03 Dec, 2018 10:16
Gravel offers an attractive, low maintenance option for your garden or landscaping scheme. The sheer selection of products, colours and sizes available are immense, ensuring you will always be able to find a decorative gravel to suit your project.
When it comes to choosing the perfect gravel for your drive or garden some people are left confused at the multitude of factors to consider including size, colour, texture and durability. A few key questions will help you define which products are suited to your project.
How do you wish to use the gravel in your garden?
First how you wish to use the area? Rounded gravels such as pea gravel roll underfoot and disperse quite easily, proving tricky to circumnavigate with pushchairs, wheelchairs or wheelbarrows. If the area is to be heavily trafficked by foot or vehicles, select a hardwearing angular chipping which will knot together more effectively and provide a more stable surface. Another consideration is the size of the particle, smaller than 10mm may get stuck in shoe treads and be tracked inside but bigger than 20mm could prove difficult to walk on.
What’s your budget?
The cost of gravel can vary considerably. Locally quarried products will always be cheaper than imported products. Therefore it is wise to firstly calculate the area to be filled with gravel (we have a useful Gravel Calculator), then you will be able to work out the amount you are likely to spend dependent on the product. Also to consider is whether you are going to have one single product or a combination of contrasting or complimentary products as this can alter your quantities.
Don’t forget the essentials!
Prepare the area in advance so the ground has time to settle and stabilise. It is essential to apply gravel to a good solid base which can be an existing tarmac, soil or concrete surface or a newly formed sub base such as MOT type 1. We also recommend using a weed membrane on the ground as it will help keep the gravel clean and alleviate the growth of weeds.
Do you want to mix Gravel with Paving or Stepping Stones?
Gravel is available in a huge choice of colour tones so you should be able to find one to complement any paving or stepping stones you purchase. To stop gravel riding up over the paving slabs choose an angular chipping which will knit together as opposed to a more rounded gravel that might travel onto the top surface of the paving. A small 6mm chipping can be used if the paving slabs are particularly close together, or larger chippings of 10mm and up to 20mm can be used in larger spaces. It’s sensible to keep the depth of the chipping shallower than the paver to alleviate disbursement over the paving.
What colour gravel should you choose?
With almost every colour imaginable, it’s hard to know where to start. Do you need the area to be brightened up by the gravel? Dark or shady areas can be instantly transformed by a chipping that has natural light reflecting qualities such as stones with white, cream or gold colour tones. However if your stone is in a very prominent location the glare from a light stone might prove too bright and a colour mix will be easier on the eye. Tones like gold and buff provide a visually warming appearance and are a great contrast for lush green foliage or colourful plants. Cool tones of grey offer a more contemporary theme and can act as a neutral backdrop.
Do you want to create a Feature?
Liven up your flat expanse of gravel with a feature that draws the eye and adds interest to the space. This can be as simplistic as three boulders placed together with a bag of cobbles surrounding, to a statement monolith, water feature or birdbath all of which will add the finishing touch to your project.