a patio with a table, chairs and a bench

If you are ready to start your landscaping project and transform the outdoor space into a much-needed oasis, you’ve probably wondered what to put on your landscaping materials list. 

There are quite a few solid options, so if you are up for landscaping in Lancaster, PA, it is easy to get confused. From stone to mulch, you need to consider aesthetic aspects, budget, eco standards, material longevity, maintenance, and more – all of which we’ll discuss in the following sections. 

Consulting a company specialized for projects related to landscaping in Lancaster PA gives you peace of mind, but knowing more about the best landscaping materials ensures you make a choice you won’t regret in the future. 

Stone: Timeless Elegance 

Stone is one of the materials commonly used in landscaping because of its durability and ability to last long and transform any space. It is a versatile material, ideal for different purposes in your outdoor space. 

Types of Stones

If you opt for a stone, there are several options suitable for various landscaping tasks:

  • River rocks,
  • gravel, 
  • flagstones,
  • boulders,
  • marble,
  • lava rock,
  • slate,
  • sandstone,
  • brick, etc.

River rock is used for improving drainage and in Xeriscape gardens, while gravel and lava rock are excellent for mulch and paths. Marble is tough and durable and often used for different outdoor structures, similar to brick and slate. Boulder is a common material for retaining walls.

Aesthetic Appeal: 

Natural and manufactured stone types are suitable for decorative purposes. It can complement your existing landscape and create more drastic changes, adding texture and color wherever you want. 

Next, landscapes with natural stone feature a balanced harmony as seen in nature and improve the overall garden appeal. It is versatile, and you can incorporate stone into different garden types, themes, and styles.

Practical Uses

Because of its features, the stone is one of the most loved materials for landscaping. You can use it for:

  • Pathways,
  • garden beds,
  • drainage, 
  • retaining walls,
  • edging.

If you need landscaping edging materials, stone might be the answer. When used for edging, stone requires zero maintenance, lasts long, and looks elegant!

Durability and Maintenance

Because of its strength and other natural features, stone requires minimal maintenance in landscaping projects. 

You can touch up after a storm, blow leaves in the fall, and pull up the surrounding weed! That is almost everything it takes to retain the colors and texture stone provides as landscaping material on your property!

Mulch: Nurturing the Landscape 

Mulch is one of the primary and cheapest landscaping materials, with a range of uses. Some people may only associate mulch with the layering on top of flower beds, but you can use it for so much more. 

Types of Mulch  

Anything you can layer on top of the soil in your garden and spread with a specific purpose can be mulch. Therefore, there are different types of it:

  • Grass clippings,
  • compost,
  • straw,
  • bark,
  • wood chips,
  • leaves,
  • pine needles,
  • organic mulch, etc.

Wood chips and bark are the most common, versatile, and accessible mulch types, but pine needles and organic mulch might have more benefits for your soil. To keep the weeds away and protect the roots from frost, straw mulch.

Soil Health

Mulch has many benefits for the soil, such as:

  • Reducing evaporation
  • Improved drainage 
  • Suppressing weeds
  • Decreased salinity
  • Improving nutrient levels and plant absorption
  • Temperature regulation
  • Aid in fighting pests and diseases

Enhancing Plant Health 

Mulch increases root activity and helps the plants absorb more nutrients from the soil, keeping them healthy and well-nurtured. Because it takes care of moisture in the soil, it prevents diseases caused by water-clogged soil. Because of it, plants with mulch layers are much taller, healthier, and lush than their counterparts without it.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

Using compost and organic mulch materials is environmentally friendly because you’re preventing materials from going to landfills. Next, it slowly breaks down, adds nutrients to the soil, absorbs water, and reduces stormwater pollution. However, synthetic rubber mulch can pollute soil, so it is safer to stick to types that are safe for the environment.

Considerations and Best Practices 

If you are in the middle of a landscaping materials selection, here is a breakdown of crucial factors that should influence your decision!

Climate and Environment

What may work best for a large garden in a hot desert climate might be a poor choice for humid continental areas. Think about average soil and air temperature, rainfall, and UV radiations when picking materials for landscaping. 

For example, if winter temperatures in your city are low, choose mulch to keep the soil warm and your plants healthy. Gravel improves drainage and is an excellent choice for sandy and low-quality soil.

Budget and Long-Term Maintenance

Some stone types are expensive, but it is up to you to determine whether their excellent features justify the higher price tag. Mulch is cheaper than stone, and it comes with some limitations. For example, mulch requires frequent replenishing when used as an edging material. 

Furthermore, the stone is prettier than mulch and more versatile in garden themes. Remember, investing in quality materials means less time spent on maintenance and more time on relaxation!

Design Cohesion

Incorporating materials into existing landscapes or starting from scratch requires knowledge, skills, and attention to detail. Keep an eye on existing vegetation and wildlife in your area. Crushed rock might be the natural choice for a lovely garden pathway. 

But, blending it with other landscape elements requires more skills and experience to ensure everything fits well. 

Also, mulch fades, and by the end of the season, it can lose its visual features, so keep that in mind if you want your garden to look pretty year-round.


Landscaping is fun, but it doesn’t come without tough selections! Whether you opt for timeless elegance and stone’s minimal maintenance or eco-friendly, cheap, and easy-to-use mulch as your primary landscaping material, the sky’s the limit! Keep the design united and aligned with your budget, climate, and skill level!

What is your preferred landscaping material? We hope this article was useful, but if you need assistance, contact us!

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