decorative pebbles

Landscaping with Decorative Pebbles

Decorative stone is a term that encircles a wide range of materials, including gravel, pebbles, and slate. The purpose is to visually enhance the garden’s beauty, with each type having its advantage.

Types of Decorative Pebbles/Stones Used in the Garden 

Decorative pebbles 

Smooth and round pebbles are formed when a stone's uneven edges are gently eroded by running water. Alone, they look ideal at home as part of a garden water attribute. Use colorful pebbles like our 15-20mm Scottish pebbles for an aesthetic feel.

Decorative pebbles also make fine garden walkways, due to their rounded smooth surface being safe to walk on barefooted. You can even mix pebbles with landscape fabrics like interlinked geotextile to stop weeds from growing beneath.

Finally, you can settle pebbles on top of organized plant soil. This enhances the plant’s aesthetics and preserves the soil from drying out or corroding, helping your plants grow better.

Do not use pebbles on driveways. Because they are so smooth and stones will move and shift under heavy-weight vehicles. This will make the driveway quickly devalue.


Slate is a fine-grained, metamorphic rock that cuts easily into thin slabs. Metamorphic means it was once a unique kind of rock but was transposed into another kind with help of heat or pressure. Slate was formed from shale and mudstone. Much sharpened and larger than pebbles, slate is ideal for decorating borders. For instance, the black slate would make for a marked and modern tone to a path, pond, or patio.

Slate makes for low-paid and inferior driveway material, as there is always a chance that a sharp piece could cut open your tire. Slate is also a comparatively brittle material, so applying the constant stress of heavy cars will cause it to degrade over time. This will cause dust build-up, which could obstruct drainage.



Gravel & Shingle

Gravel is made up of sloppy rock fragments. Genuinely, it is formed as part of natural erosion, most gravel used for construction purposes is produced in quarries, where rocks such as sandstone, limestone, and basalt are crushed into more minor chips.

Gravel and shingle are sticky, heavy-duty stones, making them perfect choices for driveways and paths. In one of the inexpensive driveways, options are available. Outside of filling in the rough surface, driveway gravel requires low maintenance and has no chance of collapsing or sinking like asphalt or concrete.

Choose a gravel-like golden shingle for a classic driveway look, or opt for something unique with lavish limestone or blue slate for elegance. Gravel and shingle are very good at water drainage. If your garden is customarily waterlogged and making your plants and flowers suffer, fixing a drain using gravel or shingle will help the water drain gently away.

Inspiring Ways for Landscaping With Decorative Pebbles

One of the most variable materials around, try landscaping with pebbles as it's the unique complement to plants, trees, water, and pavers, as well as working as an aesthetic element to add texture, color, and variety to your yard.

Decorative Pebbles and Gravels are more regularly seen being used as a ground cover in garden beds as mulch, pathways, patios, driveways, and areas around the house where something unique and more pretty than bark or mulch is needed. With the enlarging and broad range of Decorative Pebble options available in the market, it is no wonder, you can now purchase almost any color.

Locally available pebbles can be a good budget option for your landscape design, with numerous naturally smooth river pebbles available in several colors.

It is a landscaping trend that's popular nowadays because of its versatility. You can choose so many different looks. They can ease drainage, create structures, mulch plants and make a garden look more beautiful. They create an interesting lining or edging for paths and patios that will add character to your hardscaping options.

1. Choose Decorative Pebbles For A Low-Maintenance Design 

Pebbles are a great look for modern-day maintenance-free landscaping to create a plot with the least care. It is also a good choice if you are thinking of getting rid of the lawn as part of this. If you are thinking of counting some Mediterranean garden ideas or want to create a dry garden look it's a natural fit.

For this design, dry lands like steppes and prairies where there is a bit of tree-like vegetation but lots of grasses fit best. Using stone fused with ornamental grasses gives the cue to the rocky outcrops and soil-less ground you might see in these zones.

When pebbles and boulders are combined with gravel, they are as much a feature as landscaping. All the stone is light reflective, giving a background to the light and airy landscaping with grasses that complements it.

2. Smarten Up Your Front Yard Design  

Pebbles are also the favorite choice if you are looking for simple front yard landscaping ideas that look good 24 hours with little effort from you. Rectangular designs fused with a layer of crystal white pebbles always look unique as part of maintenance-free flower beds and work specifically well with contemporary properties.

The joy of pebbles is that it has a variety of colors, you can choose any color or shape that perfectly matches your exterior.

3. Use Pebbles to Create A Centerpiece 

Pebbles will laze happily in the limelight and catch attention as part of your backyard design. They can be used to add a visual aesthetic to a fire bowl or other firepit ideas. The varied tones of the pebbles provide an elaborate contrast to the smooth bowl. Buying fire bowls with stones included or buying concrete and ceramic fire pebbles looks and feels like the real thing.

The sleek fire bowl design makes this an amusing space. The pebbles in the fire bowl grant indirect use of textures throughout the hard landscaping in this garden.

4. Opt for Pebble veneers to Split Hardscaping 

Also known as decorative piles, pebbles add color, texture, and interest in part of your paving ideas. Use them to split large areas of hardscaping by easing the look. Stones are also used to fill deliberate spaces left between paving slabs to excel the overall look with a fine touch.

5. Add Pebbles to Create a Zen-Style Look 

If you are interested in creating some tranquil Japanese garden ideas, pebbles are a primary addition to the look. Zen gardens are used as a place for the view, so it is the perfect opportunity to go litter free and keep the style simple when landscaping with pebbles.

Stones are an underlying design element in the garden. They’re seldom used alone. Instead, they are set up in repeat patterns, with each stone placed in a specific position or group.  Blocks of bamboo planting with pebbles arranged uniquely at the base look obvious and add a feeling of isolation to your garden sanctuary. Gravel garden ideas are also exclusive for Oriental-inspired outdoor spaces.

6. Continue The Theme By Top Dressing Containers 

If you're using pebbles and have some slopes or have made some landscaping mistakes don't leave them lying around in an unattended corner. There are many ways to use them in other activities.

Decorative pebbles are the ideal finishing touch for pots and garden planters. Use a layer of pebbles to cover the soil surface to add texture, color, and diversity as well as smarten up the look. Pebbles work as mulch to keep moisture. Keep the pots close to where you've already used the pebbles to add consistency to your design.

7. Landscape with Pebbles Around a Water Fountain 

All the unique garden designs have surprise elements. We love the exposure of this stepping stone path to a secret spot with a tranquil pond. It's the best place to relax. Even more, ponds and other water feature ideas are the perfect places to use pebbles, suggesting the water has eroded the soil to reveal a stony beach.

It will be great if you're on the chase for cheap landscaping ideas to transform your backyard on a budget.

8. Use Narrow Pebbles Beds as a Fringe Detail 

Pebbles work glowingly as a narrow border that matches with paving, planting beds, borders, or the lawn as part of your garden rim ideas.

If you like the current gray design trend for outdoor spaces you'll be looking for pebbles in a similar shade too. Akron pebbles are a natural stone material that comes in shades of gray and blue for a cool, modern look. They are porous, permitting moisture to penetrate through them into the soil.

9. Be Large With Sculptural Pebbles 

Giant polished pebbles are a beautiful way to instigate some sculptures in your backyard. They are also empirical as you can use them as sitting too. It's a great look that works well in both urban spaces and country gardens as a thought of landscaping with boulders.

An aesthetic sculptural piece looks equally beautiful at home in the natural organic environment as well as in urban settings. The clean, smooth, beautifully shiny lines of these pebbles are glossy to the touch. They look good together, and can also be used as somewhere to land among the flowers or used as centerpieces in the leading spots in your garden.

10. Select a Practical Pebble Setting For a Fire Pit 

If you're chasing down firepit ideas so you can warm up after dark, ensure to choose the best base. Looking at pebbles like this arrangement reminds us of beach barbecues. Just make sure the fire pit fits the sitting level.

One of the primary things about lighting a fire pit is always to place it on a smooth natural surface. Other options may include concrete, stone, gravel, brick, or slate. Be careful if putting it on a wooden deck, as sparks and flying embers can burn up nearby surfaces.

11. Create a Coastal Design With Pebbles 

Go for landscaping with pebbles if you're looking for a seaside garden and materials to work around the coastal plants. You can place worn sea timbers with pebbles undulating around them in rings. The important thing here will be the base of wetted sand and choosing pebbles of the same size.

12. Design a One-Off Garden Path 

Pebbles can be used to create an appealing mosaic design for a garden pathway. You can manually customize the look to make your pathway perfect too, making the design as simple or complex as per your choice.

First, draw your design. Choose a custom geometric look for urban yards or a zigzag style to fit into the natural landscape. Stone can also vary in size and color. Using pea gravel as a fill is also a good idea.

Ensure you can see as many beautiful pebbles as possible by removing any extra grout to show them off entirely.

13. Top Flower Beds With Decorative Pebbles 

If you like maintenance-free or low-maintenance garden ideas you would love using pebbles as decorative mulch. It prevents weeds, helps the soil retain its moisture, and always looks elegant. But make sure the pebbles you select best fit in with the rest of your garden.

When you have a border next to an old stone wall in a garden, using granitic gravel topped with pebbles and boulders works particularly well. The colors range and textures seem to blend beautifully. This scheme can be designed to liven up a dry spot that gets hot with the sun and never gets watered.

14. Combine Different Shapes & Sizes for Interest 

Using a mixture of big ones, little ones, and in-between-sized pebbles means you can design an ideal and interesting look that has an exceptional standout. This design works for both a modern urban zone and a native garden.

Pebbles also make a great ground for landscaping with flowers as well as taking center attention when it comes to how to landscape without planting.

Keystone Yards is an outdoor remodeling contractor that specializes in masonry, carpentry, & creative landscaping for both residential & commercial properties.

  • Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, & Contra Costa County
  • Mon-Sun: 7am-7pm
  • CA License # 1078372

Helpful Links