Landscaping with hardscape material, such as river rocks, lends a natural beauty to the back yard. Using river rock aids in the prevention of soil erosion from water runoff. Use river rock for pathways, borders or decoration. Think of things you would like to see or use in changing your landscape and pick from several types and varieties of river rock. River rock comes in a range of sizes, either in its natural state or cut into bricks and tiles.
Flat river rock bricks are an excellent medium for retaining walls. Use them to build a retaining wall to prevent soil erosion. Stack the brick and mortar it into place to prevent the wall from falling over. This is a large project, but you can certainly do it on your own.
Drainage, Patios and Pathways
Some back yards have a dry creek bed path through the yard that fills with water in a heavy downpour. If you have tried everything to stop the runoff and nothing has worked, consider lining the dry creek bed with river rock. The water will still run in a rain, but the area will no longer be an eyesore and weeds and grass will not grow there. Build a patio area with large river rock. Embed small river pebbles in the crevices of the larger rock to create another visual aspect to the creek bed.
Use large flat river rock and create a pathway or patio area. Place the river rock together like a puzzle. In other words, move them around to get a good fit between the rocks. Dig out the soil approximately half the depth of the rocks and set the rocks into the ground. This will prevent the rocks from moving around.
Accents for Your Yard
Use river rock as a border along pathways and garden beds. Choose the colors that best suit your landscape, or use polished stones for a more formal look.
Build an outdoor fireplace or barbecue pit with river rock. Whether you build one large or small, the end result is pretty.
Some enjoy outdoor showers so build an outdoor shower with river rock. An outdoor shower, coupled with an outdoor fireplace creates a wonderful outdoors area for private entertainment or cooking for guests.
Encircle flagpoles, birdhouses, decks or playground areas with different types of river rock. Place the rocks in a 2-foot circumference around these areas to prevent grass and weeds growing.