How to create a gravel garden
A gravel garden is an ideal option for a minimal maintenance garden.
Firstly, you need to identify what area you wish to utilise for your gravel garden, whilst any area is suitable to a gravel garden, a well-drained and sunny spot with a sandy or gravelly type soil is best for hosting the Mediterranean plants that are synonymous with gardens made predominantly from gravel.
Plants in gravel gardens tend to thrive in sandy soil which has a relatively low fertility. If your soil is more clay-based, then it may be wise to incorporate lots of organic matter into the soil to provide a more hospitable environment for the plants.
What kind of gravel should I use?
There are several types of gravel that you can use, choose from fine grades of gravel that are 10mm or less such as our shingle 2 which is 6 mm in diameter which is a light golden flint shingle, yellow and brown in colour or alternatively, you can opt for larger, more chunkier types of gravel which are 20mm or more. If you are looking for suitable gravel for areas to encourage drainage, our recycled 40mm shingle ticks all the right boxes.
Preparing the area
You will need to dig over the area that you are looking to utilise and removed any weeds. You will need well-drained soil that will help maintain draught-tolerant plants, you may want to consider adding in some washed sands to ensure that the area drains freely, even in damp weather conditions.
It is important to lay down a membrane, (particularly one that supresses weeds) or landscape fabric which will allow rain to soak through to the roots whilst preventing weeds from growing. Ideally, you need to lay the membrane over the entire area, ensuring that it overlaps on the edges and that you pin them don with galvanised staples or similar throughout.
Getting plant ready
Ensure that you identify dedicated areas for where you want the plants to go – for each plant, you will need to cut a cross into the fabric which will surround the stems. You will also need to add a small amount of fertilizer to the back-filled soil and firm it in.
Cover gravel mulch
Once you have bedded in your plant, you will need to spread a layer of gravel across the entire area. We would recommend a 2-inch thickness layer of gravel and you may need to keep this topped up occasionally to keep it looking aesthetically pleasing.
What sorts of plants can I use in my gravel garden?
Traditional Mediterranean-style drought-tolerant plants tend to suit gravel gardens such as lavender, euphorbias (spurges), cistus plants, santolina plants and Phlomis plants. Why not surround the plants with some decorative stones and pebbles too?
To find out more about the range of products we offer, from building materials and decorative stones to shingle & gravel and driveway materials, contact our team today on 01258 857465 or take a look at our special offers!