Landscaping With River Rock & Pebble

Published on: June 05, 2023

Landscaping with River Rock & Pebble

When it comes to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, landscaping with rocks offers an array of creative possibilities. Among the various types of landscape rock, river rock and pebble stand out for their versatility, natural beauty, and ability to lend a distinctive touch to any garden or yard. In this blog post, we’ll compare the different types of river rock and pebble, and explore some popular landscaping projects for homeowners. We’ll also provide some helpful tips on installation and choosing the right rock for your next project!

What is River Rock?

River Rock refers to stones that have been naturally shaped and smoothed by water, particularly in riverbeds or water sources. They are typically rounder in shape compared to other pebbles and are available in a variety of colors. Available colors range from earthy tones like our Dos Rios Pebble to more vibrant colors like our Arizona River Rock or Sonora Shiners Pebble. Due to their natural beauty and distinct shape, river rock is commonly used in landscaping projects to create a rustic and organic look. They are often used for pathways, dry river beds, water features, or as decorative accents in gardens and outdoor spaces.

What is River Rock

What is Beach Pebble?

Beach pebbles are naturally smooth stones found on beaches or shorelines and are known for their soft and rounded appearance. These pebbles are shaped and polished by the constant movement of waves and tides. Beach pebble comes in various sizes and colors depending on the location they are sourced from. Our Mexican Beach Pebble, for example, is available in Black, Buff, Roja, and Mixed and ranges in size from 1/8” Criva Pebble up to 6”-9” Mixed Mexican Beach Pebble.

Mexican Beach Pebble is also highly sought after because of the variety of available shapes. Not only are these pebbles available in more rounded pebbles like our Buff, but most colors are also available in flatter, “Button” shapes like our Mixed Buttons. Beach pebbles are popular in coastal-themed landscaping projects and are used for pathways, garden borders, water features, or as decorative elements in gardens and outdoor spaces.

What is Beach Pebble

What is Decorative Pebble?

Decorative pebble, also referred to as garden pebble, is a broader category that includes various types of pebbles available in different sizes, shapes, and colors. These pebbles can come from riverbeds, quarries, or gravel pits. Depending on the stone type and source, decorative pebble can be found in more rounded forms like our Mauna Loa Pebble and angular forms like our Porcelain Pebble, or flat and smooth like our Polynesian Pebble. They are widely used in landscaping to add texture, color, and visual interest to gardens, planters, pathways, rock gardens, and other outdoor areas.

What is Decorative Pebble?

Benefits of Landscaping with River Rock and Pebble

Landscaping with river rock and pebble offers a myriad of benefits, including natural aesthetics, versatility, little to no maintenance, and durability. By incorporating these beautiful stones into your landscape, you can create a visually captivating and sustainable outdoor space that you can enjoy for years to come.

Natural Aesthetics of River Rock and Pebble

River rock and pebble add a touch of natural beauty to any landscape. Their smooth, rounded shapes and earthy colors create a visually appealing and harmonious environment. Whether you prefer a rustic, contemporary, or Zen-inspired design, these stones seamlessly blend with various styles and complement other elements in your landscape.

Natural Aesthetics of River Rock and Pebble

Texture and Contrast of Pebble

Texture and Contrast of Pebble

The texture provided by river rock and pebble is a visual treat for any landscape. The interplay of their smooth surfaces against the surrounding foliage or other hardscape elements adds depth and contrast, elevating the overall visual appeal of your outdoor space.

Maintenance and Durability

One of the significant benefits of river rock and pebble is their low-maintenance nature. Unlike mulch or wood chips that decompose over time, these stones can withstand the elements, providing long-lasting beauty to your landscape. They also help to suppress weed growth when installed with landscape fabric. Additionally, they do not require regular replacement or replenishment, making them a low-maintenance choice for homeowners.

Maintenance and Durability

Most Popular Landscaping Projects for River Rock & Pebble

When it comes to landscaping projects with river rock and pebble, there are countless possibilities. Here are three popular and visually striking projects that make excellent use of these stones.

Create Pebble Pathways and Walkways

Creating pathways and walkways with river rock and pebble is a fantastic way to add both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your landscape. Whether you prefer a wandering pathway or a structured walkway, the smooth and rounded stones provide an inviting and visually interesting surface. You can use a single color or mix different colors to create patterns or mosaic-like designs. The contrast between the stones and surrounding vegetation enhances the overall beauty of the pathway and guides visitors through your garden.

Design a Pebble Pathway

Design a dry river bed

Design a Dry River Bed

Designing a dry river bed using river rock is an increasingly popular landscaping project that adds a unique and eye-catching feature to your outdoor space. Mimicking the appearance of a natural stream, a dry river bed can provide a sense of movement and texture. Select a variety of river rock sizes and colors to create a meandering path that imitates the flow of water. Combine the pebble with native riverbank vegetation, larger cobble pieces, and boulders to complete the natural look. This project adds depth and visual interest to your landscape while requiring minimal maintenance.

Add Pebble to Water Features and Ponds

Integrating river rock and pebble into water features and ponds creates a stunning focal point in your landscape. Use the stones to line the edges of the water feature, creating a seamless transition between the land and water. The combination of the flowing water and the smooth, rounded stones adds a soothing and serene element to your outdoor space. Depending on the size of the water feature, you can create cascades, miniature waterfalls, or even a small pebble beach. The beauty and versatility of pebble make them ideal for enhancing the aesthetics of water features and ponds.

Add Pebble to Water Features and Ponds

How to Install River Rock & Pebble

Installing pebbles in your yard can be a straightforward process with the right preparation and steps. Here’s a general guide on how to install pebbles:


Plan and Prepare:

  • Determine the area where you want to install the pebbles and mark the boundaries.
  • Clear the area of any vegetation, rocks, or debris. Remove weeds and use a garden rake to level the ground.


Install Landscape Fabric:

  • Lay down a high-quality landscape fabric over the prepared area. This fabric will help prevent weed growth and provide a barrier between the soil and the pebbles. Ensure that the fabric extends beyond the project boundaries.


Add a Base Layer:

  • Add a base layer of crushed gravel or compacted decomposed granite to provide stability and aid in proper drainage. The thickness of the base layer can vary depending on the specific project requirements but generally ranges from 2-3 inches.


Pebble Placement

  • Start placing the pebbles on top of the base layer. Using a wheelbarrow or buckets, distribute the pebbles evenly across the area. Consider the desired design and arrangement. You can use a single color for a uniform look or mix different colors and sizes for visual interest.


Spread Pebble and Level

  • Use a rake or shovel to spread the pebbles evenly, ensuring a uniform thickness throughout the installation area. Smooth out any uneven areas or mounds to create a level surface.


Finishing Touches

  • Once the pebbles are in place, use a leaf blower or broom to remove any loose debris or excess pebbles from the surface.
  • Inspect the installation for any gaps or areas that may need additional pebbles. Fill in any gaps as necessary.
  • Consider adding decorative elements like stepping stones, garden ornaments, or potted plants to complement the pebble installation and enhance the overall aesthetic.

Endless Possibilities with River Rock & Pebble

Creating a captivating and visually appealing landscape is a dream for many homeowners. If you’re looking to transform your outdoor space into an oasis of natural beauty and serenity, incorporating river rock and pebble into your landscaping can work wonders. These versatile and stunning stones offer endless possibilities for enhancing pathways, water features, and garden areas.

Endless Possibilities with River Rock & Pebble

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