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6 types of gravel and stones for a beautiful garden


Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Canon Explorer.

There are all kinds of things that can be done to create a beautiful garden and using gravel and stones on anything from a pathway to a driveway can make a huge difference to how attractive an outdoor space looks. Using small and large rocks as well as gravel helps to build a natural looking outdoor area and they work perfectly with all flowers and plants but what is the difference between different gravels and stones and which should be used for what purpose?

Good quality natural stone cladding can also look great in a garden and it is even possible to make handmade stepping stones to add yet another natural feature into a garden.

Let’s take a look at the top six most commonly used types of gravel and stones:

Decomposed Granite (DG)

This is one of the cheapest types of gravel available and it comes in a tan colour that is often used on pathways, patios with a rustic look and as a top-dressing in between arid plants. It is readily available so it is easy to buy and in order to retain a fresh look it might be necessary to top it up every six months.

River Rocks

River rocks are fairly large in size and are often used as decorative features in a garden to build a dry creek area, along with high quality feature stone wall cladding. They come in many colours and they have a practical purpose as well, as they are great to use to direct drainage out.

Pea Gravel

Often used in notably attractive gardens, pea gravel has the following features:

  • It can be used on pathways and between flower beds
  • It is usually a mix of black, white and tan stones
  • They work well in between stepping stones or stoned pathways that use large slabs

The colours in this gravel ensure that this is one of the most popular choices that is regularly used to add a stylish touch to any modern garden and it works notably well with some beautiful feature stone wall cladding.

Crushed Granite Gravel

This gravel is chunkier than the DG and it offers a great texture for gardeners on a more flexible budget that are going for a more contemporary design.

Beach Pebbles

These striking stones are great to use near a water feature and they offer a sophisticated design option that help to create a Zen garden area. Any type of stone wall cladding by Mataka can be complemented by beach pebbles and they can also be used to line borders of flower beds.

Breeden Gravel

This self-binding gravel is fine in texture and it is easy to do things on this gravel, from ride bikes on it to taking wheelchairs over it as the clay particles provide a sealant on the top layer.

There are cheap and expensive options and knowing whether to choose decomposed granite (DG) or pea gravel will depend on what it needs to be used for, the look that is being sought after and the budget.