I had been hoping for lots and lots of small dark stones that would cover the landscaping with some larger rocks and some interesting plants scattered here and there, a zen effect. But the rocks proved too costly for the large areas we had to cover and so we went with mulch made from chopped up tires. With thick weedblocking cloth underneath, this should last for years instead of the few months bark mulch sticks around for. And while it is not exactly the look I had in mind, it's environmentally sound and I am getting used to it.
Still, I have found a spot near the front door where I am working on a mosaic, my own rock, pebble and shell covering, that will grow as we take vacations or anytime I'm anywhere I can pick up some interesting stones, etc. Don't make fun of me, it makes me happy and it holds memories, too.
I did get my dark rocks though, sort of. Here's our new front door mat. Feels really good to stand on, but it's not much help in brushing off shoes.