How to Use Rocks in Your Landscape

Natural stone is one of the most versatile elements available for a landscape makeover. Rocks add texture and contrast, serve as a durable groundcover and require little or no maintenance.

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Rocks on the Landscape
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Replace Mulch

Rocks may be more expensive than mulch, but they have several advantages as a groundcover. The first is durability. Mulch must be replaced every season, while rocks can last the lifetime of your garden. Another advantage is that pale-colored stones provide striking contrast against deep-colored foliage and help brighten up shady corners of your landscape.

"Call attention to a favorite shrub or specimen tree by surrounding it with medium-sized river stones. This creates the effect of a 'living sculpture'," says landscape architect Maureen Smith. Rocks will also discourage weed growth around your prized plant, but for the best results, install a weed barrier before putting the stones in place.

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