Advice on combining landscaping rock with wood mulch
My husband is renting equipment to dig around the front of our foundation tomorrow, as instructed by a structural engineer, before we purchased our home (the foundation has a crack). The engineer told us to dig down five feet out around the front left, when looking at the house. We are to then lay down rubber pond liner and top with landscaping rock. I had rock used a mulch. It looks so formal, and formal doesn't fit this house in my opinion. I usually prefer dark, wood mulch.
All the current bushes will be coming out and we will be starting over. How do you think it would look if we did landscaping rock five feet out, as instructed, with wood mulch in front? I think it would look more natural if reversed, but that isn't an option. I was thinking a larger type, variegated stone might look best. Maybe if I then "edged" with the same/similar colored stone in the front?
I prefer more natural looking landscaping. Any suggestions as to foundation plantings/bushes to start with?