How to build the perfect gravel garden

25th April 2024
How to build the perfect gravel garden

Many of us would like a low-maintenance garden; two of the most disliked jobs are mowing the lawn, and weeding.

If you wish to keep your lawn but eliminate the weeding, you can create a gravel garden. This can be done by replacing your earth borders with ones that are dressed with gravel.

This garden option is relatively easy to prepare, design and most importantly maintain. 

Follow these guiding steps and you'll have the perfect gravel garden in no time!

How to prepare the ground for a gravel garden

Step 1: Remove all plants, including weeds, from the area that your gravel garden will take up. If you want to keep any of the plants you remove, make sure that you don't sever their roots and place them in planting pots for temporary storage whilst you finish your gravel garden.

Step 2: Add manure or compost in order to improve the fertility of the soil. Dig around 10cm deep using a rake or till in order to mix the compost and soil together and allow air into the soil. If you encounter any large stones, set them aside -- you might want to incorporate them as a decorative stone in your gravel garden!

Step 3: Dig and install a border to separate your gravel garden from the rest of your lawn. You should look to dig around 10-15cm deep and install your edging so that it's level with or just above the ground - this will help with drainage. Please note that this step is only necessary for dense soil types, such as clay.

Step 4: Install a weed membrane. You need to add a weed suppressant membrane and weigh it down. Simply measure the area required and cut the weed membrane to size, leaving around 7.5cm overlap on each edge of your gravel garden. You should then weigh the edges of the membrane down using rocks or landscaping staples.

How to create your gravel garden

Step 1: Choose the garden gravel you want to use. Check out your local gravel suppliers to select the type of gravel you want to use for your gravel garden. There are plenty of different types of gravel to choose from. However, we would recommend 20mm gravel as smaller gravel can easily get stuck in the soles of your shoes when you walk on it. Please note that around 40kg of 20mm gravel will cover one square metre at 2 inches deep. Additionally, although lighter gravel can look great at first, it soon becomes dirty and will need regular maintenance with the use of a pressure washer to keep it looking at its best.

At this stage, you will also need to work out how much gravel you are likely to need. For this simply multiply the width by the length and then multiply this by the depth. If your gravel garden is unevenly shaped, then measure a square around it and save leftover gravel for filling in any holes that appear later in the year.

Step 2: Place your plants in the desired positions. Once you've grouped your plants into the desired locations on your gravel garden, cut individual squares into the membrane large enough for each plant's roots. Cut the membrane into flaps that you can fold back while planting. Then, place the plants into their allotted section and fold the flaps back over the top of the soil before watering generously.

Step 3: Lay the gravel. Before you begin spreading your gravel, make sure that you place your focal points first, such as any large rocks or pots, wherever you want them. After these have been placed, you can commence spreading the garden gravel evenly over the membrane using a rake.

Follow these steps and you'll be left with the perfect gravel garden to show off to your friends and family.

Your Local Gravel Suppliers

If you are wondering where to buy your gravel from, look no further. MB Wilkes has been supplying the local area with a variety of aggregates, sands, soils and gravels for over 60 years.

Our process is easy and convenient as you can either have bagged or loose aggregates delivered straight to your door, or you can visit our aggregate facility in Wimborne to collect them.

Our staff are experts, so if you have any questions on how to create the perfect gravel garden, or about our products, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Call our friendly team on 01258 857465 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get in touch.

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