Different ways to enhance your garden with gravel

Different ways to enhance your garden with gravel

By its own design, gravel is a workhorse landscaping material, with millions of years of volcanic lineage and toughness to stand up to all manner of natural elements and other rough treatment. But did you know that gravel is also one of the most versatile landscape options on the market? Gravel works great for making pathways, patios and outdoor seating alcoves, a venerable mulch, or a highly efficient drainage component.

Perhaps one of its biggest attractions, gravel comes in dozens of different colors, shapes, and sizes to match virtually any imaginative landscape design or creative outdoor idea. Outdoor gardens are especially receptive to the addition of gravel, as backyard gardeners face a multitude of evolving challenges with each new season including determined weeds that seem to spread overnight, constant and tedious maintenance, and an endless cycle of planting and pruning.

Benefits of using gravel in gardens

Blending gravel with garden design is certainly not a new idea, as people have used it for ages in this regard, but “gravel gardening” has seen a relatively recent uptick in popularity for a variety of reasons, many of which are based on low maintenance and versatility.

Let’s look at some popular ways to incorporate gravel to enhance your home’s garden areas.

Walkways

Garden paths and walkways are two of the most popular uses of gravel in gardens. Gravel drains quickly, lends an immediate and attractive natural look, and is generally a cinch to install. Larger gravel will lock itself in place while finer gravel tends to roll underfoot.

Flagstone filler

Pea gravel and other fine mixes are perfect for filling gaps between flagstone on your new patio or pathway. Applied correctly, gravel “sets up” and provides the ideal bonding agent. You can even choose colors that match the flagstone or surrounding hardscapes.

Pleasing patios

Gravel is a wonderfully permeable surface material for backyard patios, allowing rainwater to naturally drain while adding texture and elegance.

Water feature base layer

Mixing smaller gravel with boulders and other stones is a great way to add pizzazz to water features. Gravel also is just the thing to cover fountain bases, bottoms of ponds, and lining attractive dry stream beds. With babbling brook water features, place darker colored gravel that when wet provides a ruggedly elegant backdrop for lush foliage and makes showy plants stand out.

Bed mulch

Look no further for a durable and effective plant bed mulch. Spread gravel like a top-dressing of bark mulch for a crisp and clean look.