Gravel is one of the best landscaping materials to use on the yard. Many homeowners use gravel for its soft appeal in the outdoor space. Its organic feel is even more appealing than that of pavers or bricks. Moreover, gravel is durable.
It suits terraces, paths, and driveways. However, most people do not have original ideas on how to landscape with gravel. This article sheds more light on how to choose gravel from the different types available depending on the landscape.
The article also touches on landscaping ideas with this material and tips for maintaining landscape designs made with gravel.
Tips on Choosing Gravel for Your Landscaping Project
Although it might sound complicated, choosing the best type of gravel for landscaping is not quite hard. You can start with visiting a local gravel supplier to check and compare the different types of gravel available. Alternatively, use these tips:
Areas with a Lot of Traffic
Patios and paths tend to have a lot of traffic. You can use artificially crushed rocks for these areas. They are ideal for making stable walkways since they offer better bindings. Such gravel is usually crushed to almost an inch in size.
It is also used as mulch around plants. If you would like to have a barefoot walkway, then you can choose gravel crushed to a ¼ inch. You can also choose finer natural pebbles. It all depends on the idea you want to adopt.
Areas with Light Traffic
The best type of gravel for areas that have minimal traffic is river rocks. These rocks are bigger and smoother than crushed ones. However, they are less stable to walk on. They create more presence than crushed gravel.
Here are Some Tips on Landscaping with Gravel:
A Quartz Design
Pearl quartz gravel is a very stylish landscaping design. This design can be used to line paths on the garden. It can make the entire landscape look more sophisticated.
This design also gives the landscape a very special feel. The designs works like a transition from a hard terrace to softer garden plants. You can as well use pearly gravel throughout the place. However, this may not look elegant.
Placing Gravel around Pavers
Another great landscaping suggestion is placing gravel around pavers. This approach is more ideal for hardscaping due to its rough texture.
This idea creates a captivating symmetry which also contrasts nicely with the surrounding greenery. Moreover, it offers the practical role of protecting pavers from mud during the rainy season.
Gravel and Boxwood Balls
These balls are ideal for making gravel designs on the garden. They are a perfect match for the patio and they also match well with bluestone pavers.
You can easily get an attractive symmetry with boxwood balls when you place them in one straight row. You can even use the row like a fence around the outdoor area.
Making a Pit with Gravel
This idea is easy to implement in the backyard. Here, there are different options to choose from such as:
Digging the pit– In this option, you just dig the pit. Then put gravel in the pit. You should ensure the edges are well finished. For instance, you can easily secure them using pavers. This will give you a great contrast between grey gravel shades and dark soil.
Using a tray- You can get some big trays like those used as sandboxes by kids. Place the tray on the spot you want to make the pit. Then fill the tray with gravel. Again, take note of the edges. They may not be quite appealing if left unfinished. You can make them look more appealing by hiding them with decorations like leaves or flowers.
Use a wooded deck – Another interesting idea is using pea gravel to construct a wooden deck. Here, use wood for creating the pit at the center of a deck. This will give it enough support once gravel is added. Gravel will also enhance the stability of the wooden structure. Moreover, you will not have to mask the edges.
A Modern Gravel Style
You should never shy away from using your creativity to come up with different combinations. For instance, you can combine gravel with limestone pavers.
This will create a modern touch since you will involve mixing gravel and limestone dust. You can complete the look with colorful flowers or greenery.
You can also include ferns or some boxwood balls. This will give you a modern and edgy look which is made softer by the surrounding green colors.
A Gravel Lawn
If you have had enough of a classic and old looking lawn, why not try to brighten it up by setting up a gravel law? This comes with the benefit of demanding minimal effort.
All you will have to do is placing graven on your lawn. The final result will be an airy and modern looking gravel lawn.
You can complete this style by adding some plants along the edges like ferns. Plants that grow multiple leaves would match perfectly with this style.
A Gravel Patio
Another great landscaping idea is making a patio using gravel. You will not have to line the gravel with plants. However, you can still do it if you find it necessary.
This idea is awesome since it will give a great contrast between the gravel and the furniture in the patio. You can go ahead to combine different gravel sizes to get an original and exquisite gravel patio.
Grass and Gravel
How pretty would it be to combine soft plain grass with harsh gravel? It would be really attractive. You can simply split the space at the backyard and then place two gravel surfaces alongside each other.
Feel free to integrate your imagination in this style. In case you want to get more creative and have enough space and time, then go ahead and create a checkered style.
You can use long plants to cover the gravel edges. Leaving them uncovered might make the style look unfinished.
Making a Fire Pit with Gravel
In this type of a pit, you will require more space. Using gravel creates a gray area that fits nicely in the seating area.
Moreover, the gravel will play a practical role of protecting the surrounding plants from fire and sparks that might otherwise reach the plants.
Always feel free to combine other ideas when using gravel around the fire pit to get a unique and personal result.
Making Squares with Gravel
If you adore geometry, then you will surely like to try out making some geometrical shapes on your garden using gravel. Simply divide the available space into squares like you would do in the square foot style of gardening.
Once done, select the designs you want for the squares. For instance, you may fill one square with gravel, the other with flowers, and another with grass. Don’t limit yourself from decorating the squares whichever way you want.
Tips for Maintaining a Gravel Landscape
Now you already know some ideas on how to select gravel for your landscape and the idea you would try. Here are some tips on how to maintain gravel landscapes.
Rake it on a Regular Basis
Debris, dirt, and dead leaves will often fall on the gravel. It left unattended, debris will accumulate and pileup on your lovely gravel design, making it unattractive. Hence, rake the debris regularly using a metallic rake.
Ensure you use the right type of a rake. For instance, use a rake with thin tines that are set close when raking fine gravel. Use a rake with thick tines that are set widely when raking larger gravel.
Always watch out for weeds. Weeds may grow between gravel and if you allow them to flourish, it will become quite hard to remove them.
Hence, remove them as soon as they start growing no matter how few they are. You can simply pour boiling water on the weeds.
This kills their roots such that they will be completely destroyed. In case the weeds have grown big, then use an appropriate weed killer to eliminate them.
Leaves from nearby trees will often find their way on the gravel especially on a windy day. The best way to deal with them is removing them while they are still dry.
Avoid letting them lay on the gravel for many days as they may end up rotting and become harder to deal with. Wet leaves would also encourage more water to accumulate on gravel.
A simple way of removing leaves when they are still dry is using a functional leaf blower.
Check for holes
A gravel surface may develop holes once in a while. Deal with them by filling them with sand as soon as you notice them. Then use a trowel to level the area.
Gravel with sharp edges tends to stick nicely on sand. Avoid using soil to fill the holes since it would encourage accumulation of water in gravel.
The idea of landscaping with gravel is increasingly becoming more popular. It is loved for its flexibility since you can use gravel for many landscape designs.
It is very possible to combine different landscaping designs using gravel. Moreover, you are free to use your creativity to get an original, personal, and unique touch.