The Best Way to Use Landscaping Gravel
There are a number of ways you can use gravel in your garden. However, it is most commonly used for parking areas, pathways and areas for storing rubbish and recycling bins. It’s easy to use and a very cost-effective material for play areas, barbeques and fire pits, as well as level standing for garden furniture. The basic principles for installing gravel are much the same, however, you decide to use it.
Not All Gravel is Created Equal
There are a huge range of gravel types to choose from if you want to use it for landscaping. Your local supplier will have many options, or you can choose to buy online from a company such as Greenvale Products Ltd. Some are for purely decorative purposes, while others are much better for walking on. They are available in a range of different sizes and a myriad of colour options.
Man-made crushed gravel – this is made by crushing rocks in a quarry, resulting in gravel with sharp edges. It is good for gentle slopes and high traffic areas such as driveways and walkways.
River-run gravel – this type of gravel is also known as natural pebbles. They are rounded and have no sharp edges. It is perfect for adding visual appeal.
Cobbles – usually much larger than the previous types, ranging from 6cm to 25cm in size. They are not good for walking on thanks to their size but are great for a decorative element in your garden.
How Thick Should it be Laid?
This is a common question and it really depends on what the area will be used for. High traffic areas require a thick layer of gravel as the surface will be under constant pressure from vehicles. A layer of gravel that will be replacing a lawn doesn’t need to be quite as thick. A good rule of thumb is to use a layer that’s a minimum of two times as thick as the size of the gravel particles. However, increasing this level to three time will provide increased stability.
Laying Gravel for a Path or Seating Area
It is best to dig down around 10cm and add a base of hardcore before adding the gravel on top. The hardcore will prevent the layer of gravel from moving around too much and sinking under the weight of any traffic.
Laying Gravel for Decorative Purposes
This doesn’t require anything special, just a scraping away of the surface so that it’s flat. A weed supressing membrane can be added over the top as this will reduce the need for weeding. You then have to decide on the type of gravel you want to use. If you want to add plants, it a simple case of cutting out a section of the membrane with a knife and planting.
To prevent the gravel from moving out of place it’s advisable to add some kind of barrier along the edge. Timber is probably the cheapest option but not very practical if the edges are curved. Bricks or large cobbles can be used if you want to create a shape and these can be cemented in if you want a permanent edge.