulch materials.

Besides being used as mulch, decomposed granite softens the appearance of your garden. It also helps smoothen the transition between your garden and the wilderness.

Decomposed granite may be used for garden trails, driveways, and as ground cover for xeriscape plants. It may also be used for pathways, and for such uses, it is combined with stabilizers for stability.

When using decomposed granite, try to keep it far from the entry into your home. Decomposed granite sticks to shoes, and when it does, it will scratch your floors.

Decomposed granites are typically tan-colored, to begin with. But with time, it may become lighter tan. Decomposed granites are pretty inexpensive, and you won’t have trouble finding them.

4. Decorative Gravel

Modern front garden with decorative gravel

Decorative gravels come in various stone types and colors, and accordingly, they find many applications in garden hardscaping.

You can use decorative gravels in your garden’s driveway. For this purpose, angular decorative gravel stones are ideal since they will compact when treaded. Round decorative gravel stones are not perfect for driveways since their surface might become even more uneven when they are pressed.

Besides its use in driveways, you may use decorative gravels in place of mulch to reduce water loss in your plants. Of course, decorative gravels may also be used in decorating your gardens by adding them as a water feature.

5. Fieldstone

A fieldstone wall with blueweed (Echium vulgare) growing on it

Fieldstones are so named because rather than being mined, they are typically found in fields.

Fieldstones are a type of rounded stone. They come in various colors and sizes. However, they are typically classified based on their sizes when put up for sale.

Fieldstones inject some diversity into gardens. While they are typically used in constructing walls, they may also be used for edging, pathways, and raised beds.

When you are out to get fieldstones for walls, you will be offered sizes larger than flagstones. So, expect more dimension and depth when you use fieldstones for your walls.

Besides their use in making freestanding walls, fieldstones may also be used for creating wall veneers.

6. Flagstone

Natural Flagstone pathway in the garden

Flagstones are characterized by their flat shape and thinness. They come from various types of natural rocks, especially sedimentary rocks like sandstone and limestone.

On average, flagstones are typically 1-2 inches thick. And since they have a flat surface, you can walk on them with ease.

The physical qualities of flagstones make them widely applicable in gardens. They can be used as a water feature, edging, walkway, and much more.

When choosing flagstones for walkways, ensure you opt for one with some surface texture. This way, there will be some traction to keep people from slipping when the surface is wet.

Flagstones are available in shapes such as squares and rectangles. They also come in irregular forms. So, you can opt for any, depending on the look you are trying to create. For example, if you want a formal pattern, uniform shapes might be preferable.

7. Lava Rock

Natural lava stones with seashell as background

Lava rocks are one of the larger stones for the garden. They are lightweight, porous, and rough, and they come in various colors, including red, grey, and black.

Lava rocks are a great way to accentuate your garden. But beyond that, they are excellent as mulch. Lava rocks need little maintenance, unlike the usual organic mulch.

As mulch, lava rocks promote soil drainage, thanks to their porosity. They also suppress weed growth, and of course, they reduce soil water evaporation.

Since lava rocks are lightweight, strong winds may carry them away. So, if you experience storms in your region, you may want to reconsider using them.

8. Limestone

detail of limestone tiled wall of floor

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, and it has multiple applications in garden hardscaping.

Limestone comes in various colors, including red, white, and black. It can be used for walls, pathways, and floors. Limestone may also be used for making garden beds and accents. Thankfully, it is durable, so it is fitting for outdoor use.

Limestone used in pathways may either be crushed or large. Crushed limestone is comparatively inexpensive, and it looks more natural as a surface for walking.

Large limestones can also be used in pathways. However, they could get slippery when wet, so ensure their surface is textured.

When buying limestones, it is vital to look out for their ASTM International rating. For garden hardscaping, type III limestones are the best because they are highly resistant to wear. They also absorb less water and are very strong.

9. Mexican Beach Pebbles

Unpolished Mexican beach pebble texture

Mexican Beach Pebbles are highly aesthetic. They come as smooth, round, greyish-black stones.

Mexican Beach Pebbles are elegant, so it is not surprising that they are pretty expensive. They can be used as water features, puddles around boulders, and topdress for indoor/container plants.

Mexican Beach Pebbles can also be used as borders or edging for garden beds.

Besides being expensive, Mexican Beach Pebbles can be hard to find, especially in rural areas.

10. Quartzite

Quartzite rock stone isolated on white background

Quartzite comes from the metamorphosis of sandstone. It is hardy against the elements, so it will not weather readily – this makes it a worthy choice for garden hardscaping.

Quartzite is dense and rigid. It comes in various colors, including yellow, white, and grey. Quartzite is pretty shiny, so it can be a prominent feature on moonlit nights.

Quartzite is often used as part of garden flooring. But it may also be used for pathways and garden beds.

11. Sandstone

Sandstone wall textured background

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that comes from the amassing and cementing of sand grains and various minerals over time.

Sandstones are typically reddish, brown, or white. They are usually used as paving stones since they readily break into thin slabs. But beyond that, Sandstones can be used in constructing privacy walls and retaining walls.

These walls serve as extra height in gardens, and they can serve as a support structure for climbing vines. Sandstone boulders may also be used to accentuate garden beds and water bodies in the garden.

12. Slate

Background of slate stones which are often used in landscaping

Slates come from metamorphosed shale. While they are typically used in roofing, they also work for garden hardscaping.

Slates are available in various colors, including grey, blue, and green. They readily break into thin pieces of rocks, and for this reason, they are used as paving stones. Besides that, Slates may also be used as stone tiles, and in such cases, they give a formal look to gardens.

Slates may also be used as water features since they are water-resistant.

13. Thin Veneer Stone

Blue Stone Veneer Facade

Thin veneer stones can come from various types of stones – a similarity it shares with gravel. They can be made from rocks such as fieldstone, sandstone, and limestone.

As the name says, thin veneer stones are cut thinner. The point of making them thinner is to cover more surface area with less stone.

Thin veneer stones can be used in various ways. They can be used for edging garden beds, paving pathways, and constructing garden walls.


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