Gravel is an incredibly versatile and durable material that can be used in a huge variety of ways. There is no need to think of gravel as only a construction tool as it comes in many forms with different shapes, sizes, and colors for use around the yard.

Gravel in landscaping can provide drainage but also visual appeal, usefulness, and it offers a very low maintenance landscaping option.

We have been doing gravel delivery in Red Deer for years for different projects, and here are a number of ideas you might not have thought about on how to use gravel in landscaping.

 

Garden Bed

The common tendency is to use topsoil or mulch around plants and flowers in the garden, but gravel can provide an attractive alternative. By selecting the right color scheme to complement your flowers and surrounding features, gravel will not only provide an interesting look for your garden, it will also prevent weeds. It will also offer a great drainage system to ensure your plants always look their best while providing a protective covering for your plants’ roots.

Pea gravel is small enough to be used in place of mulch and is available in many natural colors, making it easy to match with other features or stones around your garden. It provides a decorative feel while still being functional. Using larger stones on the outside will help to keep the gravel in place and the effect will be as though your flowers are popping from their beds.

As a mulch substitute around garden plants, all-purpose gravel that is 3/8 inch in diameter is the best option. Take into account your personal preferences and note that smooth gravel has a more decorative appearance than angular gravel, but rough gravel may stay in place better. It is all a matter of choice and gravel definitely offers choices.

Due to the small size of pea gravel, it is important to note that it should not be laid out over the soil. When spreading pea gravel make sure to use a landscaping cloth before putting down the gravel. This way the weeds will be managed, and the gravel will be better maintained.

 

Edging for a Garden

If the idea of using gravel in your garden in place of mulch is not something you would consider, gravel can also be a great material for edging as it draws attention to the garden while keeping a tidy appearance to enhance the beauty of your flowers, bushes, or trees. It is best to use a larger stone or gravel for edging in high traffic areas, as pea gravel can easily be displaced.

 

Rock Garden

For even less maintenance than a standard flower garden, a rock garden can provide just as much beauty with a mix of the right gravel and larger stones.

As a rock garden tends to have light foot traffic, almost any size of gravel can be used as a decorative feature. Large gravel sits well against boulders and other large rocks while small gravel can be used as blanketing throughout the garden. The rounded edges of river rocks can provide a finished look.

 

Pet Haven

Creating a dedicated gravel area for your pet can provide a safe and fun zone for your dog or cat to roam freely. With the use of pea gravel, screening, or gravel chips as a base you can create a playful area that is friendly on your pet’s paws, has the proper drainage, and is easy to clean. This allows you to maintain the rest of your yard without it being destroyed by your furry friends.

 

Children’s Play Area

As pets need a place to play, so do children and pea gravel can provide a safe and clean area for young ones to run around in. The soft feel of the gravel can provide a cushion against falls and is a great alternative to sandboxes as kids love digging around in the small rocks. When the kids grow out of it, simply use it elsewhere in your garden.

 

Patios and Walkways

Adding gravel to spaces such as a patio or a lead-up walkway can add a different appeal by providing some color advantages and depth to the design of your yard. Gravel is low maintenance in such an area and it is highly durable.

By mixing larger stones with gravel surrounding each stone you can create a patio or walkway in as little as one weekend. Such a design can last for a long time and can be changed easily if you want to update the look and feel of your yard or simply expand your stone pattern.  If done well, the result can add value to your home while providing a stunning appearance. The more creative you can be with the shape, color, and texture of the materials, the better.

 

Garden Path

A simple gravel path through your garden in the appropriate colors can magically transform your yard into a wonderfully soothing space. With just the addition of gravel, you can take your garden to the next level and be the envy of the neighborhood. The addition of river rocks can also define edges, making them flexible for curves or angles, while holding materials like pea gravel in place, as well as divert water for drainage.

Simply adding some fresh gravel from time to time will keep your pathways and patios looking new and they will last for years.

 

Driveways

When we think of driveways, we often think of them as paved with concrete or asphalt, but gravel can be a wonderful option as it is durable, easily maintained, can be colorful, and is much more affordable than the traditional options. It can change the look and feel of your home, giving it a rustic curb appeal. Gravel can provide the water drainage needed while also keeping the driveway from becoming a messy mud pit. A driveway will require several layers of gravel to support vehicles, with larger stones on the bottom, a medium gravel to fill in, and a top layer of smaller gravel.

 

Fire Pit

If you like to throw a good backyard party or if you enjoy a quiet night at home with your family, a fire pit can provide you with a focal point for your enjoyment. Simple DIY kits can be found anywhere and all you need is some large stones and some gravel to start building your fire pit area for night after night of backyard comfort. When you lay gravel around the surrounding area of a fire pit it not only adds an aesthetic appeal, but also can provide a more fire safe area.

 

Subbase

Gravel is commonly known as being a good foundation to hold asphalt or concrete. It is maneuverable and offers a stable bed for your top material while maintaining a drainage system underneath.

 

Xeriscaping

It is likely you have never heard of xeriscaping, but it can be quite useful for those who want a very low maintenance garden. The concept uses plants indigenous to the area that requires little water in combination with a bed of gravel. The gravel conserves the water over a large area and maintains the integrity of the soil underneath while providing a nice view from above.

Xeriscaping is often used in areas that are prone to drought, but it can be a gardening style for any climate. Plants that do well in low water environments and grow nicely in a gravel topped garden include lavender, irises, succulents, and wormwood.

 

Dry Creek Bed

Protecting your home from water damage is a fact of life when you are a homeowner. A dry creek bed can serve as a drainage system for your home’s foundation, protecting it from water erosion, mold, and rot. Your yard may also be a susceptible area for water retention in which case a dry creek bed can be useful there too. To enhance the appearance of a dry creek bed, gravel can be added to create a warm landscaping environment that can be used to plant your favorite flowers or keep open as a rock garden.

 

Pipe Bedding

When laying pipes outdoors to carry water away from areas you want to keep dry, such as downspouts at the foundation of your home, gravel is essential for creating a base for the pipe and to provide strength and protection from shifting soil. When unseen surrounding an underground pipe just about any gravel will do the job so decorative stone is not necessary for pipe bedding. Pea Gravel, River Wash, etc. are all good options for such a project.

 

Other Drainage Situations

Some homes that do not have eaves troughs would be ideal for a crushed stone gravel drip edge to keep water roof run-off from splashing on the side of the home. The stone is generally crushed down to ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch and it is a very economical option for drip edges along a foundation or a retaining wall.

With an uneven plot of land on your property, some areas of your yard might be at risk of erosion. Gravel can shore up those areas and maintain the soil exposed to water flows, like the bottom of a hill or an embankment.

Drainage is not just for your yard. Placing gravel at the bottom of a flower pot can provide a support system for your flowers and keep the excess water from rotting the roots.

 

Water Features

For a touch of tranquillity, the addition of a water feature to a yard can go a very long way. As water and stone is a natural combination, the use of gravel to create a transition from the yard to the water feature is a great way to bring the feel of a natural setting to your yard. By adding a gravel pathway within the yard to the water feature, whether it is a bird bath, waterfall or fountain, you can create a Zen-like feel for your personal oasis.

 

No matter what your plans are for using gravel, make sure you are prepared with good measurements, including depth so you can estimate the proper amount of gravel needed. In many cases, landscaping cloth should be used to keep weeds from invading your stoned area. Note, some projects will require the gravel to settle, such as a driveway or patio. In such cases, a tamper can be used to help the stones settle and harden the area while still allowing for water drainage.

 

If you are wanting to create an aesthetic feature or a home improvement, such as a driveway, call Pebble Pushers Gravel Co. 403-885-5081 We provide gravel sales and delivery services across all of Western Canada.