Uses and Benefits of Landscape Rocks

Decorative rocks and landscaping stones can be used for nearly any area of your yard not only as attractive ground covers, but they serve many practical and useful purposes as well. They are extremely durable and resistant to losing color or being spread out by wind and rain. When used as mulch around trees or shrubs, these rocks serve the important purpose of keeping your soil moist and in place. They also do not typically attract pests such as termites or ants.

Gravel and rocks are a nice alternative to pavement or concrete and can be used for garden pathways, patios, or driveways. 

Stone naturally comes in a variety of colors and textures, allowing you to easily add an element of character to your landscape.

Stone Coverage Calculation

Landscape rocks can be used for smaller landscaping jobs, such as a decorative accent or for mulch around a shrub. Landscaping rocks can also be used for larger landscaping jobs, such as a long walkway or driveway. Circle M sells landscaping rocks by the ton.

How much stone will you need for your landscaping job? There are several factors used to determine how much stone you’ll need for a specific area. You’ll need to consider the square footage of the area to cover, as well as how deep the coverage will be.

Depending on the size of the individual stones, the suggested depth of coverage will vary. 

If the size of the stone is 1/2-inch or less, the suggested depth is 2-inches.

3/4-inch to 1-inch stones should have a depth of about 3-inches.

1-inch or larger stones should have a depth of 4-inches.

To determine how much area one cubic yard of stone will cover, follow this guideline: 

160 sq. ft. at 2-inch depth

108 sq. ft at 3-inch depth

80 sq. ft. at 4-inch depth

54 sq. ft. at 6-inch depth

We recommend using our area calculator for specific calculations.


Smaller stones may shift more in heavy rain.

Rocks used as mulch tend to retain heat. This could cause your plants to dry out.

Types of Decorative Stone

Choose from lava rock, crushed gravel, river rock and marble to create beautiful pathways, mulch for garden beds, driveways and more. Circle M carries all of these popular types of landscaping rocks year round.

Crushed Gravel

Crushed gravel (also known as basalt minus) is usually a mix of dark gray and composed of sharp, irregularly shaped rock fragments.
  • Rocks provide great packing and easily interlock
  • Size ranges from 1/4- to 3/4-inches 
  • Used for driveways, roads, pathways and base rock

Lava Rock

Lava rock is light and uniquely shaped
  • Available in red or black hues 
  • Packs down well and offers good drainage 
  • Usually ranges in size from 3/4-inch to 1-1/4-inches 
  • Great for gardens, driveways, along walkways, and fire features 

River Rock

River rock is smooth, colorful, and round, and is available in several shades. Pea gravel is a much smaller size of river rock and can be used in decorative concrete and other applications.
  • Helps to control erosion and provides good drainage 
  • Sizes range from 3/4-inch to 2-1/2-inches 
  • Used in garden beds, flower beds, and on walkways for erosion control

Shop Decorative Rock

Create Gorgeous Flower Beds & Landscapes

Seasonal Decorative Stone

The wide variety of colors of decorative stone make them ideal for creating beautiful patterns in your landscape for holidays and other seasonal events.  Painting rocks is a landscape decor trend that you can use to further accent your decorative rocks.  Apply acrylic or glow paint to smooth river stones and arrange them in your gravel beds or use as accent pieces around your garden stones. Small rocks can also be painted to add vivid color to planters. Shop online when you’re looking for decorative landscaping rocks. Circle M delivers online orders when and where you need them.