Landscaping Ideas Using Gravel

Gravel   Photo by toxawww

Gravel is inorganic ground cover that is permeable, allowing adequate drainage for precipitation, yet tougher and more pleasing to the eye than exposed soil. Gravel refers to small stones, generally 5-30mm in diameter that may be angular or rounded. Angular gravels are usually sourced from quarries, a by-product of the crushing processes, whereas rounded gravels are from a fluvial source, such as an old river bed, beaches, and channel dredging. Types of gravel can vary and not all are suitable for landscaping though. Depending on the area of landscaping that it covers the landscaping gravel differs. Take a look at the varying types of gravel used for different landscaping purposes. Walkways

You might take a fancy to a pathway through a garden or providing a walkway to the front door, it must stand up to foot traffic. Gravel paths are less expensive to install than concrete sidewalks and paver stones, and these paths can take on almost any shape you desire. Instead of river rock and large gravel pieces, use small, tightly packed gravel pieces to create a solid and flat surface for walkways. The best size gravel pieces to use for pedestrian traffic are in the range 6-15mm. This size gravel is small enough to pack tightly underfoot but large enough to provide adequate drainage during rain, which prevents migrating gravel from drifting out. As gravel moves and shifts frequently, so it needs an edging along the border to keep it in place. For a more durable walkway gravel can be mixed with concrete to create an “exposed aggregate” finish.


An edging provides a framing for the yard, which works as a barrier between the landscape and outside traffic. Edging gravel is all about the look rather than durability as it either enhances or detracts from the overall aesthetic of the lawn. River rock gravel with its deep hues and natural color along with more rounded and soft edges is ideal for edging, as they blend well with plants and bright flowers. They come in several sizes and features textures ranging from a rough, weathered look to pebbly smooth.

Full Coverage

Covering the entire landscape with gravel, or using it as the primary surface, can reduce water consumption and general yard maintenance. Larger pieces of gravel, 3/4-inch and up, are best in this instance; they provide adequate drainage for rainwater and are more visually appealing than smaller rock.

New Lawns

A thin layer of gravel can help a new grass lawn grow better and thrive on less water. Spread a thin layer over grass cut short and top it with an inch of compost mulch. The best gravel to use for this process is crushed quarter-10 gravel, which is small but will not pack tightly enough to hold in water.

Garden Gravel

‘Mediterranean-style’ gardens, with gravel as surface for garden areas are very much in demand now. In these circumstances, a landscape fabric is laid out and plants are often placed randomly within the area of gravel, and so it is essential that a reasonable top-soil exists beneath the gravel to provide nourishment and anchorage for the plants. The gravel is brought in, spread to a thickness of 30-40mm with a rake, and then compacted with a vibrating plate compactor. River gravel helps protect against moisture evaporation and limits weed growth in garden beds. Gravel is dense and lasts quite a bit longer than traditional wood mulch.

Contact our experts at Davis Concrete for advice on the best way to bring out the most in your landscape, with river gravel as an accent or a functional covering.

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