I really like rock in the garden, but I especially love gravel and other tiny rocks. I work them to nearly every design I make for my clients, in addition to in my own landscape. Why the romance with gravel? It serves many functions, from solving drainage problems into giving textural appeal; it crunches under your feet; also it comes in several different colors and types. Check out my favorites and see which one will work for you on your landscape.
The fundamentals:Decomposed Granite, or DG, is a granitic rock which has weathered to the point of breaking into very small pieces and silt-like particles. It is available in a reddish-tan colour that will fade into a lighter tan over time. Decomposed granite is excellent for pathways and pastoral patios, and can also be used as a topdressing around plants that are dry. It’s sold by the yard.
Cost:DG is sold by the bag for approximately $3 if you should simply add to or match in a little area, or by the cubic yard for $35 to $50. One cubic yard (a 3-foot cube) may fill the rear of a standard pickup truck.
Benefits:It’s relatively cheap and easily available.
Cons:It can track indoors on the bottom of your shoes, so if you’ve got hardwood floors, you may want to take your shoes off after walking onto a DG pathway. Additionally, it is tough to eliminate weeds whenever they get out of control.
Particular considerations:It’s best to use it in thin layers, watering down and tamping each layer to make a very compact surface. You might even add a stabilizer (a water-activated binder) into the decomposed granite area, which protects the DG from the damaging effects of traffic and weather whilst still enabling it to be permeable.
Maintenance:you might think about installing a contractor-grade landscape fabric underneath your decomposed granite space to discourage weeds from growing, but you should be mindful that weed seeds can still blow from above. Keep on top of weeding by hand pulling or by carefully employing an organic herbicide. DG will split into the soil after quite a few years, so you could find it necessary to add to your patio or walkway to help keep it looking fresh.
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Following is a mix of decomposed granite (top) along with pea gravel (bottom), divided by a line of blue fescue (Festuca glauca).
Debora carl landscape design
The fundamentals:Pea gravel is a small, curved rock that got its name since the stones are about the size of a pea. In reality pea gravel comes in various sizes — 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch are typical dimensions. It typically comes in a selection of tan, white and brown colour mixes, but do your homework to learn the price of each. Use pea gravel for patio areas, pathways and filling between horizontal rock, like flagstone.
Cost: Pea gravel is sold by the bag for around $3 or by the cubic yard for $33 to $50 and up.
Benefits: Most kinds are fairly cheap and easily available.
Cons:It can be difficult to drive a lawn mower or some other wheeled equipment above a gravel path, as the wheels tend to sink in the gravel. It can stray from place if not correctly edged.
Special considerations: There are several different kinds of pea gravel, and a few are more expensive (rainbow gravel, by way of example). Be sure you understand the difference when you are choosing your gravel to avoid sticker shock upon checkout.
Maintenance:keep on top of weeding so it will not become a maintenance problem. Pea gravel can have a propensity to stray from its area if there’s no barrier to keep it in position, and even then it can shift to cover nearby flagstone. Keep a broom handy to sweep it back.
Moore Around… Design
This walkway has pea gravel in the crevices.
Garden Culture Victoria
The fundamentals: River stones are larger than pea gravel, usually 1 inch and larger in diameter. They are offered in a variety of colors, costs and sizes, and are utilized to make dry creek beds or to guide drainage by means of a property.
Cost:This kind of rock is sold by the pound or by the lot. Per-pound prices range from 5 cents to 35 cents, and per-ton prices run $100 to $700, depending upon amount.
Benefits:It’s easily available in various kinds and prices.
Cons: It can be difficult to weed through this kind of rock; maintenance ought to be consistent so you can avoid unpleasant cleanups.
Special considerations: To make a realistic-looking dry creek bed, use various sizes of river rock with some little and large boulder accents — Mother Nature doesn’t limit herself to only 1 size rock.
Maintenance: much like other types of rock, stay on top of weeding, as once weeds escape control, it’s rather tough to eliminate them. Use a blower to eliminate seasonal debris, like fallen leaves and soil. Installing landscape fabric underneath river rock is a great way to maintain this thicker rock from settling to the soil beneath.
Crushed Granite Gravel
The fundamentals:This one is closely linked to granite, but it’s a bit chunkier in texture and size. Even though DG has quite a lot of silt and almost sand-like particles, crushed granite gravel has larger particles. The texture isn’t smooth like pea gravel, but this decision is perfect for patios and paths, in addition to for setting off xeric plants.
Cost:Crushed granite gravel is sold by the yard for $60 and up, depending upon where you are and the size. Those living in more rural regions may cover more for this substance, as it’s more expensive to truck than more easily available materials like DG.
Benefits: It provides great texture in the garden, and is a step up from DG for anglers who want a more refined or contemporary look.
Cons:It can be tough to locate a resource if you reside in a more rural area, and it can be double the price of the similar but more humble decomposed granite.
Special considerations: It’s similar to decomposed granite.
Maintenance: The care for crushed granite gravel is similar to that for decomposed granite and pea gravel, as it has some of the same qualities as each of these substances.
Pool Environments, Inc..
Mexican Beach Pebbles
The fundamentals: These are a few of my favourite small rocks. Mexican beach pebbles are smooth and curved and have a grayish-black uniform color. I like to utilize this rock decoratively in the garden — to topdress container plantings, to puddle around boulders and also to line boundaries of beds and patios.
Cost:This substance is sold by the bag for $20 and up, by the pound to get 35 cents and up and by the ton for $700 and up, making it a fairly pricey option.
Benefits:It’s a tasteful and sophisticated rock option.
Cons:it’s fairly expensive and can be hard to locate if you don’t reside in a large metropolitan region.
Particular considerations:With such a distinctive look, Mexican beach pebbles are best for contemporary or Zen-like gardens.
Maintenance:much like that for dirt and river rock — keep on top of the weeds and use a mill to clean up fallen debris.
General gravel notes:
Buy in bulk or by the yard, instead of by the tote, to save money.Always inquire about delivery fees when ordering.Gravels are typically available by bags in home improvement stores and by the bag, yard or ton in landscape provide yards.Consider installing a contractor-grade landscape fabric beneath your gravel space. It suppresses weeds and allows rain to penetrate while retaining the rock from sinking to the ground. There’s some dialogue among anglers regarding the efficacy and worth of this material, and although I have always found it useful, I invite you to read about the pros and cons before making your choice. Shown: A pea gravel patio bordering a tropical garden
More: Read hundreds of photographs of granite and gravel garden paths