Gravel Garden Ideas and Landscaping Tips

Gravels are a great way to add beauty, interest, and curbside appeal to your outdoor space. They serve as excellent alternatives for homeowners who want something other than grass.

Rocks and other small stones can be used in so many ways when it comes to landscaping and decorating the garden. In fact, landscapes with rocks are also popular with many gardeners, especially in the UK.

Moreover, if you want to build a garden pond, fountain, or stream, you can make one with a pond liner and gravel. In this post, we will be going over some gravel garden ideas, so you can see what’s possible!

1. Backyard path

Gravel makes an easy filler for the spaces between your stepping stones or sleepers. Their addition provides a rustic and natural look. Achieve this by laying a solid foundation for your path and placing your stepping stones. Then, fill the gaps with gravel, ensuring proper compaction for stability.

Two-way gravel garden pathway
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2. Simple entrance

Using gravel on your driveway creates a low-maintenance parking spot. Achieve this by preparing the area by removing any vegetation or debris. Make sure to level the ground and add a layer of gravel. Compact the gravel for a stable surface that allows water drainage.

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Truck passing through a gravel driveway at night
Image Credit: Flickr, Wonderlane

3. Dry creek bed

By using stones to create a landscape feature, you can mimic the appearance of a natural creek or stream. Line the edges of the creek bed with plants that thrive in dry conditions. Consider ornamental grasses and drought-tolerant shrubs to enhance the natural look.

Dry creek bed filled with gravel rocks
Image Credit: Pxhere

4. Zen backyard

Create elegant designs in your gravel using a rake to simulate the river or ocean. It’s said this has a meditative effect, to ensure serenity and relaxation in your Zen garden. 

Zen garden featuring small rock formation and gravel
Image Credit: Pxhere

5. Low maintenance garden

A thick layer of gravel instead of soil prevents weeds from taking hold. This helps make the garden easy to maintain.

Achieve this by preparing the area with a weed barrier or landscaping fabric. Next, add a generous layer of gravel on top. Choose a gravel size that suits your aesthetic preference.

Low maintenance gravel patio
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

6. Gravel path

Paving stones can be really expensive, so gravel is a great alternative for a pathway if you’re on a tight budget.

Gravel pathway surrounded with lush shrubs
Image Credit: Flickr, L Hoffheins

7. Gravel maze

Create a mini maze in your garden by constructing gravel paths bordered by flower beds. Plan the layout of the maze, mark the paths, and create raised edges using bricks or stones. Fill the paths with gravel and plant colourful flowers or shrubs along the borders.

Gravel maze
Image Credit: Pxhere

8. Bench in garden bed

Add a bench into your gravel beds to create a calming seating area for your morning cuppa. 

9. Natural shadow

Use leafy trees to create a shaded dining area in your garden. Choose trees with a wide canopy that provides ample shade. Position outdoor furniture beneath the trees and use gravel around the seating area. This trick creates a clean and natural flooring surface.

Mini gravel garden ponds
Image Credit: Flickr, Wonderlane

10. Mediterranean garden

Nothing sets off a Mediterranean garden more than pale-coloured gravel. It also helps reflect heat back onto your Mediterranean plants to help them thrive. 

Mediterranean gravel garden
Image Credit: Geograph UK

11. Pots in gravel

Enhance the visual appeal of your gravelled areas by adding pot plants. Select a variety of potted plants with different colours, textures, and heights. Place the pots strategically within the gravel, ensuring they are stable and well-maintained.

Small pots on gravel
Image Credit: Pxhere

12. Raised garden bed

Build the raised bed using timber or brick, ensuring proper drainage. Fill the bed with soil and cover the surrounding area with a layer of gravel for a finished look.

Raised garden beds on gravel
Image Credit: Flickr, Gail Langellotto

13. Backdoor

Create a magical, meandering pathway to your backdoor using gravel. Map out the desired path, remove any obstacles, and prepare the ground by levelling it. Lay a weed barrier or landscaping fabric, then add a layer of gravel. Make sure to compact it for stability and easy walking.

14. Pea gravel patio

Surrounding a patio with gravel allows water to drain back into the soil below. This is a great pebble design as it prevents water accumulation.

Prepare the patio area by clearing the space, and levelling the ground. Then add a layer of compacted gravel. Lay a weed barrier if desired before placing the patio furniture.

Pea gravel patio
Image Credit: Flickr, RBerteig

15. Gravel steps

Irregular-shaped gravel steps can be enhanced by scattering plants throughout the surrounding area. Plan the placement and height of the steps, ensuring stability and easy navigation. Fill the steps with gravel. Consider planting low-growing ground covers to soften their appearance.

Gravel steps
Image Credit: Flickr, Guilhem Vellut

16. Gravel patio & gazebo

A gravel patio combined with a gazebo can create a stylish and low-maintenance oasis. Gravel provides a versatile and cost-effective flooring option that requires minimal upkeep. To achieve this, clear the area, level the ground, and lay a weed barrier or landscaping fabric. Add a layer of compacted gravel, ensuring proper drainage.

Then place your gazebo on the gravel patio. Consider adding outdoor furniture and decorative elements to complete the inviting ambience.

Gravel park with gazebo and seating area
Image Credit: Flickr, BLMIdaho

17. Floating furniture with gravel underneath

Gravel adds extra visual interest when covering a space where grass won’t grow. This in-built ‘floating’ outdoor seating is paired with light grey tone gravels beneath for a sense of harmony.

To brighten up the space more, add colourful cushions and blankets on the couch.

18. Corten steel gravel steps

This Wuhan Water Garden has integrated corten steel and garden gravel creating this rich rusted landscape. The pairing makes a brilliant choice for edging, raised beds, screens, and more!

Top tip: Opt for ornamental grasses and small ferns to add extra texture, movement, and colour.

19. Replacing a lawn with a gravel garden

If you wish for a low-maintenance or no-maintenance at all garden, replacing a lawn with gravel can be your best bet! Take a look at this concept.

Surrounded by woodland, a gravel seating circle surrounds a fire pit. It provides a buffer between sparks and the garden.

Zen garden in Ryōanji, Kyoto
Image Credit: Flickr, Steven Zucker, Smarthistory co-founder

20. Gravel path through ornamental grass

The idea of this gravel design is it provides  a laid-back walkway through the grass garden. The gravel walkway is a well-suited choice for weaving through the scene, thanks to the tall structural plants.

Add a bright colour bench to add a striking focal point!

Round -Up

Gravel is one of those things that has a wide range of uses. Cheaper than paving stone, by using it creatively you can massively reduce the budget required to improve your garden.

And not only does it look great. By using gravel you can absorb surface water from your patio more easily.

We’ll be updating this page on a  regular basis, so bookmark it and you’ll never run out of ideas to make your garden better. And what better to put at the end of your new gravel path than some BillyOh garden furniture?

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