How to use decorative stones in your garden

27th March 2024
How to use decorative stones in your garden

Decorative stone is a term that encompasses a wide range of materials, including gravel, pebbles, and slate.

They are a fantastic way to add interest and texture to your garden. Each type has its own benefits. Therefore, you should consider these when deciding which decorative stone to use in your garden.

In this blog, our landscaping experts at MB Wilkes, Dorset’s leading supplier of decorative stones, share a breakdown of each type of decorative stone and what they’re best used for.


Smooth and round pebbles are formed when a stone's rough edges are slowly eroded by running water. As such, they will look perfectly at home as part of a garden water feature. We recommend using colourful pebbles like our 14-20mm Scottish pebbles for an authentic feel. 

Due to their rounded surface being safe to walk on barefoot, these decorative stones make good garden pathways, and when combined with landscape fabrics like our woven geotextile, you can prevent weeds from growing underneath. 

Pebbles can help prevent soil degradation and eroding too, making them great to enhance the top of potted plants. Pebbles and decorative stones also make for beautiful and natural borders for flower beds. 

If you are laying a pathway, contrasting coloured pebbles in the garden is a fantastic way to make a style statement all across your garden. Additionally, you could also use different colours to differentiate the various sections of your garden from each other.

Avoid using pebbles on driveways because they are so smooth they will move and shift under the heavy weight of a vehicle. This will cause the driveway to deteriorate quickly.


Slate is a fine-grained, metamorphic rock that splits easily into thin slabs. 

Much sharper and larger than pebbles, slate is perfect for decorating borders. For example, our black slate would make for a dramatic and modern accent to a path, pond, or patio. 

Slate also makes for poor driveway material, as there is always the chance that a sharp piece could slice open your tyre. It is also a relatively brittle material, so putting it under constant stress from heavy cars will cause it to crumble over time. This will lead to the build-up of dust, which could inhibit drainage. 

Stone Paving

Decorative stones aren't just limited to pebbles and rocks. Natural stone paving is the perfect material for creating gorgeous and perfectly flat patios where you and your loved ones can enjoy many BBQs and garden parties together.

We stock lots of different paving slabs in a range of colours, textures and finishes, so you're sure to find one to suit your style. 

Gravel & Shingle

Gravel is made up of loose rock fragments. 

Gravel and shingle are grippy, durable stones, making them excellent choices for driveways and paths. In fact, they are one of the cheapest driveway options available. Outside of filling in the uneven surface now and then, driveway gravel is largely maintenance-free and has no chance of cracking or sinking like asphalt or concrete. 

Choose a gravel like our golden shingle for a classic driveway look or opt for something a bit different with our luxurious limestone or elegant blue slate.

Gravel and shingle are very good at draining water. If your garden is habitually waterlogged and causing your plants and flowers to suffer, installing a French drain using gravel or shingle will help the water drain harmlessly away.

Shingle will also work in any water feature you might have, enhancing the sound of the water falling. Opting for our rainbow shingle will also boost its overall appearance too.

Premium decorative stones from M B Wilkes

Whether you're looking to build a rustic path or driveway, improve drainage, or simply beautify your garden, our decorative stones offer limitless possibilities.

Browse our wide range of premium decorative stones to find the perfect type for your garden. You'll be spoilt for choice at MB Wilkes, as our range of landscape materials, pebbles and decorative stones is the best in Dorset

If you have any questions about our products, don't hesitate to get in touch - contact us online or call us on 01258 857465.

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