When To Use River Rocks In Your Landscaping Plans

River Rocks

When you finish planning the basic layout of your landscape design, it’s time to think about materials. River rock is a popular stone product for landscaping projects due to its endless variety of sizes, colors and shapes. If you find yourself drawn to river rock but aren’t sure where it fits in your landscape design, here are designs to start with.

Dry creek bed

The most common use for river rock in landscaping is to create a dry creek bed. You can include elements such as trees, boulders and plants into the “flow” of the dry creek bed for additional visual interest. The smooth, rounded shapes of the river rock made a dry creek bed appear completely natural because they were shaped by flowing water. You can leave the creek bed dry to make it appear as if a creek once ran through your property. Wind the creek bed around landscape features for a truly unique design.


Building on the versatility of river rock as a dry creek bed, you can use a similar concept to create a river rock path. You need to hold the rock in place with a border material to keep it in a path shape. Place the path somewhere away from areas that require regular mowing to ensure the river rock doesn’t end up under mower blades or become dangerous projectiles.

Water feature

The shape and size of river rock naturally directs water along any path you create so it’s ideal for creating water features in your landscaping plans. Combining river rock with larger rocks to build a flowing stream along your property makes it appear as though it always naturally existed there. With river rock, water and a pump, you can create bubbling fountains that flow down waterfalls and into small ponds before cycling the water back through to the top. Larger water features that use river rock benefit from the assistance of a professional, experienced landscape design service.


For a path that uses larger pavers or flagstone, incorporating smaller river rock can provide the perfect filler between the stepping stones. Combining different types of rock adds to the natural look of a garden path while increasing stability.


You can use river rock as mulch in many of the same places you would use wood-based mulch. Spread river rock around flowering shrubs or flower beds to help the plants stand out among the natural earthy tones. Use it around a larger, accent boulder and have plants popping through the river rock for a natural appearance. Fill a border area near a terrace wall, fence or other privacy structure with river rock for a unique look. Utilize a flexible border material around a fountain and fill it with river rock in concentric circles to create a garden accent.

River rock has various uses but can be tiring to work with if you don’t have help. Assistance from landscape professionals in New Haven makes it effortless to incorporate river rock in your designs.

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