Landscaping rocks: Trends and styles to know

New England rocks
New England River Rock
DeFeo Materials

Landscaping with stones involves far more than just rearranging rocks, as some might think. Here we will be speaking directly to landscaping professionals like you, who understand that landscaping is more that just stones; it's an art form that demands skill, expertise, and an eye for aesthetics.

In this discussion, we will look deep into the evolving world of landscaping with rocks, exploring the latest trends and styles that are shaping the industry. From innovative hardscape designs to sustainable practices, we will uncover the techniques that are redefining outdoor spaces.

Landscaping rocks: Understanding the popularity

Landscaping rocks have garnered enduring popularity among landscaping professionals for their versatility and aesthetic charm. These natural elements not only enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces but also serve practical functions, such as erosion control and water conservation.

Landscapers frequently turn to landscape rocks because they provide the canvas for creating visually striking hardscapes, introducing textural contrasts, and establishing serene focal points within landscapes.

Their timeless quality is another draw, demanding minimal upkeep while delivering long-lasting beauty. In today's ever-evolving landscaping world, professionals continuously explore novel styles, incorporate landscaping rocks into sustainable designs, and push the boundaries of creativity.

Grasping the enduring allure of landscaping rocks and remaining attuned to their ever-evolving options and applications is paramount for landscaping experts seeking to craft captivating and contemporary outdoor environments.

What's new in the world of landscaping rocks

Landscape professionals are increasingly adopting sustainable practices, incorporating smart technology, and venturing into fresh design territories. Join us as we delve into these exciting developments and also take a closer look at the enduring appeal of popular stone types that continue to shape modern landscaping.

Stone types

It seems that there are new rock types emerging almost every month, so keeping up to date with what is popular and what your clients are going to request is paramount. Below we will discuss what those trending options are:


Landscape boulders, prized for their durability and versatility, have a wide range of applications in various projects. These high-quality stones maintain their color over time, ensuring long-lasting appeal. Below are some other notable qualities:

Multiple Applications: They serve multiple purposes, from building sturdy walls to adding texture and creating an inviting ambiance.

Size Variety: Available in a wide range of sizes, from small to extra-large, to suit various project needs.

Shape Options: Choose from both round and non-round blends for design flexibility.

Timeless Appeal: Weathered boulders provide a classic and enduring charm to your landscaping projects.

Popularity: Their durability, adaptability, and aesthetic appeal make landscape boulders a sought-after choice among professionals and homeowners alike.

New England River Rock

New England River Rock stands out as a remarkable alternative to Delaware River Jacks, providing professionals with distinct benefits. With its superior quality, this landscape rock features an array of vibrant, multi-colored round stones, establishing a new benchmark for aesthetic excellence. Below is additional information:

Enhanced Roundness: New England River Rock exhibits a remarkable smoothness, significantly rounder than Delaware River Rock. This not only ensures a comfortable walking surface but also enhances drainage efficiency. This roundness will also stay consistent, whether you need bulk river rock or just a couple yard.

Impressive Durability: These rocks demonstrate exceptional resilience, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas, ensuring long-lasting performance.

Unique Black and Pink Colors: Stand out with the inclusion of these distinctive black and pink hues, a rarity among Delaware River stones, adding a touch of exclusivity and sophistication to your landscape design.

Lava Rock

Lava rock emerges as a versatile and invaluable choice, offering professionals a blend of aesthetic appeal and functional advantages. For those in the know, here's why lava rock should deserve your attention:

Natural Insulation: Lava rock, with its exceptional heat retention properties, proves highly efficient for landscaping in regions with colder climates. This natural insulation can help conserve energy in outdoor environments.

Weed Suppression: Thanks to its porous nature, lava rock discourages the growth of weeds, minimizing the need for chemical weed control. This eco-friendly aspect not only saves time but also contributes to a cleaner, greener landscape.

Fire Resistance: Lava rock is non-combustible, making it a reliable and safe choice for creating fire pits and outdoor cooking areas. Its heat resistance ensures a secure and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Exceptional Drainage: With its porous structure, lava rock facilitates efficient water drainage, preventing waterlogging in gardens, walkways, and other landscaped areas. This attribute can help maintain healthy plant roots and soil.

Longevity: Lava rock's inherent durability means it can withstand the test of time. It continues to offer an attractive and low-maintenance option for outdoor landscapes, reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.

Alabama Sunset

When it comes to enhancing the appeal of landscaping projects, Alabama Sunset emerges as a standout choice for professionals.

Vibrant Colors: Alabama Sunset showcases a breathtaking fusion of warm, earthy tones such as reds, oranges, and purples, enriching the visual allure of your designs.

Versatile Applications: Whether used for walkways, garden borders, or as decorative elements, Alabama Sunset seamlessly complements a wide range of landscaping endeavors.

Durability: Renowned for its enduring quality and resistance to fading, it guarantees that your designs retain their vibrant charm for years to come.

Easy Maintenance: Requiring minimal upkeep, it proves to be a pragmatic choice for creating low-maintenance landscapes.

Distinctive Aesthetics: Distinguished by its unique color palette, Alabama Sunset allows your projects to stand out, offering clients captivating and unique outdoor spaces.

 Stone uses

Along with the every changing landscape of rock options, the popular uses of these rocks is also evolving with every passing season. Here are some of the rising trends that landscapers should really look out for:

Stone gardens

In stone gardens, landscaping rocks serve as essential components, meticulously chosen by professionals to elevate both form and function. Their presence adds aesthetic appeal and reduces maintenance, contributing to visually striking and sustainable landscapes. These rocks offer structural definition, erosion control, and efficient drainage, making stone gardens both picturesque and low-maintenance masterpieces.


        Design Versatility: Stone gardens offer endless design potential, ranging from serene, Zen-inspired arrangements to vibrant, lush rock gardens.

        Low Maintenance: Stone gardens demand little upkeep, rendering them a convenient choice, especially for homeowners with busy schedules.

        Erosion Control: Utilized effectively, stones act as natural barriers against soil erosion, making them particularly suitable for landscapes with slopes or hills.

        Landscaping with boulders

        Boulders, with their commanding presence, are indispensable in landscaping. Professionals strategically employ them to signal entrances, demarcate distinct areas, and establish captivating focal points. These substantial elements not only elevate aesthetics but also provide lasting structural integrity, combining visual impact with durability in outdoor designs.


        Landscape Definition: Landscaping boulders serve as natural dividers, expertly delineating distinct outdoor zones within a landscape.

        Visual Focal Points: Grand boulders take center stage, captivating the eye and infusing landscapes with undeniable visual allure.

        Structural Integrity: Boulders are the guardians of structural stability, safeguarding against soil erosion and preserving the integrity of landscape features.

        Rock sculptures 

        Rock sculptures, whether shaped by the hands of talented sculptors or nature's own artistry, introduce a captivating artistic facet to landscapes. Professionals often collaborate with sculptors to craft custom pieces that seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings. These sculptures not only serve as mesmerizing focal points but also exemplify the artistry, elevating the overall aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces.


        Artistic Expressions: Rock sculptures provide a distinctive canvas for artists, enabling them to craft mesmerizing outdoor masterpieces.

        Personalized Touch: Custom rock sculptures can be meticulously shaped to align with the client's individual vision and desires.

        Aesthetic Harmony: These sculptures effortlessly meld with their natural surroundings, elevating the entire landscape design with a sense of organic beauty and unity.

        Mountainous rock

        Mountainous rock arrangements, featuring clusters of boulders thoughtfully integrated with shrubbery, have the power to convert vast open spaces into captivating landscapes. Professionals often utilize this approach to infuse visual intrigue, delineate boundaries, and amplify the inherent beauty of outdoor areas. The outcome is an inviting and harmonious environment that demands minimal maintenance.


        Natural Aesthetics: Mountainous rock arrangements replicate the splendor of mountain landscapes, infusing outdoor areas with a wilderness-inspired allure.

        Creating Drama: These rock formations introduce a touch of theatricality to gardens, leaving a lasting impression with their visually captivating and unforgettable presence.

        Variety of Sizes: Mountainous rocks offer a wide range of sizes, providing landscapers with the freedom to explore diverse design possibilities.


        In the world of landscaping, rocks, and stones aren't merely materials; they're the canvas for artistry and sustainability. From the vivid colors of Alabama Sunset to the enduring beauty of boulders and sculptures, professionals use them to craft enduring outdoor masterpieces. 

        Embrace the creative possibilities these natural elements offer and shape the landscapes of tomorrow with expertise and imagination.

        Editor's Note: This article was written by Christopher DeFeo, president and CEO of DeFeo Materials. Christopher has had a passion for trucks, rocks and landscaping since he was a kid. His experience includes farming in North Dakota, where he learned how to operate heavy equipment all the way to managing commercial distribution centers during major snow removal events.


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