Function vs. Decoration
Rocks and stones are often used because they have purpose and provide decoration. Naturally comely, rocks and stones form in an array of sizes, shapes, colors and textures. Specimens like lava or volcanic rock have accented ground covers for years. Some boulders rather serve as dramatic focal points, particularly when they are carved into. While stones are used to enhance water landscape design, they can also be stacked to steer water cascades and double as pond islands. Japanese dry gardens use rocks rather as decorative features that serve no purpose.
Rocks like gravel serve a distinct purpose when they are used under sidewalk slabs and driveways to aid drainage and add durability. Stones and small boulders can be piled to form natural fences and retaining walls. Flat stones such as shale, flag stone and some sandstone offer a low maintenance option for pool area flooring. River rocks and small gravel help conserve water when they function as lawns.