Landscaping with Stone Pebbles
Stones are some of the most beautiful materials you can work with in a garden. They’re the perfect accompaniment to plants and trees, and can be used as standalone elements to create texture, colour, and draw interest to your yard. Stones have generally been weathered over time, making them ideal for shaded areas prone to moss and lace lichen, and they come in all shapes and sizes for any project. Whether you’re after a modern, traditional, Japanese, country, Mediterranean, or Xeriscape garden, you’ll find stones to match your theme.
Landscaping with stones and pebbles
Adding stones to the landscape can be as simple as collecting a few rocks and stones from around your property and using them to protect your garden or frame your pots. Stones can be used to assist drainage, create structure and physical change, and can help a garden look more established.
Pebbles make wonderful decorative elements and help restore water in soil that’s exposed to the sun. They also prevent soil erosion and preserve the roots of a plant. An inexpensive pebble path can be added to create a practical walkway from one area to another, or decorative pebbles can be used in place of mulch.
Pebbles are currently very on trend, and landscape gardeners can’t get enough of them for use in mulching, mosaicing, and paving. They’re also being used to surface paths and driveways, adding character to a home in an instant. Better yet, they’re budget-friendly, being one of the cheapest materials to work with in a garden. Plus, unlike bark and leaf-litter mulch, stones and pebbles don’t break down. No more replacing your mulch every six months!
Weeds can be an issue with pebbles, but a thick layer should do the trick in preventing them from growing through. You could also try a treatment of glyphosate herbicide before laying the pebbles.
Here are some creative ways you can incorporate stones and pebbles into your garden.
Terraced stone steps in a mix-and-match pattern create a strong focal point and offer a functional purpose in a sloped yard. Try creating a carpet of green by planting ground cover in and amongst your steps, or add a bit of soil and sedum into any stone cracks and crannies. Character plants on either side of the steps will create visual interest, or small flat lights placed between the stones can beautifully illuminate your steps at night.
Drought tolerant yard
Create a bed of pebbles dotted with native grasses, such as Mingo or Purple Lea. Grasses are great for attracting native birds, and tolerate frost and drought well.
A zen garden is a place of refuge and acts as an aid to meditation. Traditional Japanese zen spaces include stone, sand, and other natural materials used to create lines or patterns and a meditative environment.
Outline your pool and give it a resort feel by creating a stone border using polished pebble. Jade polished pebbles bring out the colour of the water, while natural stone gives a beautiful earthy feel that replicates a natural pool.
English country garden
A garden that incorporates more formal stone elements, such as a flagstone path, lends an English garden feel that’s perfect for enjoying a good book or iced tea. Line the path with plenty of perennials and add a bird bath for extra effect.
Gravel mulch should be around 40-60mm deep, or 10-20mm deep for use in pots. If you hate the idea of a weed breaking through, you could try the Roman technique of first laying down salt, but don’t do this in areas where you plan to grow ornamental plants. The results can be permanent!
Succulents are minimal fuss, but they do prefer to be placed with stones or gravel than with moist leaf litter mulch. Coloured pebbles make a beautiful contrast against succulents.
Once you’ve started working on some home projects using stone, you’ll be hooked and looking for your next project immediately. Luckily, you’re likely to have a lot of leftover stones, and the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do with the leftovers. Here are just some of our favourite ideas:
Pretty pebbles in a variety of earth tones can make a beautiful resource for a unique backsplash in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry. If you have a lot, you can run the whole length, or otherwise consider just creating an accent.
Leftover stone and pebbles are perfect for mosaicing, and the beauty of mosaics is that anyone can make something beautiful when they have quality material. Try creating a picture frame, lamp, or some coasters.
Sensory tables are great fun for kids, and a valuable learning tool that encourages children to explore their world. Fill a bin with your leftover gravel, and place objects inside for your child to find. They can either guess with their eyes closed as to what each object is, or can create a play area for some diggers or dinosaurs.