Gravel in the garden

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Hard yet soft, contradictory yet part of the appeal of gravel. Durable but conveying a softer mood than pavers; this is the perfect, transitional material from house to garden.

Versatile; it looks totally natural outside homes in France, Italy and America as well as England. Depending upon how you use it, it can look casual or crisp and conforms to any shape. Gravel works well in all climates. Where it is dry and arid it gives good ground cover and where it is wetter it provides quick drainage.

Affordable and earthy gravel is a cost effective way to cover any area.
Paul Hervey-Brookes


Gravel paths can look beautiful with low-growing plants spilling over the edges. TomThumb cotoneaster is perfect with its blood red leaves contrasting with Harvest Gold or Golden Gravel. To key to defining the edges between path and garden is to use larger stones; Highland Pebbles or Weathered flint will work well.

Mixing gravel with larger rocks of varying sizes in a larger area will solve a drainage problem or create your very own dry stream bed. Golden Gravel, Tweed Pebbles, Scottish Cobbles and Rustic Slate rockery stones look good together and will shine in wet weather.

If you are feeling adventurous create a miniature knot garden with different coloured gravels. 

The best way to lay gravel is onto bare, weed free soil that’s been compacted.
Keep it tidy with regular raking to remove leaves and other debris.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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