How do you choose the best gravel for your garden when you’re creating a driveway, path or border? There are many factors to think about including colour, texture and durability. This article should help to guide your decision to making the right choice for your landscaping project.
Gravel can be a relatively low cost landscaping material for covering large areas, or for adding decorative finishing touches to outdoor spaces.
There are a few key questions to ask yourself when choosing the right gravel for your garden.
What are you using your gravel for?
Gravel for Driveways
If there will be a lot of vehicular traffic, choose a self binding gravel that will compact to form a smooth flat surface such as our Goldpath. Or use larger angular chippings that are 14mm – 20mm size ranges, as these will bed together and form a flatter surface.
Rounded stones (such as pebbles) will not form a compacted base for heavy wheel traffic. They will also move around a lot. Smaller gravels (10mm or less) can get caught in your tyre and shoe treads and relocated around your garden or into your house.
For more information on choosing the best gravel for your driveway, please watch our handy video below.
Gravel for Paths
The shape of the material is important when you decide to lay a gravel path. Smaller sized, rounded decorative aggregates such as pea gravel, roll underfoot and can get stuck in wheels. This will make it difficult to navigate prams or wheelchairs. Therefore we would suggest you choose an angular gravel for your garden path.
There are a multitude of types of gravel for walkways but we suggest you choose a chipping sized between 10 and 20mm in size. This will be easier to walk over and also large enough not to get stuck in shoe treads.
Also there are a variety of colours that you can choose from. Light chippings will brighten up dark and shady areas, whereas darker colour tones will disguise mud left by foot traffic.
Gravel for Borders
You can use gravel as a border for paving, grass or plant beds. If the area isn’t going to be walked on then any size chipping is suitable.
We suggest you choose gravels that compliment your planting or patio scheme.
If you want a flat look then just use gravel chippings. However you can add height and interest to these areas with larger cobbles, pebbles and boulders.
If you want to help plants grow you can create a protective mulch layer with slate chippings.
Can I do it myself?
Gravel driveways and paths are easy to create yourself and you can find out how in our short video below or you can download our ‘how to lay gravel’ pdf guide.
Alternatively you can hire a skilled landscape contractor to make sure the installation is done professionally. Gravel should ideally be installed on a compacted base with a weed membrane underneath. This landscape fabric will not only help prevent weed growth but keep your stone clean for longer.
What colour gravel should I choose?
Once you have chosen the right type and size of gravel for your needs, you can get creative and start to think about the colour and design of your project. Make sure that your choice compliments hard landscaping features such as paving.
Warm coloured gravels such as Onyx, Flamingo Chippings or Apricot Gravel have a Mediterranean feel and can light up a small area. You can use bright tones like Polar White to make your garden feel more spacious. Whilst cool contemporary tones such as Polar Ice and our top seller Black Ice would make flower beds and foliage stands out though contrast.
How much gravel do I need?
We generally say that 1 bulk bag covers approximately 10m², if you are laying it at a depth of 50mm. We also offer various sized bag pallets that consist of 25kg bags. A 50 bag pallet will cover around 12m² and 25 bag pallet covers around 6m², again if you are laying to a depth of 50mm.
To calculate the amount of gravel you require you need to measure the length and width of your space. Then multiply them together to work out the area in square metres. For example a garden that is 3 metres by 5 metres is 15m². We have a handy gravel quantity calculator on our site to help you calculate how much gravel you need.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of a particular gravel or chipping product for your application, our friendly sales team are just a phone call away to answer your queries.