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January 19, 2022

Decorative Stone Aggregates: 9 Ways to Use Gravel in Landscaping

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Decorative Stone Aggregates: 9 Ways to Use Gravel in Landscaping

Garden gravels comprise a collection of loose rock fragments primarily consisting of basalt, limestone, and sandstone. The unspoiled beauty and versatility of these stone aggregates offer a range of practical and decorative uses. 

They designate focal points, improve drainages, protect against soil erosion, and can transform a dull backyard into a great outdoor space you love spending time in. Here are nine ways gravel spruces up and improves your garden and outdoor areas.

What Are the Benefits of Using Gravel?

Landscapers and architects have used garden gravels for decades due to their versatility and minimal maintenance requirements.

  • Easy maintenance: Compared to other plant ground covers, gravel requires no watering, fertilizing, or mowing.
  • Drought Resistant: Gravel stone chippings are excellent for mulch and help plants survive harsh summers as they prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil.
  • Added security: The distant sound gravel makes when stepped upon immediately alerts one to the presence of others.
  • Incredibly durable: Gravel garden chippings are rarely affected by rain, snow, heat, and other severe weather conditions.
  • Versatile: This exterior product is functional and decorative. It can be employed for paths, driveways, flowerbeds, pond edging, and more.
  • Easy installation: Compared to paving, gravel and chippings are less labor-intensive to install.
  • Drainage: Since gravel is permeable, it’s an eco-friendly draining option, allowing for the replenishment of water tables.

#1. Create a Better Drainage

As a landscape aggregate, gravel and pebbles can remedy acute water accumulation. Digging gravel-filled trenches (called a French drain) can redirect water and disperse it somewhere more appropriate. The gravel in the trench prevents debris from collecting and impeding the flow of water.

Sometimes, a perforated pipe is placed at the bottom of the trench to better channel the water, and gravel is strewn over the pipes to keep debris away from the drain. The recommended size for a gravel drain of the French variety without a pipe is roughly 1.5 inches.

 #2. Lay Out a Pond

Many advocate gravel as a better aesthetic choice for the bottom of ponds because it’s natural-looking and adequately conceals liners. More than that, it lightens the bottom of the pond, fostering a pleasant environment for fish.

Not only does gravel keep the water clean, but it also provides a surface area or biological environment beneficial for bacteria to break down organic sludge, as well as media for aquatic plants to attach to their roots, further bolstering a thriving underwater ecosystem.

 #3. Decorate Your Driveway

Gravel stone chippings are one of the most affordable surface options available, especially for homes with long driveways. It doesn’t age or cracks, and when installed with gravel grids, the stone chippings won’t migrate as easily. If your property is prone to movement, or if you have large tree roots, gravel driveways will provide you with greater flexibility than pavers.

Colored gravel for driveways adds ochre and red-brown hues to an otherwise traditional gray aggregate, which most associate with this landscaping material. Maintaining gravel periodically with herbicides (to halt weed growth) and adding a new lawyer every two to four years is much quicker than re-laying or replacing pavers.

#4. Make a Practical Flower Beds

Alpine, rockeries, and gravel gardens are an excellent choice if you require a low-maintenance outdoor area or have poor soil and unstable weather patterns. Unlike organic mulching materials, gravel doesn't decay or deteriorate over time, so there’s no need for replacement year after year.

The lack of decay keeps unhealthy pests at bay, while its permeability keeps the soil moist for longer. Suitable types of gravel for gardens include loose gravel mixed with pebbles or colored pea gravel. Lastly, because gravel isn’t as unstable as soil, flowerbeds keep shape for longer and don’t have to be edged as frequently.

#5. Get Yourself a Stunning Garden Path

Gravel paths are easy and affordable to install. Decorative aggregates and stone chips for the garden add a pop of color to outdoor spaces. A gravel pathway can complement an existing landscape design scheme and highlight rocks, plants, and other garden features.

Strategic garden paths and walkways also give landscapes structure and delineation. They may follow a grand pattern, allow for the ease of pruning and weeding, and protect the grass and tender plants from being trampled upon.

#6. Fill the Gaps With the Gravel 

Gravel and pebbles are the perfect material to put around patio edges, fill small or irregular paving gaps and even cover the surface of indoor flowerbeds. These small stone aggregates’ unique texture and aesthetic can easily enhance a room or external area through strategic design.

#7. Use Stone Aggregates as a Grass Alternative

Garden gravels are a low-maintenance and neat substitute for a lawn. Gravel eliminates the need for constant watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Reducing water and chemical use in the yard benefits the environment, especially during dry months. Plus, your landscape will always appear manicured.

Consider this: If 60% to 70% of household water is used outdoor, particularly for watering grass, then gravel can significantly reduce water utility bills,  and it is suitable for both traditional and contemporary garden designs.

#8. Outline a Rock Border

Natural stone pebbles for landscaping borders give a flowerbed a finished look and keep plants contained. The best gravel for a border is one that complements other garden elements like planting and patios.

Colored pea gravel comes in a range of colors, including neutral tones like gray and brown and vibrant hues of pink and blue, adding a decorative element to beautiful gardens. Lastly, rock borders can also slow flower bed soil erosion.

#9. Replace Your Mulch with the Gravel

Landscapers cover flower beds with gravel because these garden chippings last really long, sometimes up to 100 years! As mentioned earlier, gravel helps preserve soil moisture and possesses fire-proof properties. For this reason, it is sometimes useful to have a band of gravel around a building.

Gravel mulches reduce weed infestation, evaporation and enhance the percolation and retention of soil. It shields the soil from wind and water erosion and helps anchor plants while maintaining consistent temperatures that nurture growth.

Looking for a Reliable Stone Aggregates Supplier?

Beyond a decorative flourish, stone aggregates assist with landscape drainage as their size and shape allow water to run through to the ground and prevent it from pooling on the surface, reducing the risk of flooding. Overall, Its functional and ornamental appeal offers great landscaping possibilities.

At Stone Center, we have a fantastic selection of utilitarian and ornamental aggregates of the highest quality. We can supply customers with a range of stone aggregates and garden gravels that accommodate their construction and landscaping needs. Take a look at our natural stone aggregates for sale!