How to Landscape with Pebbles ?
WHAT ARE GARDEN PEBBLES?
Garden pebbles are small, round edged stones that add a beautiful landscaping touch to create unique and stunning gardens.
As a versatile material, stone pebbles are is available in many different colours, sizes and textures. Whether you use them to give an empty space some character or for decorative purposes, your list of options is endless. For example, more and more homeowners are using river pebbles to decorate garden beds, pathways and for creating indoor features.
Stone Pebbles are an easy and inexpensive solution for transforming your space into something magical and stylish.
In this article we will review the different options available to you and give some suggestions of how you can add value to your home with stone pebbles.
WHERE DO PEBBLES COME FROM?
The shiny, smooth stones you see in beautiful gardens are actually a by-product of years of natural erosion in exotic places like China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
Contrary to popular belief, these pebbles aren’t easily formed and are not easy to find either. In fact, it takes millenia for pebbles to be created.
This process starts when rainwater washes loose stones from a mountain. Over the course of thousands of years (yes, it’s a slow process), these rocks find their way into mountain streams and eventually into rivers and oceans.
As the stones travel along their newfound path, over time their rough texture and sharp edges are weathered down by the water’s current. This is how they become the beautiful, soft edged and rounded stones you can use in your home today!
WHERE CAN STONE PEBBLES BE USED?
One of the biggest draw cards for using stone pebbles is that they are very versatile. Here is a list of all the places you can use them:
- Between the stepping stones
- Garden edging
- Ground cover
- Garden beds
- Pot Plants
- Around Firepit
- Around bathtubs
Let’s look at them individually.
If you want to add visual appeal to your roof, simply add garden pebbles! On a more practical level, adding a thick layer (about a few inches thick) of stone pebbles to your roof can also help insulate your property (and reduce your electricity bill). As pebbles absorb and release heat, they can help reduce the heat that is absorbed and released from your roof. Wouldn’t that be handy? Also, sun exposure can cause cracking on your roof. Stone pebbles can protect from this too.
Between Stepping Stones
You can use exotic pebbles to strategically define the area between your stepping stones. We recommend choosing pebbles that either compliment or completely contrasts your stepping stones.
You can also use pebbles to fill and decorate drain areas! Firstly, they make the area more attractive. Secondly, as they are permeable (they allow water to pass through them) they can turn a plain and necessary part of your home into a feature space.
If you have vegetation and landscaping along the fence of your pool, use pebble stones instead of mulch as decoration! As pebbles have rounded edges, they can really break up the pool area from being too linear and really add some fluidity to the outdoor space.
Landscaping Pebbles can also be used to as edging around your garden. We recommend using larger pebbles that are approximately 90-120mm or 100-150mm in size as these naturally create a border to define your garden space.
Using decorative pebbles as ground cover is an easy solution to transform neglected areas of your garden into feature landscapes. For example, use pebbles to reform an eroding pathway, an unwanted lawn space or an edge around the pool where you don’t want to plant anything. Firstly we recommend matting the area and then adding approximately two courses of pebbles that are 40-50mm in coverage.
Using pebbles for garden beds can really reduce the loss of moisture in the soil and thus, help the plants stay rejuvenated and healthy. On the plus side, this means you don’t need to water the plants as often, which saves you time and water. In a drought prone area like Australia, this actually becomes a really handy landscaping hack. Also, pebbles really beautify the area around the plants. So it’s really a win-win-win situation.
Sprinkling garden pebbles atop the soil of pot plants not only helps the soil retain its moisture, but the overall aesthetic really completes the pot.
HOW TO INSTALL GARDEN PEBBLES?
As you can see, there are many benefits to adding garden pebbles to your outdoor (or indoor) surroundings.
However, there is one thing that can become quite problematic.
The trick here is to add a thick layer of pebbles to stop the weeds from growing through them. Another solution is adding a Roundup treatment to the soil prior to laying the garden pebbles.
Finally, you can create a weed barrier by adding underlay between the rocks and the soil. This helps prevent weed seeds from touching the soil. We suggest using landscape fabric, double pebble matt or black plastic as the material for the underlay. Plastic creates a stronger weed barrier than landscape fabric, but water won’t pass through it to feed the bushes’ roots. If you decide to use plastic, make sure to puncture it with holes so that water can still seep through.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE COVERAGE OF THE PEBBLES?
A number of factors affect pebble coverage. These include: the coverage area, depth of cover and the shape and size of the garden pebbles.
As garden pebbles come in a variety of shapes and sizing, it can be tricky to calculate the exact amount required to cover a specific area. We have solved this by laying pebbles on a square meter area and found a reasonably accurate formula that you can use.
In saying this, calculating garden pebble coverage isn’t an exact science and so please keep in mind that our formula is still only an approximation.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR PEBBLES QUANTITIES CORRECTLY
Here are three simple steps to help you manage the quantity of your pebbles as accurately as possible:
- Use an underlay material
Typically a less expensive pebble such as blue metal (or one that is a similar colour) can be laid to cover a significant amount of depth. Once this area is covered, add your feature pebbles on top. This solution works best on areas that are not exposed to heavy foot traffic as this can disturb the pebbles and expose the base pebbles.
- Mix sizes
Small pebbles offer much better coverage than larger pebbles. To save money while achieving a visually pleasing aesthetic, you can strategically mix large and small pebbles together because the smaller pebbles will fill gaps between larger pebbles.
- Insert your pebbles into the grout
If you are using pebbles in high foot traffic areas, grouting your pebbles will create better coverage and also hold them in place without being disrupted by constant foot movement.
Now that you have a more solid understanding about garden pebbles, where they come, how they can be used and a guide to calculating coverage, you can use them to spruce up your space.
If you need some help, or if you have any questions about anything we’ve discussed in the article, please reach out to us here or visit us at our showroom in Glebe, Sydney.
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