Using Rock and Gravel In the Garden

One of the more interesting materials to use in the garden is stone. It comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and forms from small landscape gravel to river stones and large stone pavers. Its uses in the garden are nearly endless. Gravel can be used for patios, pathways, and for mulch. Medium and larger stones can be used for edging or planters. Benches, fire pits, patios, and raised beds can all be made from stone of various sizes. Here are some examples of stone in the landscape.

In the following two pictures you can see the use of gravel as a pathway and as a mulch. When stones are used as a mulch they can collect heat during the day and release it at night which may enable you to cheat your Heat Zone a little, maybe even as much as one zone. In these two pictures I came up with the idea to highlight the yucca plants in mini-beds using the natural sandstone from the area. By segregating them into their own nifty little nooks they are blending well with the pathway and create a small point of interest. I think it's the 'Adam's Needle' Yucca.

In the background of this picture you can see where some paver stones were used to make walking along the pathway a little easier. A few more paver stones could be used to enhance usability.

Stone can be used to create great raised beds. If you have a lot of natural stone lying around, like my wife's parents do, you could easily make a raised bed vegetable garden. This photo was taken this winter when nothing is growing, but during the spring and summer months it is full of plants! With stone you can make your raised bed in any shape you want. There's granddaddy and grandma in the garden!

The next few pictures were sent to me by Skeeter. She lives in Georgia and has some great examples of stone in the landscape.

Here in this photo you can see a hosta bed framed by a stone edging and surrounded by a patio gravel material. The hostas soften the effect of the stone and add color to the area. If you have a shady area hostas are a must!

They originally began with just the concrete patio but expanded it through pavers and gravel to create this fantastic patio area. A fire pit made from retaining wall blocks is in the foreground just perfect for an evening outdoors. What I like in this picture is the stepping stones embedded into the pea gravel. They lead your eyes down another pathway and add a contrasting color against the gravel.

Here is another perspective of the patio area. Skeeter used an old milk jug for a little bit of whimsy around the patio.

What patio would be complete without the grill!

Here is another use of stone as an edging material around the caladiums.

Here is one more look at Skeeter's patio area! Her use of varying types of stone created a perfect patio oasis for her family!

The first three pictures were taken at my wife's parent's house and the rest of them were taken by Skeeter in Georgia. Thank you Skeeter for letting me use them for this post!