Decorative gravel gardens have been created in European parks for a long time. Gardeners used gravel not only for the design of garden paths and flower beds, but also to decorate various areas for recreation. Most often, such sites were the center of the composition: the area in the middle was covered with gravel, and in its center a large decorative object was installed – a beautiful sculpture or, for example, a chic fountain.
Even more popular than in Europe, enjoyed, and enjoy today gravel gardens in the East.
Perhaps today there is no person who has not heard about the” Japanese gardens of stones ” – the symbols of the harmony of the universe. The center of such compositions is often a gravel platform, which represents the water surface, streaked with all sorts of concentric circles and multiple parallel lines.
So why do not we use the wisdom of the Eastern and the experience of European gardeners to decorate our gardens with unique natural material — gravel?
Due to the varied size and color of the gravel, as well as the richness of its forms, it is possible to create unique garden displays with a variety of effects. The sun in the yard or cloudy, foggy or raining it is always different and always unique, it surprises and conquers, remaining forever in the memory of everyone who had the opportunity to contemplate this man-made miracle.
Gravel, like any natural material, has its advantages and disadvantages, let’s try to understand them together.
The advantages of gravel
The main advantage of gravel is its environmental friendliness. Properly laid gravel will never interfere with the soil to absorb water. In addition, it does not prevent access to the soil air, so that the roots of plants under it will not lose their viability. Gravel is not only an excellent background for most of the plants used in the Alpine slides, but also an excellent mulching material — thanks to its ability to cool the soil on hot days.
Gravel can serve as an excellent substitute for grass lawn or paving the yard tiles. Due to its stable decorative effect, this unique natural material perfectly sets off the beauty of various garden plants, while emphasizing and complementing it. In addition, unlike various plantings, gravel garden landscape is not subject to the vagaries of the weather, and therefore will always look equally good, both after heavy rain and after hail. Decorative gravel allows you to arrange a beautiful composition where planting various ornamental plants is not useful or simply impossible — on scarce soils and rocky terrain, in wet areas and in arid climates.
In addition to ordinary gravel, which itself is extremely decorative, there is a special decorative gravel, which can be different in color: red, white, gold, black, purple, blue, green, orange, pink, etc.
Decorative gravel is in its size. So, to create a gravel garden at the same time can be used as a very small, with a diameter of about 8 mm, and large enough, about 75 mm in diameter, gravel.
Another undeniable advantage of gravel is its compatibility with various plants and other decorative materials. Gravel is equally well combined with huge boulders and wood, glass and metal, mosses and concrete, which makes it possible to create unusual and amazing compositions.
Gravel-an indispensable material for decorating problem areas
With the help of gravel, you can easily arrange various problem areas on the garden plot: inconveniently located hills or depressions of irregular, complex shape, which are always the subject of dissatisfaction with the owners. The problem is that the opportunity for planting in such places is very limited, and to create beauty in every corner of your garden oh how you want.
As it is impossible by the way are suitable for a gravel garden and shady sites of a garden in which the device of a lawn or beds is simply impossible. And it means that any, even the most unsightly site of your garden can become its unique “highlight”. For example, using gravel and shade-loving flowers you can create a bright and expressive composition in the shade of your garden.
Easy to care for and practical
Gravel garden is not demanding in care, you have to work hard just once-in the process of its creation. In addition to the ease of care, gravel is also a very practical inexpensive material, so to speak, an affordable way to create a unique garden. In addition, working with gravel does not require you to special skill. Even if you do not know anything about the design of the garden, believe me: a little effort — and the composition of gravel will be a wonderful decoration of your garden plot. Just do not limit your imagination, use colored gravel of different fractions, lay out different patterns, combine it with large boulders, sand, pebbles and even glass crumbs.
Excellent material for simulation
Many gardeners dream to create a pond on their site, but this is not always possible: the area of the site is too small, its location does not allow. It is in such cases that the gravel garden will come to the rescue, which will be an excellent imitation of the reservoir.
In addition, using gravel, you can successfully simulate other landscape natural conditions: pebbles and shells to portray the sea shore, yellow and sand-orange gravel — desert, blue — brook, red — lava.
How can gravel be used in the garden?
Given that the work with gravel does not require special skill, decorate with it your garden area can be anyone, the main thing — the desire. Small gravel can simply pour around large plants, creating such a composition, you will not only decorate your garden, but also bring benefit to plants — gravel will help keep moisture in the soil. And from gravel you can create a gravel garden, and how to do it, I’ll tell you now.
Creating a gravel garden
The first in the creation of a gravel garden is the choice of the site, having determined with which you can proceed to the drainage device. But before you do this, the site must be carefully removed. After the cleaning of the entire area is treated with herbicide intended for the gravel garden, then the drainage and hard-Packed ground. Directly under the gravel with the help of pre-prepared staples of wire is attached bedding of geotextiles or film, which are made holes for subsequent planting. Moreover, the area covered by geotextiles should be slightly larger than the area of the site on which the gravel garden is arranged.
During the device gravel garden and do not forget about the plants, which are traditionally selected on the parameters of “unpretentiousness” and decorative. Especially impressive on the background of gravel will look saxifrage, yarrow, wormwood, phlox, stipa, thymes and others.
Not do in the gravel garden and without undersized shrubs: potentilla, spiraea japonica, mahonia aquifolium, the leaves of which also retains its decorative effect for a long time.
After the geotextile is fixed, it is necessary to plant plants.
Planting plants in the gravel garden
Open the edges of the cut crosswise geotextile, wrapping them so as to obtain a square window. In this window, dig a hole, replacing the soil with a more fertile. Properly fertilizing the soil in the hole, carefully place the plant in the hole and bury it. Once the plants are planted, you can cover the remaining space on the site with gravel. We begin to cover with the most remote areas, a layer of about 5 cm of gravel before laying it is desirable to rinse with running clean water – the only way it will not start for a long time weeds.
Very help you dividing borders of metal or plastic (height of about 20 cm). These curbs will not blur the boundaries of the gravel platform, will keep the composition in pristine clarity and beauty. As a border, you can use ordinary boards, pre-treated with a special anti-rotting agent. A good fence-the border will be made of brick, but from thin sheet iron and slate border is better not to do — too high is the probability of injury.
To do this, delineate the boundaries of the track with the help of securely installed borders, the inner space of the track is filled with a layer of ordinary sand (about 15 cm), a layer of construction gravel (also about 15 cm) and only after that 10 cm layer of any decorative gravel, the fraction of which does not exceed 1 cm.Tightly laying all layers, carefully pour the track with ordinary water and carefully compacted, enjoy its unique, perfect view. If you decide to create a gravel path in the garden, keep in mind that for every meter of such a wonderful path, the width of which is 1 m, and the height of 10 cm, you will need about 200 kg of gravel.
Agree, thanks to this decorative such a unique material as gravel, roam fantasy is where – you can experiment not only with color, but also a fraction, to create unique patterns and even change the relief of the garden plot. With a little effort, decorating your garden with decorative gravel, you will make it unusual and original.
I will be very glad if the information about the use of gravel in the garden will be useful for you and with its help you will be able to create a miracle in your garden — another beautiful corner.