If you're planning to install a new garden area in your yard, you'll want to first think about what materials and supplies you'll need. This includes not only the plants, but also edging materials, landscape elements such as statues, and any decorative rock elements. Many styles of gardens have a classic look that requires some type of landscape rock.

Here are some garden types that often include decorative rock.

1. Zen Garden

A Zen style garden can often involve very few plants. The decorative gravel, along with other landscape elements (such as waterfalls), is the focus in this garden style. Typically, a zen garden will include one or more flat gravel or sand beds, which can be raked into decorative patterns.

You can also use larger decorative rock items such as boulders as landscape features in a zen garden.

2. Xeriscaping or Rock Garden

A xeriscaped or rock garden is typically designed to use very little water (sometimes this means no irrigation at all; the plants survive on only rain). To this end, drought-resistant native plants and even cacti may be selected for this type of garden. However, landscaping rock also plays a crucial role.

When the sun beats down on the soil, it tends to evaporate the water there, drying the area out. Landscaping rock acts as a long-lasting type of mulch to reduce evaporation. The rock mulch also has the added benefit of not being flammable. And rock helps to improve drainage in heavy rain, which is important for plants that are susceptible to rot (such as succulents).

Yet another plus to using decorative rock in xeriscaping is that you can add rock in different colors, creating a striking visual effect or even creating a design or pattern. Or you can choose all one type of rock (such as lava rock or river rock) to create a more uniform appearance.

3. Wildlife Habitat Garden

If you're building a garden area to provide wildlife habitat for native species, decorative rock can come in handy for several elements. For instance, providing a large boulder in your garden could provide shelter for some small animals, as well as a sunning spot for lizards and butterflies. Flagstones can also be good sunning spots, or you can use them to build toad houses.

4. English Cottage Garden

An English cottage garden provides the aesthetic of many plant types grouped together in a riot of growth and color. Paths are an important part of this garden style, and stone of one type or another is often used for these paths. You can use bricks, flagstones, gravel, or any type of stone that takes your fancy; it's a very informal style.

These are just a few of the garden styles that can use decorative rock as an essential component. Whether you're looking for flagstones, crushed rock, or large boulders for a wildlife habitat, contact your local decorative rock supplier today to learn more.