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The Stone Yard

Photo by Keate

Stones in the garden are a great way to add color and structure, from gravel paths to fountains flowing over river rock. Here are a few of the types and shapes that you might incorporate into your landscape.

Limestone

Photo by Keate

Softer limestone will pack into a smooth surface over time, resembling the crushed oyster shells traditionally used for landscaping along the East Coast. It's also fine enough to fill seams in a paver path. Gold dust, from Lang Stone, $77 per ton (16.5 cu. ft.).

Granite

Photo by Keate

For splashes of color with durability—on driveways, heavily traveled paths, and in drip edges—use granite, which is so hard it resists crushing or packing. Pink granite, from Jones and Sons; $94 for approx. 1,960 lbs. (20.5 cu. ft.).

Marble

Photo by Keate

White marble may be common, but it sparkles brightly in the sun and has another advantage: runoff from it will raise the pH level of acidic soil.

Texas white crushed dolomite marble, from Geo. Schofield Co., $28 per ton (16.5 cu. ft.).

Quartz

Photo by Keate

Use quartzite as mulch along a path or around a shrub or tree, where it will shimmer and glow when it catches the sunlight. White silica pebbles, from Geo. Schofield Co., $28 per ton (16.5 cu. ft.).

Pea Gravel

Photo by Keate

Line paths or other formal areas with crushed stones and pea gravel less than a 1/2 inch in diameter. Pea gravel, from The Home Depot, $3.50 per ½-cu.-ft. bag.

Brick

Photo by John Taylor/Keate

When full-sized pavers are too costly, choose crushed bricks to complement the red clay and brick-sided houses of the South. 1.Brick chips, 3/4-1 3/4 in., from Lang Stone, special order item. 2. Crushed brick, from Jones and Sons; $104 for approx. 1,820 lbs. (21.5 cu. ft.).

Lava Rock

Photo by John Taylor/Keate

A deep-colored alternative to harder stone, lava rock is so porous that it's lightweight, providing more coverage per ton. Use leftovers to line the bottom of a gas grill and distribute heat more evenly, or to filter water in areas. 1. Red flowerrock, from Lang Stone, $215 per ton (about 33 to 50 cu. ft.). 2. Lava rock, 3/8-in., from Palmer Coking Coal Co., $48 per ton (180-240 cubic feet).

Flint

Photo by John Taylor

To complement slate and bluestone, use flint to accent paved paths or fill in their seams. Small red flint, from Lang Stone, $147 per ton (about 16.5 cu. ft.).

Large Stones

Photo by John Taylor

In woodsy areas, create a rock garden with large stones—2 inches or larger—piled up or laid in patterns between shade-loving plants, or use these stones to border small ponds or water features. 1. Green seaside pebbles, 2-3 in., from Stoneyard.com, $1,480 per pallet (approx. 2,450 lbs or 20 cu. ft.). 2. Buff Mexican beach pebbles, 3-5 in., from Stoneyard.com, $990 per pallet (approx. 1½ tons or 25 cu. ft.). 3. Red Mexican beach pebbles, 3-5 in., from Stoneyard.com, $990 per pallet (approx. 1½ tons or 25 cu. ft.).

Beach Rocks

Photo by John Taylor

Use colorful rocks collected from beaches as decoration in sculpted landscapes, Japanese gardens, indoor vases, or organic water features. 1. Red Mexican beach pebbles, 1 1/2-2 1/2 in., from Stoneyard.com, $1,480 per pallet (approx. 2,450 lbs or 20 cu. ft.). 2. Black polished pebbles,1 1/2-2 1/2 in., from Stoneyard.com,, $1,480 per pallet (approx. 2,450 lbs or 20 cu. ft.). 3. White polished pebbles, 1 1/2-2 1/2 in., from Stoneyard.com,, $1,480 per pallet (approx. 2,450 lbs or 20 cu. ft.).

Soft Stones

Photo by John Taylor

As path liners, smaller water-smoothed stones massage barefoot walkers.

1. Green seaside pebbles, ¾-1 in., from Stoneyard.com, $1,480 per pallet (approx. 2,450 lbs or 20 cu. ft.).

2. Local Wash, from Lang Stone, $48 per ton (about 16.5 cu. ft.).