Imagine having a stunning garden with impactive landscaping. Most people want to enjoy their outside space, but many don’t because they’re unaware of how to combine hardscaping with landscape gardening.
The good thing is, no matter how big or small your garden is, there’s plenty of hardscaping techniques you can apply to make it a practical yet welcoming space for your family and friends.
One of the most significant issues people have with hardscaping is sourcing inexpensive rocks that offer aesthetic appeal. In this post, we will look at the different types of rock available and how much they cost.
What is Hardscaping?
Hardscaping is the practice of sourcing and adding non-living elements to a landscaping plan. Softscaping refers to natural elements such as grass and plants. When you use both of these landscaping techniques together, they complement each other.
Most people will find that focusing primarily on softscaping can make their garden look crowded, but hardscaped outdoor spaces lack aesthetic appeal. By combining attractive plants and flowers with a patio, decking or any other non-living features, you can make sure your garden is suitable for recreational and relaxation purposes.
You can use a range of hardscaping techniques to improve the functionality of your garden, including:
- Concrete Patios
- Brick Patios
- Stone Retaining Walls
- Stepping Stones
- Tile Patios
Hardscaping features are also combined with water to create stunning features that add a sense of tranquillity to gardens; there’s so much you can do with hardscaping, but the labour involved and the need for heavy machinery can put people off.
If you’re worried about your budget but would like to incorporate hardscaping features, you can save money by choosing cheaper rocks.
What You Should Know About Gravel
Cheaper isn’t always better, but there is a happy medium between budget rocks with no aesthetic appeal and stones that look beautiful but come with a hefty price tag. Gravel comes out on top because it has a range of benefits and uses but won’t break your bank balance.
If you want to create a pathway through your garden or add some hardscaping to a plant area, then you’ll be able to source a range of gravel types at a reasonable price. While there are many more rock types, including limestone and broken up red bricks, gravel is undoubtedly the most popular due to its versatility.
Here’s what you should know about gravel.
The Types of Gravel
If you’re the kind of person that likes to have a lot of choices, then you’re in luck because gravels versatility means there are plenty of colours and types to choose between. Before you decide which gravel is best for your needs, it’s essential to understand that distinct characteristics might make some gravel types unsuitable for hardscaping.
Ideal for gardens that follow a contemporary theme, resin-bound gravel has a streamlined finish that adds a sleekness to any outdoor space. You can use this type of rock for pathways and slopes. It’s also a good option if you want to lay it over concrete and asphalt.
You’re probably most familiar with loose gravel, and it’s especially popular in country gardens. The primary advantage of loose gravel is how easy it is to lay, which means you won’t need to hire anyone. It’s also relatively easy to maintain, but you should make sure that loose gravel is contained.
Self-binding gravel works in any garden type, and it looks more attractive than resin-bound gravel. This gravel type can create pathways, and you can use it on slopes that measure less than 1 in 15.
You can buy gravel in a range of colours, including bright pink (yes, really). But most people want their garden to be a relaxing space and not an eyesore. The most popular gravel colour choices include honey, earth brown, brick red, dark grey, white, black and pale grey.
Whichever you choose, it’s worth looking at your garden’s design to decide whether you want to pick one shade or mix and match the colours to create a contemporary or traditional look.
It’s crucial never to overlook the size of your gravel, especially if you’re planning on using it in the front garden. Driveways with small gravel pieces can cause issues for your car, so don’t settle for anything less than a medium-sized stone.
If you have gaps or awkward shapes in your garden, you should use cobbles and large rocks to hide them and improve your outdoor space’s aesthetic appeal.
How Cheap is Gravel?
Gravel is an incredibly cost-effective option to add some hardscaping to your garden. Loose gravel costs an average of £33 per square metre, resin-bound gravel costs £55, and self-binding gravel costs £10.
The Best Rock Type For Your Water Features
Water features are the ultimate way to promote tranquillity and relaxation in your garden, so your fountain should look appealing too. Ditch the gravel and choose river rocks for your feature.
River rocks are smoothed down by water running over them constantly, giving them a flattened look and compliments your feature.
You can also find river rocks in a range of sizes, and the larger versions can give your garden a tropical look.
Choosing The Right Rocks
As we’ve established, gravel is the cheapest rock for hardscaping, but it doesn’t mean it’s always the best for your personal and practical needs. But suppose you want to incorporate water features and other expensive elements into your garden. In that case, gravel can be a way to reduce your costs on paths and driveways, giving you more freedom to spend money on garden furniture.
With so many benefits, including price, appeal and practicality, gravel can add life to your garden and turn it into a space that’s optimal for entertaining. If you would like any help with your garden design or want to talk about other rock types available, Floral & Hardy offer landscape gardening services at excellent rates.