Category Archives: Landscape

5 Reasons Why Gravel is Great for Landscapes

5 Reasons Why Gravel is Great for Landscapes

Whether you’re creating a brand-new, high-end landscape for your property or are just looking for an easy way to refresh a tired yard, one of the materials you’re most likely to turn to is gravel. It might seem like a surprisingly basic choice, but this humble material has emerged as a star in all kinds of landscaping projects over the last few years, and demand for gravel is only expected to increase in the future.

What’s driving the major success of this simple hardscaping material? Read on for a look at five reasons behind gravel’s popularity.

1. It’s budget-friendly.

Compared to many other hardscaping materials, gravel is one of the most affordable choices available. This makes it a great option if you have a tight budget for your landscaping project, if you have a lot of surface area you want to cover, or if you’re looking to splurge on one particular element of your project and need to offset that expense with savings elsewhere.

To cut the cost of your gravel even further, try choosing a type that is sourced locally from your region. Not only will you save on the cost of trucking gravel in from somewhere else, but your landscape design will also feel more naturally connected to your site.

2. It comes in many varieties.

Did you know that gravel comes in a huge range of types, sizes, textures, and colors? Popular gravel varieties include:

Pea gravel

Pea gravel is perhaps the most popular of all gravel types. Named for the size of the stones (roughly the size of a pea), pea gravel features elegantly smooth and rounded stones in a range of grey and brown shades.

Crushed rock

Also called crushed stone, crushed rock is known for its more jagged edges (the smooth edges of pea gravel are produced during a “tumbling” process; crushed rock has not been tumbled, so the jagged edges remain).

Due to these jagged edges, it can lock in place more compactly, which reduces rolling and crunching underfoot. Crushed rock can be the same size as or larger than pea gravel, and comes in a variety of colors from off-white to reddish brown.

Decomposed granite

Formed from the natural weathering and erosion of solid granite (or other rock varieties), this is the gravel type with the smallest particle sizes. Some pieces can be as large as one-eighth-inch (the size of a small piece of pea gravel), while others are as small as grains of sand. Decomposed granite forms a stable, compact surface, and ranges in color from tan shades through to bluish tones.

3. It can be used almost anywhere.

Versatility is one of the biggest reasons why gravel is such a popular choice for budget and blockbuster landscaping projects alike. Gravel can be used for just about any feature of your landscape, including:

Walkways

Gravel is an excellent choice for all kinds of walkways, whether you want to create a visually pleasing path that meanders through your garden or a functional walkway between your garage and your back door.

Patios

Given the high cost of good quality paving stones, gravel has become a popular budget-friendly choice for patios. When used as a patio material, gravel gives the visual appearance of a unified surface but also adds a nice dose of texture.

Driveways

Gravel driveways work well in areas that get a lot of heavy rain, or in colder regions where hard winter freezes can dramatically shorten the lifespan of an asphalt or concrete driveway. (Note that it’s important to choose a gravel type that will support wheel traffic, and to have the gravel properly installed on a firm foundation.)

Mixed with pavers

If you have a path made from flagstones or other pavers, you can fill the gaps between the pavers with gravel. This is not only an attractive combination that offers great textural contrast, it also requires less maintenance than a paver pathway in which the gaps are filled with ground cover plants.

4. It works well with other materials.

Gravel is an effective way to contrast or complement other hardscaping materials in your landscape, and it rarely looks out of place whether your style is classic or contemporary.

For example, a pathway of crushed rock edged with granite cobblestones evokes a sense of timeless sophistication, while the same pathway defined by a discreet steel border suggests a cottage garden atmosphere.

Similarly, when dark-colored gravel is paired with corrugated metal (such as metal planter boxes), the effect is edgy and modern, while a light-colored gravel set against wood (such as stair treads or deck edging) offers an understated, naturalistic effect.

5. It’s permeable.

Gravel’s permeability is another feature that sets it apart from other hardscaping materials. Because the texture of gravel allows water to percolate through to the ground below, water runoff is greatly reduced, which in turn helps prevent erosion, filter out pollutants, and improve soil and vegetation health.

This makes gravel an excellent choice in situations where good drainage is important. It is also a useful option for homeowners who can’t install other hardscaping materials due to municipal restrictions on a property’s impermeable surface area.

5 Simple Tips for a Great-Looking Driveway

5 Simple Tips for a Great-Looking Driveway

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house and garden: your driveway needs it, too! These tips can help get your driveway looking great after a long winter. Continue Reading

4 Things You Need to Know about Mulch

4 Things You Need to Know about Mulch

Get the dirt on mulch, the surprising material that can take your garden and landscape from good to gorgeous. Continue Reading

6 Landscaping Rules That Will Boost Your Curb Appeal

6 Landscaping Rules That Will Boost Your Curb Appeal

Landscaping is one of the most important elements when it comes to the curb appeal of your home. Use these six principles to get it right. Continue Reading

The Most Important Thing to Do on Your Property This Winter

The Most Important Thing to Do on Your Property This Winter

Snow removal should be a top task on every homeowner’s winter to-do list. Learn more about why it matters and when to call in the experts. Continue Reading

Did You Know These 8 Fun Facts about Peonies?

Did You Know These 8 Fun Facts about Peonies?

Learn some fascinating facts about peonies, one of the most beautiful and popular perennial flowers for home gardens. Continue Reading

6 Things You Need to Know before Starting a Vegetable Garden

6 Things You Need to Know before Starting a Vegetable Garden

Get your first vegetable garden off to a good start with these helpful tips. Continue Reading

How to Care for Your Lawn in Winter

How to Care for Your Lawn in Winter

Lawn care doesn’t stop just because summer does. These helpful tips will show you how to take care of your lawn all through the winter. Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about Planting a Tree

What You Need to Know about Planting a Tree

Planting a tree in your garden can increase both your enjoyment of your home and the value of your property. Here’s how to do it right. Continue Reading

How to Make Your Landscape More Eco-Friendly

How to Make Your Landscape More Eco-Friendly

Are you interested in making greener landscaping choices? Check out these great ideas for creating an eco-friendly landscape. Continue Reading