Study, Learn Garden Design at home
Rock Your Garden With Coloured Pebbles And Gravel
Coloured gravels were used in 18th century France to create designs on the surface of the ground – in effect partitioning the ground, often into geometric or symmetrical patterns. Red or brown gravel might have been used to mark out circles, rectangles or squares enclosed by low hedges, with white or cream gravel to create paths outside of the hedging. In this way, very simple gardens created a high impact – with patches of contrasting colour covering the ground, separated by low green hedging.
The same idea can be used today to create a distinctive garden feature. Pebbles are currently very trendy, with landscape designers using them as mulches, in mosaics and paving, and to surface paths and driveways. There are even pebble specialists that supply a large range of local and imported stones, in a range of different textures and colours.What’s the Difference between Gravel and Pebbles?
- Gravel is made from crushed rock. The stones have an angular, irregular shaped surface.
- Pebbles are smooth stones that have been naturally shaped by water, coming either from riverbeds or the seashore. Some pebbles are polished and tumbled before sale to improve their appearance in the landscape.
Weeds can be a problem. The most effective treatment is to eradicate weeds with a glyphosate herbicide before laying the pebbles. A weed mat can be of some use, but only on flat, bare ground. On sloping ground, the pebbles will wash down the slope, leaving an expanse of ugly matting.
A thick layer of pebbles will effectively choke out weeds. Any weeds that do appear will be fairly easy to pull out of the gravel but take care not to spread soil from the roots over the gravel surface, as this can encourage weed seeds to take root. Hand weed or spot spray any weeds as soon as they grow through the gravel – never let them set seed, otherwise you will end up with a major weed problem.
Also take care to prevent weeds blowing seeds across from nearby garden beds.Thickness of Gravel or Pebble layers
The thickness of the layer depends on its intended use. For example:
Places for Pebbles
- A gravel mulch will need to be around 40-60 mm deep.
- A mulch around pots around 10-20 mm deep.
- Gravel paths should be around 30-70 mm deep. You will have to top up gravel paths every now and then as chippings get removed through wear and tear, i.e. people’s shoes, rain, hosing and so on.
- Set in concrete (for cobble paving or mosaic walling)
- Between pavers, for contrasting texture and colour
- Inlaid in garden furniture, e.g. table tops
- As a pebble beach at the edge of a pool or water garden
- At the base of a pond, to hide the liner and provide anchorage for water plants
- On the surface of tub plants, for decoration and as a mulch
- As a mulch around plants to reduce weeds and for visual effect
- In a succulent garden, to provide a well-drained growing media and as a colour contrast with the plants
- In an artificial dry creek bed
- At the base of a waterfall to create a splashing noise
- In Oriental gardens, raked in patterns
Why not visit your local garden centre and be impressed at the phenomenal range of coloured, textured, crushed, polished, and otherwise treated pebbles and gravels. So, get out there and pebble or gravel your garden.
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Commercial Hydroponics 3rd edition
One of the worlds best selling hydroponic books, first published in 1991 by Kangaroo Press. Dozens of colour photos, unique and rarely published advice on how to grow over 100 different types of plants (vegetables, herbs, flowers, indoor plants) in hydroponics. http://www.acsebook.com/products/2232-commercial-hydroponics-third-edition.aspx
The Environment of Play 2nd edition
A unique and inspirational view of designing play spaces for children. Full of photos, an inspiration for parents, child care workers, teachers, play leaders, landscape designers and park management professionals. First edition was published in the 1980’s by Leisure Press in New York. http://www.acsebook.com/products/2247-the-environment-of-play.aspx
Growing Trees and Shrubs for Small Gardens 2nd edition
First edition published by Kangaroo Press/Simon & Schuster. http://www.acsebook.com/products/1684-growing-trees-and-shrubs-for-small-gardens.aspx
Tropical Plants 2nd edition
Trees and Shrubs for Warm Places First edition A valuable reference for growing plants not only in the tropics and sub tropics, but also greenhouses, inside the home or even hot courtyards in a temperate garden. Never before been published. The book contains colour photos of close to 300 plants and descriptions of many times that number (and largely different to the plants covered in our Tropical Plants book). http://acsebook.com/products/2238-trees-and-shrubs-for-warm-placescoming-soon.aspx
Garden Design Part 1 1st edition
A huge book with around 300 inspiring colour photos; that explains how to design a garden in a way that is able to be understood by a beginner, but full of tips and ideas that can help even seasoned professionals. http://www.acsebook.com/products/2242-garden-design-part-1.aspx
Garden Design Part 2 1st edition
Following on from Garden Design Part 1, this presents approximately 300 more photos, and a huge amount of inspirational reading to help you (in particular), understand the different styles of garden and the options open to you as a garden designer, or a home owner. http://acsebook.com/products/2244-garden-design-part-2.aspx
Starting a Garden or Landscape Business 2nd ed.
Previously published by Simon and Schuster; this is a must read for anyone wanting to set out on a career in horticulture. http://acsebook.com/products/2239-starting-a-garden-or-landscape-business.aspx
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