Ideas & Inspiration

Rock Landscaping Ideas That Increase Curb Appeal

Lay and Cut Landscape Fabric
Gloved hands cutting a hole in landscape fabric

Once you’ve dug out the area for your project, leveled it and compounded the soil, it’s time to lay a weed barrier or landscape fabric. Landscape fabric blocks weeds but allows air and water flow for ideal soil conditions. Most are marked to make it easy to measure and cut holes for plants. 

Tip: Space plants according to their tag instructions, leaving plenty of room for growth. 

Plant Beds
Plants planted in black landscape fabric

Before you buy a flower or plant, check its tag instructions to make sure it will flourish in the area you’ve chosen. Take special note of any watering or fertilizing instructions and group plants with similar needs together. A good rule of thumb is to stagger your plants according to how high your choices may grow. Start at the back of your project and work your way to the front. 

Mulch Around Plants
Red mulch and rocks around green plants

Whether you choose wood and bark chips, pine straw or recycled rubber nuggets, mulch provides drainage, protects against extreme temperatures, prevents weeds, conserves moisture and enriches soil. Try contrasting the color of your mulch with your plants. Darker mulch helps vibrant flowers, trees and shrubs stand out. 

Tip: Figure out how much mulch you’ll need with our Mulch Calculator.

Place Landscape Rocks
Mexican beach pebbles bordering a succulent planting bed

Landscape rocks or decorative stones bring texture and color to flower beds. They are easy to maintain, reduce topsoil erosion and keep their beauty season after season. Rocks come in a variety of shapes, styles, textures and colors. They range in sizes from pea gravel to large rocks. Choose from gray, white or rose Mexican Beach pebbles that are tumbled for a smooth surface, or natural-looking stones like red lava rocks, river pebbles, granite and creek stones. 

Tip: Not sure what type of rocks to choose for your project? See our guide on decorative stones here.

River Rock Borders
Round stones around a small pond

Large river rocks or cobblestones are an ideal lawn replacement. They can be used to create a water feature, curbside border, rock garden or driveway. You can use them around trees or shrubs as well.

Tip: Build your own rock pond in the backyard with our guide.

Paver Walkways
A path made out of pavers and river rocks

Pavers and other decorative rocks offer a naturally charming landscaping touch that will complement any outdoor layout. 

See how to make a paver and river pebble walkway here. 

Crushed Rock Garden Paths
Crushed pebble path under a wood garden bench

Budget-friendly and relatively easy to make, a crushed rock or gravel path can be straight or curved, small or large. It only requires a couple of inches of digging. Contain loose rocks with edging in your choice of treated wood, bricks or plastic.

Landscape Rocks and Maintenance
Hand removing a weed from mulch

Landscape rocks and mulch designs require very little maintenance, but there are a few things you should do to keep them looking neat and attractive. 

• Regularly remove weeds from loose rocks and between or around pavers and large stones. 

• Periodically apply a granular or liquid herbicide to wipe out any airborne weed seeds. 

• Pressure wash hardscapes and remove rotting leaves and other debris. 

• In the fall and spring, refill or replenish loose rocks and gravel. Heavy rains or winds may require you replenish more often.