30 Oct, 2010 00:00
Using gravel in a garden is a bit like including filet mignon in a three course meal; it may have been done years and years, but its amazing taste has not been diminished in the slightest. That’s certainly not to say that Stone Warehouse encourages the eating of gravel or any other stone based product. Instead, what we do encourage are inventive and creative uses of gravel in landscaping and gardening projects.
Using gravel to surround a planting scheme has a number of advantages. First and foremost it is visually pleasing and can give a pleasant contrast to your colourful plantings. Due to most decorative gravel options having neutral colours, the vivid colours of flowers are enhanced and ‘pop’ far more than when simply surrounded by top soil.
In addition to its aesthetic properties, gravel has a couple of practical benefits that are perhaps the best reasons for purchase. Unlike top soil, gravel is able to both allow moisture through to a plant’s roots and also retain this moisture and suppress its evaporation, ultimately encouraging growth. It should be noted that while gravel can inhibit weeds, it cannot suppress their growth entirely and therefore should always be coupled with garden membrane.
Similar to when used in a planting scheme, using gravel in a water feature has benefits of both an aesthetic and practical nature. Whether used in a small ornamental pond or in a larger dramatic waterfall, gravel seems naturally at home in a water feature and each element compliments the other flawlessly. Insofar as its practical benefits are concerned, larger types of gravel can help to control the flow of smaller streams and also act as an excellent filter for waterfalls. Unlike larger stones, gravel is less likely to attract algae and will therefore retain its natural appearance for longer and without the need for cleaning.
PATHS AND DRIVEWAYS
Particularly in the UK, the most traditional use of gravel is to distinguish a path through a garden; thereby protecting that pristine lawn and beautiful flower beds from a potential trampling. But why should you choose gravel over cobbles or paving stones? Firstly, gravel is that little bit more organic looking than certain alternatives and is particularly easy to manipulate to create a meandering route through a garden. It also doesn’t take an expert to lay and is particularly cost effective; especially if the path itself is likely to be fairly long or wide.
As with paths, laying a driveway can be an expensive task and again this makes gravel a very attractive solution due to its relatively low cost. This can also be said for long term expense too since there is less of a need for repairs and therefore lower maintenance expenses. Additionally, while it will inevitably get somewhat dirty due to being driven over on a daily basis, the appearance of gravel will generally endure and therefore add a touch of colour to any driveway.
Also, it should be noted that gravel paths and driveways come police recommended. Acting as natural burglar alarms, they’re almost impossible to walk on without creating a least a little noise; thereby alerting a house owner to a potential intruder.
PATIOS AND SEATING AREAS
Your garden is replete with beautiful flower arrangements. It has a lovingly manicured lawn and a clear, tranquil water feature. Eager to invite friends round to give them a glimpse of this mini-nirvana-Eden-like-slice-of-heaven, you suddenly notice the state of your decking. Visibly grimy, it is discoloured and splintered in places despite yearly treatments.
Suddenly that little know-it-all voice in head whispers; “you should have used gravel Steve”. Your name may not be Steve, but aside from that, the voice was bang on the money; gravel is perfect for outdoor seating areas. As when used on paths it gives a pleasing crunch under foot, but above all else its low maintenance qualities mean that it will keep a pleasant appearance for decades without the constant need for cleaning and treatment.
So, you’ve read this article and your imagination has been pricked; what now? Well, now it’s time to purchase some gravel, and there’s no one better than Stone Warehouse to buy from. With one of the largest ranges of gravel and chippings online, it would be silly to go elsewhere.
For instance, our Apricot gravel comes in lovely shades of orange and white and is particularly at home in a pond or water feature. Meanwhile, our ever popular Derbyshire Spar gravel is a stunning mix of neutral shades and textures that sparkle in the sunlight. On the other hand, the Canterbury Spar range is full of reds, whites and greys, and has the potential to make your driveway the most envied on the estate.
Take a look through our full range of gravel and chippings and add some pizzazz to your garden today. But please, at all times remember that gravel is not a suitable sandwich filling... even if it does come in delicious shades of honey.