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Landscaping with Rock

March 12, 2022 7:26 pm Published by

As we move towards the spring equinox on March 20 and the official start of spring, the warmer weather means that many folks are starting to spend more time outside—maybe tidying up their gardens and lawns, enjoying outdoor spaces, or making a plan for landscaping and hardscaping goals for the 2022 spring season. Spring can be a great time to revitalize your outdoor space in preparation for the summer months ahead, and a hardscape or landscape install can be a way to make your space look—and function—at its best.

But there are more options for those yard features than new plants or traditional patio features—thinking outside the box can help you achieve a unique, beautiful, and practical lawn. One possibility? River rocks. This underrated material has a wide range of potential uses, from light touches to statement-making. Here, we’ll unpack some of those possibilities, and let you know how Victory Lawn Care Services can help you in the greater Memphis Metro Area, Collierville, Arlington, and Germantown.

What are river rocks?

River rocks, put simply, are rocks that have been smoothed by water—like the flowing water in a river, stream, or ocean. The process of water gently wearing away the rock means that these stones are smooth and rounded, and often look slightly polished. This process of wearing away means that the natural colors are highlighted and come through in a variegated range.

The stones are often a few inches in diameter, though variation in size and color mean that they have a natural look, and that the river rocks used in landscaping will all look slightly different. Even artificially made river rocks aim to capture the uniqueness of rocks that are all unique, individual, and slightly imperfect. 

How much do river rocks cost?

As is the case with many projects in your yard, the cost of river rocks will vary significantly depending on the size of your project, the type of stones you want, and your location. River rocks can range between $100 and $800 per ton. But river rocks can be one of the most cost-effective stones for landscaping—and have the advantage of lasting a long time once installed.

What can you do with other types of rock?

One of the best parts of using rocks in your outdoor space is how these stones add texture and visual interest to your yard. An expanse of green grass can be lovely, but can also become boring—stones and the features you can make with them can break up this expanse of space.

One great way to use various kinds of rock is as a border around other features—like water features or patios—or even to line lawn borders. Stones can prevent erosion and weed growth, meaning they aren’t just beautiful—they’re functional, too. Placing stones along the edge of a water feature can keep the soil from wearing away, and the same goes for lining walkways made of patio paver stones—they can add a touch of uniqueness while stopping weeds and mud from making your walkways look less than their best. The effect is a neater patio, and one with better drainage—while water might not drain well from paver stones, river rocks allow water to drain.

Another idea? Use rock to brighten up shady areas of your yard. A light shade of stone under an overhanging tree—or as the basis of a rock garden in an area where not all plants can thrive—can be a great way not only to add color to your yard, but to prevent weed growth and to help certain kinds of plants thrive in shady conditions by supporting good drainage.

You don’t need huge amounts of rocks to add interest to a space, though—using a smaller quantity of stones to accent planter pots or to create a stylish drainage area around a gutter can add interest without racking up the cost. One of the best features of natural rock is how versatile the material is—from a small series of stepping stones to a full xeriscaped yard, rocks can be a practical choice no matter the space.  

What’s xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping is a drought-resistant style of landscaping, which relies on rocks, mulch, and plants that need little to no water. While this style initially became popular in dry areas in the western United States—and while spring in the Mid-South can be a very wet season—xeriscaping can be an eco-friendly, low-maintenance option no matter where you live. By reducing the amount of water that you need to use on your lawn, and reducing the expense that can go into caring for grass, xeriscaping can save money, too.

When getting started with xeriscaping, it’s a good idea to improve your soil and to figure out how your yard is currently draining and holding water. A professional can help you to figure out these irrigation and grading pieces of the puzzle. Next, choosing plants with low water needs—often types that thrive in the area—can be a good step. Marigolds, sunflowers, coneflowers, day lilies, and irises—the Tennessee state flower—can all do very well in a xeriscaped lawn.

Butterfly bushes and coneflowers can also do well with low amounts of water in a xeriscaped lawn, and have the advantage of attracting birds and butterflies—you might even think about designing based on the types of gardens that birds or butterflies enjoy.  

How can Victory Lawn Care Services help me?

At Victory Lawn Care Services, we take pride in our team and our quality of work and aim to make your experience of working with us as smooth as possible. Our high-quality equipment and scheduling software help to make both our work and our communication something that takes the headache out of lawn and yard care—not something that adds to it.

If you’re looking for professional installation of hardscaping features, we’re here to get your space looking great—give us a call at (901) 870-3720 or use our online contact tool to get a quote for your outdoor project today. More FREE value-added information can be found in our online article library

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