Do It Yourself Design: River Rock Landscape Ideas

River rocks are one way that you can improve the look of your yard and lawn, and they're easy to work with to create walkways, sidewalks or driveways.

River rocks make a beautiful addition to almost any lawn and they're so easy to work with, too. Place them along walkways to add a welcoming look leading to your front door. Dig out grass and weeds beside the walkways and lay the river rocks along both sides of the walk. If you don't have sidewalks, you can make one out of the river rock. Just outline where you want your rock sidewalk, then fill in the area with the rocks. To keep them in place, you can place an edging around your creation. If you have flower beds or bushes in the front yard, fill the area with the rocks, or just use them for outlining. To outline with the river rocks, mark the area with grass paint or a rope, then dig the grass and some soil out, until your outline is distinct and lay the rocks. And, river rock is not just an enhancement to your landscape, it's functional, too. River rock in the garden area can help hold water after rain.

With river rock costing about $250 a ton, you can afford to line the edges of the driveway to help deter weed growth. If you have no driveway, use the rocks to make one. After outlining the area, most rock merchants will dump the rocks in the desired area at no extra cost. Some raking might need to be done to get a smooth, even look. River rocks can be put around picket fences or even other fence. Laying river rock beside fencing keeps weeds from growing and climbing. Another way to enhance the front or back yard is to lay the rocks around large trees. Measure out and mark about 3 feet or so around the tree, then fill in the area with rocks. Or, you can make a small island of trees and rocks by drawing a shape, such as a very large kidney and plant trees, shrubs and flowers. Outline or fill in the area with rocks.

Enhancing other areas is easy and makes a striking difference to the previous look. Outline around swing sets by placing edging on three sides, close to the ground, then fill in the entire swing set area with river rocks. Draw out a couple of feet around the mailbox, then plant flowers and reeds. Fill in the area with river rocks. If you have a flag or a birdhouse on a pole, draw an area of 2 to 4 feet around the pole and fill in with the rocks. This looks much nicer and you'll have less time involved in weed-eating. For a more unique look, outline the entire front or back yard with the rocks. They can also be used to cover a drain pipe and fill the depressed area surrounding the pipe.

Many people use river rocks around the entrance of their deck area to keep grass, dirt and mud off of the deck. This can also be done at the entrance to the back door steps or the front steps. Some people also lay the river rocks in front of outbuildings and car ports. If your carport is over grass, it's a nice enhancement to lay the river rocks under the canopy of the carport area.

For larger projects, such as building a rock wall, laying walkways or stairways, and pouring pads for patios, river rock can be mixed with mortar and utilized. This method can also be used for draining purposes. The rock and mortar mix can be fashioned into draining ditches for low-lying yards. There are many different ways that river rock can be used to improve the look of your landscaping. Just take stock of the lawn, look for places where the rock can improve the look or the functionality of the yard.

© High Speed Ventures 2011