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  • Writer's pictureGeobunga

Where Decorative Garden Pebbles Really Come From


Have you ever wondered where all those smooth and beautiful rocks you see in people’s gardens come from?

Surely the rocks aren’t from a nearby river, unless you live close to one (not likely in Hawaii). You won’t really find them in your yard, either — even if you have an industrial strength rock tumbler. And they don’t come from giant excavators digging up the ground somewhere.

The smooth and shiny rocks you see in gardens are actually the product of years of natural erosion on mountainsides across exotic locales like the Philippines and Indonesia.

Smooth by nature, with a human touch

Rain water washes away the surface of mountains, slowly sending down chunks of basalt into nearby freshwater mountain streams. After the course of thousands of years, these stones follow the course of water to the ocean.

As they travel downstream, they gradually lose their rough edges and jagged shapes and transform into beautiful, round smooth stones.

Once they reach the ocean, shifting tides and surf wash most of the rocks onto the beach. The remaining rocks get pulled out into deep ocean, and in some cases find themselves in deep ocean trenches where they remain for an assumed eternity.

Back on the beach, local villagers work to gather, sort and package each individual stone by hand. Laws against machinery on the beaches means each single rock must be handled by human touch.

Next time you see gorgeous river rocks in someone’s yard, remember where they came from. Each rock has been touched by human hands at least three times before becoming an element of natural beauty and simplicity.


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