Create a beach retreat in your backyard with sand and gravel

Using sand, gravel, and rocks is a great way to create themes in your garden. One theme that you might consider is a beach retreat. A lot of us love going to the beach – the feeling of sand beneath our feet especially. You can recreate this feeling at home by making your very own seaside resort in your backyard. It’s also a great project for a home gardener because it’s inexpensive and fairly easy to create.

Here are the steps to creating your very own beach retreat in your backyard.


Decide which area will be your seaside retreat. You will probably want to pick an area that’s free of trees, boulders, or other hard-to-move objects. Remember, the size of the area will determine how much material you will need for the project. There will be a big difference between the amount used on a cozy nook than on a large beach area.


Next you’ll want to excavate the area you’ve chosen, removing all grass and plants. Level it as best you can. You’ll then need to dump crushed granite or gravel in your excavated area. An area of about 100 square feet will necessitate around two tons of material.

Rake the gravel or granite smooth where you want a beach area and pile it up to create dunes. Make planting pockets in the sides of the dunes by scooping out areas along the top and sides. Wet the gravel with a hose and let it dry overnight. This will firm it up so you have permanent dunes.


To create actual dunes, you can use “Tropicanna” or Japanese blood grass, both great choices that look just like dune grass. The Tropicanna is especially beautiful as it comes in a variety of colors.

Fill planting pockets with potting soil and then plant your grass into the pockets. An added touch when using beach grass is that it will sound a lot like the beach when the wind blows through the dune grass.


Finally cover the whole area with play sand. You’ll need about a ton of sand per 100 square foot area. After the area is covered, you can add benches, a firepit, a tiki bar, or driftwood to complete your beach theme.

If you’re thinking of creating a beach retreat in your backyard, visit the experts at Tigard Sand and Gravel. They’ll have what you need.