Gravel and rock landscaping
Gravel and rock landscaping
All summer residents and owners of homesteads try to make their land cozy, comfortable, beautiful to the best of their material and physical strength so that the owners can have a nice rest, and friends are happy to come to visit. In order to decorate the estate, a lot of ideas of landscape design are offered: artificial reservoirs, fountains, lawns, flowerbeds, Alpine slides – just not to count. Some of these projects are expensive, others are too complex, and others require a lot of space. But there is a rather rare type of landscape design that does not require large expenses and does not claim to the size and terrain of the occupied space. This gravel garden is a real find for the modern summer resident, allowing you to show your imagination and skill.
Gravel has been used in landscape design for many centuries. The walkways in the parks were covered by it, the flower beds were decorated with it. But already in ancient times, people began to create gravel landscape compositions. These were mostly playgrounds and recreation areas. They were decorated with sculptures, decorative fountains, benches, and the whole area was covered with fine gravel. It was not only beautiful but also gave me the opportunity to walk in the air in any weather.
Especially the gravel gardens are appreciated in the Eastern countries. They are widely used in the design of parks and charming places for recreation and walks.
From the East, we came to know about the “dry landscape” – a unique invention of the Eastern masters of landscape design. Among its other varieties, Japanese “rock gardens” stand out. This is an original composition of all kinds of stones, the main focus of which is marked by a platform laid out with gravel in the form of complex patterns of lines and circles that carry their own philosophical meaning.
Looking at these wonderful examples of design art, you will want to create something similar to your place. Especially since this requires such an affordable material as gravel.
You can come up with and build the most incredible, amazing, wonderful gravel garden thanks to the large range of gravel in size, shape, and color, which is available for sale. Combining the entire composition with a common design theme, think about all the details that should complement each other, decide which kind of gravel you will use to implement your plan. Then your gravel garden will be a lovely place for you to relax at any time of the day and in any weather.
Before you buy gravel, read its properties. We want to draw your attention to the main advantages and disadvantages of gravel.
Positive properties of the gravel
The most important property is the environmental cleanliness
Environmental cleanliness is the main positive property of gravel. Since it is a natural material, gravel does not emit any harmful substances into the environment. And even, on the contrary, it has a beneficial effect on the soil on top of which you laid it. Gravel plays the role of mulching material-protects the soil from drying out, the formation of a dense crust, temperature changes. Due to its loose structure, the gravel layer freely passes through water and air to the roots of plants that are planted in the ground under the gravel. If the soil is clay, then fine gravel, mixing with it, loosens the structure of the soil, which allows some species of plants to feel great in these conditions.
The defining property of gravel – decorative
No less important positive property of gravel – decorative.
Selecting the appropriate type of gravel composition in color and structure, you can create original patterns, highlight beautiful plants, decorate decorative areas.
Dark gray gravel
Dark gray gravel is widely used by people in designs. The gravel garden is not afraid of any weather conditions, it will not be damaged by rain, strong wind, or hail. Winter cold also does not affect the gravel garden, which can not be said about the usual green spaces, which need special care.
Decorate the courtyard with beautiful colored gravel is especially necessary if the soil or climate is not suitable for breeding rich lush vegetation. There is no point in torturing stunted flowers in a dry or swampy area. Better create a charming gravel garden that will delight you with its unfading beauty.
Especially decorative colored gravel. It allows you to show your creative imagination. You can layout intricate patterns of gravel of different colors, not forgetting the natural gravel color, which is beautiful in itself.
Decorative in creating a composition of a gravel garden is different in size gravel. Produced a fairly wide range of sizes of gravel: from 8 to 75 mm. this allows you to identify individual areas of the garden, which increases its decorative effect.
Combination with other materials
A remarkable property inherent in gravel can be called its surprisingly harmonious compatibility with any materials that are used for the design of garden plots, as well as with all kinds of plants-from small flowers and mosses to trees.
Gravel will help to improve the empty grounds of the estate
On any farmstead there are places unsuitable for growing ornamental plants, creating recreation areas or buildings. These are usually inconvenient hills, ravines, rocky areas that have to be avoided, and there is no benefit from them. But why do we need wasteland, if you can create in their place a wonderful picturesque corner? You can plant grass, but it is difficult to care for it if it is a steep rise or a hole. But gravel, artistically laid out and supplemented with stones – the perfect solution for the design of complex areas. To decorate the elevation above the cellars. It turns out both beautiful and practical because a layer of gravel protects the soil above the cellar.
If the trees on the site are large, have a wide dense crown, then under them usually nothing grows, and the land is empty. Here is where you can place a wonderful elegant gravel garden of light-colored gravel, shade-loving plants, mosses, fancy snags. Add colorful figures of mushrooms or animals. A forest fairy tale in your garden will bring joy to you and your children.
Simplicity in making a gravel garden and caring for it
Even a beginner can work with gravel. The process of laying out the site with gravel is not so complicated, it is enough just to get acquainted with its main stages and boldly take up the implementation of your idea. The main thing you need is the desire and determination to make your gravel garden a unique piece of landscape art. To do this, you have an inexpensive and easy-to-use material-gravel, which can be selected by size and color. Make interesting compositions of gravel with other materials, layout ornaments, add plants suitable for the idea. The main work is to make a gravel garden, and care for it is almost not required since gravel is a very durable material.
Gravel is a convenient material for simulating various natural phenomena
Not every site can be arranged pond-pond, lake, river. Most often because of the small area, although the complexity and cost of equipment to them also matter. From gravel, you can create a wonderful imitation of water, which will be a great replacement for the reservoir and will save you from a lot of trouble associated with its maintenance.
With the help of gravel, especially in conjunction with other materials, you can simulate any natural phenomena. The color and size of the gravel will emphasize the similarity of the simulation with the natural environment. For example, fine light yellow gravel imitates the desert, different shades of blue and green gravel of different sizes will create an imitation of the sea.
Negative properties of gravel
After you have become familiar with the main positive properties of gravel, naturally, the question arises: what are the negative sides of this wonderful material? Perhaps, it is possible to call heavy weight. To distribute the gravel on the site, you will have to work very hard. But the joy of created beauty will be much more than the effort spent.
Application of gravel on the garden plot
As mentioned earlier, you do not need any special knowledge and experience to use gravel for the arrangement of your HOMESTEAD. Lay the gravel at the base of trees or other large plants in circles or squares. It is better if it is colored gravel, lined with ornaments. So you will create a wonderful garden decoration, simultaneously protecting the roots of trees from drying out. But the top of your original creativity can be a gravel garden, which we will help you build.
What you need to know to arrange a gravel garden
Inspect the entire territory of your estate and choose a suitable site for the future gravel garden. Clean the entire area of debris, then remove the weeds, removing the top layer of soil. The cleared area must be treated with herbicide, which is specially produced for such purposes. After that, make a drainage and fill the base, which should be tightly compacted. On top of the base lay a cloth of geotextile or ordinary technical film and secure it with wire brackets. In this case, the size of the web should be slightly larger than the size of the marked area, which makes it possible for its attachment. In the canvas cut holes in which plants will be planted.
Species and number of plants must be thought out in advance, although replacements are quite possible in the process of arrangement of the composition. Plants should be unpretentious and fit well into the overall picture of the garden. With gravel natural color is a beautiful combination of wildflowers, which, moreover, do not require special care.
Look good overgrown mats of low plants covered with small bright flowers. For this purpose, Phlox awl-shaped, densely covered with colorful flowers are perfect. Widely used various types of blasting. Their juicy leaves are pleasing to the eye all the warm season, withstanding even the cold. All types of blasting sprinkled with bright, colorful flowers, but each of them has its own coloring. The leaves are also beautiful in themselves: from bright green to purple. This allows you to create interesting multi-colored compositions from them. Different types of thyme are also very decorating your gravel garden with their high light pink inflorescences. If your gravel garden plays out steppe motifs, then you just need the presence of such steppe plants as sagebrush, yarrow, grasshopper. Sagebrush will fill your dacha area with steppe aroma, yarrow will decorate the gravel with soft leaves and white umbrellas of flowers, and the feather grass will surround your gravel garden with a fluffy cloud.
Plant in your gravel garden and ornamental shrubs. Choose low-growing varieties and those that will have an attractive, fresh look all season.
Once you have selected and prepared the plants, start planting them on the gravel area.
How to plant plants in a gravel garden
In the place where you want to plant the plant, make a cross-section of the film. Turn the corners of the film outward. In the resulting square of land, remove the top layer of soil and fill the groove with fertile soil. You can add fertilizer to the soil. Plant its root system. After planting all the plants, start laying gravel. Previously, it must be thoroughly washed, because the gravel may contain not only dust and debris that worsen its appearance, but also weed seeds, which you will have to fight later. Lay the gravel in a layer of 5 cm, falling asleep first hard-to-reach and distant places, gradually approaching the exit.
If you are laying out colored gravel ornament or an interesting winding path, you will need borders. Thanks to the borders, the pattern will not be broken along the edges, and the borders of the paths and the entire gravel garden will remain on the original line. Borders are made of plastic or metal, different heights. You can also make a border yourself from bricks or from boards impregnated with a water-repellent drug. It is important not to arrange borders from thin hard materials, such as slate, plywood, metal sheets. You can get hurt by accidentally stepping on them.
For the improvement of a gravel garden, you can use not only plants and stones but also various “soft” coatings. They are so-called because they consist of small or rounded granules on which it is “soft” to step. Such materials are well combined with gravel, so it will not be superfluous to decorate your gravel garden with a winding “soft” path, which will be nice to walk barefoot, especially after the rain.
Install gravel walkway
To perform such a track, you first need to mark its outlines along the entire length. Then dig a deep enough groove-up to 40 cm within the delineated border. Fill the bottom of the groove with a 15 cm layer of sand and tamp it. On top, make the same layer of ordinary rubble. Now you can install borders and fill 10 cm decorative layer of small colored gravel, pebbles or other material, the granules of which are not more than 1 cm. Calculate in advance the amount of material required for the decorative layer. If it is fine gravel, then a square meter of the 10 cm layer weighs about 200 kg. After laying the decorative material, completely soak all the layers with water and tightly tamp.
Now you have a gravel road for walking.
Let’s sum up the results and evaluate the work done. We have considered in detail all the advantages of gravel-an amazing material for the arrangement of a country or garden plot. Quite simple methods of work, without the use of complex devices, with inexpensive material, and the result is simply a delightful result-a charming gravel garden, which can be admired all year round.
If inspired by this article, you decided to create your own unique, charming gravel garden on your site, share with all your experience and ideas on the use of gravel for decorating the farmstead.