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19 January 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to Pebbles, Cobbles and Boulders for your Garden

Stone Warehouse has the UK’s largest online selection of Pebbles, Cobbles and Boulders to help transform and enhance any garden or landscaping project.  Our large selection has many different sizes, textures, and colours to create a stunning addition to your garden.

The fish-friendly Scottish range often creates the most impressive touch, with their sizes ranging from the smaller 14-20mm Pebble right up to the larger landscaping boulders. 

Or look at our coloured garden pebble range from black, white, and multi-coloured that can add a splash of colour if required.

2 images of Pebbles used in garden environment, the left including an ornamental bowl water feature, sat on Duck Egg Pebbles, and the right a garden path made using round stepping stones laid into Scottish Pebbles

Size & Shape

Pebbles tend to be more rounded and smoother in texture and range from 10mm up to approximately . 50/60mm before changing to larger-sized Cobbles.  Cobbles are a little harder to define, sizing from 50mm up to 150mm normally.

Garden boulders are perfect for landscaping focal points, ponds, swim pools, parking deterrents, gabion baskets, and rockeries and tend to range from 150mm upwards to 1m, with larger sizes available on request.  These natural stone boulders are an excellent choice for providing eye-catching focal points within any garden setting.  These again tend to be more rounded and smoother in appearance, but being naturally formed, they can be irregular in shape too.

It's good to point out that the way pebbles and cobbles are screened means that you can get some that are longer in length than expected, so check out our useful Sizing Guide for further information.

Choosing the Perfect Cobbles or Pebbles for your Garden

Ideally, choose a colour scheme for your garden and then decide on the size.  You need to think about several things: 

Will you be walking or placing chairs and tables on them?  If so, you may be better off going for a Pebble Under 20mm.  This forms a flatter surface, making it easier to walk on, but it won't get stuck in your shoe treads.  Choosing a pebble or cobble over the size of 20mm could make the surface uneven, make it tricky to walk on, and leave tables and chairs unstable.

A picture of garden furniture, stood on smaller Scottish Pebbles to show the stability offered by a smaller rounded pebble

Are you wanting to landscape a shaded area?  Lighter colours, like White Pebbles may discolour quicker than using a darker mix of colour.  Ideally, the Scottish Pebble & Cobbles range may be perfect here, or the Ebony Black range, or even Oyster Pebbles.

Going for a Mediterranean feel?  Then the Polar White Pebbles & Cobbles may be the choice for you.  Or perhaps the Polished Black Pebbles could be the contrast you're looking for.  Duck Egg Pebbles are again a stunning choice for a more contemporary garden.

two views of a garden design featuring a collection of trees, surrounding an intimate garden design with our black polished pebbles and Scottish pebbles and cobbles, and even a sheep!

Many landscapers use a variation in the sizes offered, and this works well too with Slate Chippings and other gravel, particularly when you are trying to create a contrast in colour.

Fancying gabion baskets in your garden design?  Cobbles and boulders are ideal, and it might be worth checking out our White Boulders 250mm, Scottish Cobbles 80-120mm, and Rainbow Boulders as a starting point for inspiration.

Three images of landscaped gardens; left with Rainbow Boulders used to fill gabion basket seats, middle has White Boulder filled gabions surrounding a lowered seating area and right shows a gabion wall filled with Scottish Cobbbles

Using Stepping Stones or paving in your garden?  Perhaps you are wanting a pebble to complement your design, and again, depending on the size of pebble you require, these make a perfect addition.

Two images of Pebbles being used as part of stepping stone pathways. The left has Scottish Pebbles laid with short wooden planks used as steppings stones, while the right image has Duck Egg pebbles laid in between natural Slate paving

Finishing off your garden landscaping area with larger Boulders is a popular choice, and whether it's just one Individual Boulder or more, they really can add the wow factor!  The ones below are a mixture of Scottish Boulders and Cambrian Boulders.

Boulders used as decorating at the side of a landscape swim pond, including both Scottish and Cambrian boulders, laid with Scottish pebbles and cobblesGarden Borders

Ground cover for raised beds, rockeries, or placing around a flower bed the choice is endless, and either of the pebbles or cobbles size can be used.  Normally, we suggest working at a maximum depth of 50mm for the smaller pebbles but 100mm minimum depth for the larger 40-90mm Size.  A bulk bag of anything up to the size of 20mm will normally cover approx. 10m², with a bulk bag of average sized cobbles covering 5m².

Ponds, Streams, and Water Features

Scottish Pebbles, Cobbles, Boulders, and Cambrian Boulders are perfect for use in any water feature where they will provide a spectacular finish, particularly when wet, emphasising their perfect natural mix of pink, grey, brown, and cream contrasting colours.

Other helpful videos you may be interested in

· How-To Videos

Other Garden Inspiration you may be interested in

· Which Gravel for your Garden or Driveway

· How to Build a Rockery

· Combining Paving with Decorative Gravel & Stones

· A Checklist for Welcoming Wildlife into your Garden

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