How to Choose the Best Stones for Gardening

There are very real benefits to having stones in your garden. For instance, instead of being just decorative, stones prevent weeds from growing and can serve structural purposes.

There is, however, a lot to consider when you’re looking at stones for gardening. Your yard has unique needs and you have your own preferences, so you’re going to need a little help finding the right stones for your landscape.

stone path in garden surrounded by smaller stones

Finding the Right Stones for Gardening

You have to consider a number of factors when you’re putting new stones into your garden. While it may seem like you can just pick a stone, put it in, and forget about it, there are actually consequences to picking the wrong material.

What Is the Landscape?

Are your stones going to be laying flat or will they be on an incline? Are the stones going to be directly next to your plants? Do you experience a lot of heavy rain?

If you live in an area where heavy rain is a normal thing, you’ll want to choose your gardening stones carefully. Smaller stones are easily shifted and moved in terrains where heavy rain is normal. This can cause serious problems to the structure of your garden and soil.

This problem is accelerated when the rocks are situated on an incline. This is something to consider seriously when you’re buying stones.

If your rocks are used as mulch and are directly next to your plants, they are going to absorb a lot of the sun’s heat. While this isn’t a problem when the rocks are isolated, rocks can radiate and reflect heat onto your plants and dry them out. This can seriously damage the quality of your garden.

Other Considerations

You will need to consider the general feeling that you are going for in your garden. Once you’ve found a material that suits your needs, you’ll also need to choose the size and color of the stones you want.


Smaller rocks are more suited toward smaller gardens, patches of shrub, and areas that are situated away from your home. Medium-sized stones are more common and serve as a great option for those looking to fill their gardens.

Larger stones are nothing to rule out, though. A large-stoned garden is typically found in areas that have larger plants and decorations.


It’s no secret that the color of something can change its mood. This is no different when it comes to garden stones. When it comes to color:

  • It seems that grey, blue, and red are the most common options for people choosing stones.
  • Blue gives a calming feeling, grey is known to be pretty neutral, and red gives more of a lively atmosphere.

Before you decide, remember to explore different colors and choose colors that will make your garden have a unique feel of its own.

Looking into Gardening?

If you’re just starting out on your path to having an excellent garden, there’s still a lot to learn. It’s not just about picking the right stones for gardening. There’s also the landscape design to consider, the winter maintenance, and more.

For more information on gardening, be sure to continue exploring our blog. And, of course, if you’d like professional landscaping help in the Milwaukee or Waukesha areas, contact us for an appointment or estimate.

Top 3 Ways Decorative Stones Improve Your Waukesha Property

Are you a Waukesha homeowner looking to spruce up your property? Then don’t underestimate the value of remodeling your home or garden using decorative stones.

A study has shown their use can get you a 75% return on your investment if you sell. What’s more, the benefits don’t just include being stylish. You can actually save money by using them. Even the simplest rock and stone features can make a big difference.

decorative stone used in a retaining wall

Curious about how? Then read on to find out three ways decorative stones can improve your property.

1. More Curb Appeal Equals Added Value

Think about the first thing a potential buyer will see if they view your house. Curb appeal measures how appealing your exterior is when viewed from the street. This first impression can make or break a sale.

Experts agree that you’ll see a much better return on smaller improvements like these compared to pricey larger jobs like a kitchen or bathroom renovation.

Paving your walkway can add a warm and inviting feel to your home. It’s the difference between a cold concrete path and a curving one made of multicolored stones. The burbling sounds of a water feature surrounded by a stone border can also make a soothing, peaceful exterior.

2. They Make Better Mulch

If your home has a garden, you can use decorative stones as rock mulch. This versatile material has a number of advantages over bark mulch. Some of these include that it:

  • Does not need replacing as often
  • Does not decompose
  • Comes in a wide range of colors

Pea gravel is an inexpensive stone that’s perfect for mulch since it suppresses weeds. You can use the mulch as a design tactic. Just about any style and color of stone can be used to match your garden perfectly.

3. They Are Low Maintenance

Even if you enjoy beautifying your home, who wants to spend more time on it than necessary?

Decorative stones don’t require much maintenance. Unlike other materials, they are strong, sturdy, and resistant to weather and bugs. Also, you don’t have to mow it, pluck weeds, or put down harmful pesticides.

A material like crushed granite is one of the best low-maintenance stones. It drains well, so you won’t get puddles in your yard. It is also easy to remove if you want to switch things up by putting in a new flower bed or garden feature.

Get a professional to do the initial installation. This ensures it’s done right and the materials will be top-notch. After that, the maintenance needed is virtually zero.

Using Decorative Stones Around Your Home

The most popular spots Waukesha homeowners use stones are in pathways, driveways, and as edging for plants. If you’re stuck for ideas, a border around a pool or water feature is always a good choice. The only limit is your imagination!

Want some inspiration? Keep up with landscape and design trends by reading our blog. And if you’re ready to make a change to your home today, get in touch with us to see how we can help!

3 Ways Decorative Stone Installation Improves Your Property

For over 40 years, Central Services has built a reputation in Waukesha and Milwaukee as the Premier landscaping design company. With over 30,000 satisfied customers, it’s no wonder that Central Services has been around since 1974, with the same superior standards, affordable services, and exceptional employees that make us great at what we do. We’re proud to promote another great service we offer to the Waukesha and Milwaukee areas: Decorative Stone Installation. Let our skilled landscapers add this amazing improvement to your property of distinction today!

It isn’t just that decorative stone is available in a wide variety of colors and textures that make it add great curb appeal to your home, there are many benefits of a decorative stone installation. Whether you choose large red granite, with its deep texture and unique look, or multi-colored pea gravel, which adds vibrancy and color to your landscaping, you’re in for a host of benefits to your property, including these 3:

Reduces Weeds By Blocking Sunlight

Although it seems weeds will grow anywhere, they need sunlight just like more desirable plants do. Decorative stone, when used in gardens or other features, creates a barrier that keeps the sun out of the open areas. By removing the sun exposure to the seeds that would grow into unsightly weeds, you’re essentially cut off their food supply, preventing them from ever getting off the ground. Best of all, your decorative stone installation looks better than an open garden!

Insulates Roots From Extreme Heat And Cold

Anyone who lives in a brick house will tell you: they’re great at regulating heat. On the hottest summer days, brick homes tend to stay cooler, and in the dead of winter, they hold in the heat well. The same properties apply to decorative stone. Although a bed of pea gravel or other stone isn’t weather-proof, it helps to regulate the temperature of the soil by blocking the sun’s rays and maintaining a consistent temperature. With the soil temperature regulated, your plants’ precious root systems are also kept in an environment that promotes good plant health, helping to ensure that your beautiful landscaping will flourish.

Is Long Lasting And Low Maintenance

Rocks will outlast all of us, and Central Services installs quality decorative stone that is designed to last many years in your outdoor areas. Best of all, our decorative stone installations maintain their beauty for many years, even through harsh Wisconsin weather. Depending on your choice of decorative stone, you may occasionally have to reposition some stones that were displaced by wind or animals, and occasionally rinse the stones to remove debris and brighten their surfaces. This minimal maintenance is a small price to pay for a beautiful decorative stone installation.

Contact Us Today!

Interested in decorative stone for your property? Call Central Services, your local experts in landscape design, grounds maintenance, snow removal, and much more! Contact us at (262) 548-0005 to get started on your project today!