Pebbles at the 2013 Ellerslie International Flower Show

How to use pebbles in the garden

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, June 26

How to use pebbles in the garden

Pebbles are underused in the garden. With a little thought your garden can be transformed just by updating existing areas in the garden with them.

At the front of your house add a pebble border either side of the driveway eliminate harsh straight lines and add a softer cottage feel. This also improves drainage. At the rear, in your garden, pebbles can be used to update or even replace. Transform your terrace by adding pockets of pebbles and plant with drought tolerant plants for an instant Mediterranean feel.

Make gabion baskets topped with pavers for seating or create larger ones to form a bench against a sun kissed wall. To add interest to a water feature, however large or small, cover the bottom with pebbles. Add a rill with water tumbling over them, use a half barrel or watertight pot filled with pebbles and add a pump fountain.

Edge an herbaceous border with a border of small pebbles interspersed with bigger ones or plant a bed of succulents and surround them. Make a pebble path that winds through large flower beds or from one area of the garden to another. Add a personal touch by leaving messages written on them for all to read as they pass through - this can sometime be quite a therapeutic experience as my garden at the 2013 Ellerslie International Flower Show proved.

Loose pebbles edged with larger cobbles, set in between irregular shaped recycled flagstones will give an old world feel to the path. Get the children invoked in the garden and create mosaic type pictures using various colours and sizes of pebbles.

Turn an area into a dry landscape garden with one or two large structural plants or boulders and then surround them with carefully raked pebbles to give a Japanese feel. Finally build pebble towers and place them in amongst flowers in the borders or in hidden away spaces in the garden.


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

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