Our Guide On Decorative Gravel

Decorative gravel has been used for many years on pathways, driveways, flower beds and boarders to help free those stuck in the constant rut of garden maintenance. We’ve all had those fights about who’s turn it is to mow the grass and weed the flower beds. If this isn’t reason enough to think about a low maintenance Gravelled garden then I don’t know what is!

Our guide is designed to help you select the right decorative gravel for your garden transformation.

Where can I use decorative Gravel?

Decorative Gravel can be used in many places in your garden and there are many reasons, other than it looking great, as to why people opt for Gravel.

Driveways and pathways:

Decorative aggregates are a great way of reducing the risk of flooding, since it allows water to run through it and into the ground below. Gravel can help protect your home from flooding and leave your garden free from puddles.

Gravel driveways and paths are a brilliant alternative to paving/block work driveways, which tend to be impermeable and can increase the risk of flooding without the proper drainage in place. In our opinion, Gravel looks more natural than paved paths and driveways anyway, suiting many landscapes better.

Borders/Beds:

Decorative Gravel can really add a nice final touch to your flowers beds and borders, to give the landscape that professional finish.

No only does it look fantastic, it also helps to suppress any weeds that may be lurking below the ground. Adding a weedblock membrane before laying your gravel makes it hard for weeds to grow through and will help keep them at bay, which means less time spent digging them up and less use of those not so friendly weedkillers found on the market!

Water Features:

A personal favourite of mine in any landscape! Water features like ponds, fountains and waterfalls add the soothing sound of the water which creates a calming environment to chill out in.

Rocks, pebbles and gravel work beautifully when creating a pond, making it look natural, mirroring that of a river bed. With a combination of rocks, slate and gravel you can make stimulating water features to suit your landscape.

Security:

Not only are gravel areas good for decorative purposes, they also add to the security of your home.

Feeling safe in your house is of the utmost importance and Gravel driveways and paths can help, as any time someone walks around outside you’ll hear that distinctive sound of the gravel below their feet. Burglars may be deterred by the noise, lowering the chances of thieves entering your home.

What Gravel should I use in each area?

You may be thinking that Gravel is just Gravel, but it is not!

There are certain types and sizes of Gravel that are best used in certain areas of your landscape depending on how the area will be used.

Driveways:

For Driveways, it’s recommended to use a Gravel that is hard wearing like Granite or Limestone. Something like Slate wouldn’t be ideal on a busy driveway as it can breakdown over time from the weight of vehicles moving on top of it.

As well as hard wearing, you’ll need something with medium sized stones. We recommend a 20mm Gravel for a driveway, as it’s less likely to get stuck in the tread of your tyres and shoes. Remember to put down a suitable sub-base under that Gravel though, or else the ground could move causing dips and puddles in your lovely drive!

Paths/Walkways:

When it comes to pathways you don’t want to pick a gravel that is too small as it can get stuck in the soles of your shoes. Anything lower than 10mm isn’t ideal. The small size may also encourage cats to mistake your gravel path for a litter tray. Ew!

Anything over 20mm can be awkward to walk on. Instead, a 10-20mm gravel is generally the most suitable.

Borders/Beds:

There are NO RULES when it comes to borders and flowers bed. Yay.

You could mix it up with bigger rocks and stones to create a lovely little rockery or put down some weedblock and cover with Gravel chippings in any shape and style you wish. Just remember to use a water permeable weedblock so your plants can still get the water they need to thrive.

Water Features:

Using Gravel to create a natural look to you water feature can be easily achieved.

For an aesthetic feel, stick to gravel between 20 to 28mm. This size will also mean it is big enough to ensure any sediment is trapped between the stone and it also works well to weigh down a liner if your feature has one.

Gravel can actually make maintaining your feature easier. Gravel filtration is a process used to clean and purify water. The ideal size gravel for this is anything ranging between 9mm to 20mm.

How do I lay my own Gravel area?

Whether you’re a complete beginner, DIY enthusiast or in the trade, it’s easy enough to create your own Gravelled area.

Click here to take a look at our handy step by step guide to laying a Gravel driveway.