How to design and maintain a gravel garden

Gravel gardens are easy to maintain, inexpensive outdoor spaces that can look truly stylish. Created from a variety of decorative garden stones, gravel can fit around all your garden features: from patios, to plants, pathways and decorations.

A gravel garden doesn’t require the same frequent upkeep of a lawned garden, and it doesn’t even need expert installation. For an exciting and fresh project, follow the tips below on how to design and maintain a new gravel garden.

Easy steps

There’s a bit of tidying that you’ll need to complete to begin the process. Clear the space of all vegetation including grass, weeds, and plants. Dig over the ground once or twice to enhance the condition of the top layer of soil and rake well to even out the surface. Feed the soil fertiliser and add coarse sand if necessary to improve drainage. Once this is finished, you should be ready to add the gravel.

Selecting your plants

You can constantly keep your garden feeling new by choosing different colours and types of plants to accompany the gravel. Drought-tolerant plants work best here due to the excellent drainage with gravel. Euphorbias, Nepeta and Lavender are all elegant plants that you know will thrive to begin your garden. Just be sure to leave space for seats so you can peacefully enjoy your work!

Choosing gravel

There’s a huge variety of different garden stones to select when designing your space. The first step is to pick good quality gravel – you don’t want it to be too small. After that it’s about the type of gravel you want. Ideally, it’ll be in a colour that doesn’t clash with your house; the trick is to ensure that it blends in with its surroundings. If you are using it as mulch around plants, remember to regularly water your plants. You can use a hose to remove any mud or debris on your gravel.

Maintaining the gravel

Use a leaf blower for a quick and dry clean to remove leaves quickly as this can discolour lighter coloured gravel. Another problem for gravel is weeds. Without the right care, weeds can quickly grow around your gravel ruining the clean, fresh aesthetic. Solutions include weed barrier fabric (you can cut holes in this to allow your deliberate plants to flourish) or weed killer. Gravel can also look untidy over time. Try regularly raking your gravel into rows to ensure that there aren’t any spots with thin coverage.

A well-placed gravel garden, in a sunny spot can look crisp and pretty without backbreaking effort. By following the tips above you’ll be able to construct an elegant garden without too much hassle.

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