Adding a pea gravel patio is a fast way to expand your outdoor living space. Often light brown or white, pea gravel stays cool under a hot sun, offering a smooth, comfortable surface for bare feet. Low-cost and easy to work with, a pea gravel patio is a do-it-yourself task you can finish in a day or two. The surface area requires little maintenance, while the subtle textures complement a range of landscapes.
Pea gravel compacts into the foundation it's poured into. If you have an oddly shaped space or intend to create a curved patio, pea gravel is a practical choice. Before you break ground, create a basic drawing of your backyard and experiment with several potential patio shapes. Consider tying two spaces together by extending the patio to a garden or fitting it around a pool area. Reduce maintenance by laying pack, gravel and stone dust over the base and covering with landscape fabric to block weeds, recommends the website This Old House.
Installing a border around the pea gravel patio solves common problems and enhances the look of your space. Basic borders like metal or plastic edging stops gravel from spilling over and keep weeds from growing through the patio surface. For a more formal or defined look, install a border of brick, pavers or natural stone.
Plants are a natural contrast to the smooth, rounded rocks measuring 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Add balance to the hard surface by incorporating container plants into a pea gravel patio. Embed clay or wooden plant boxes into the gravel at different levels to add dimension. Fragrant herbs like lavender, rosemary and anise produce colourful blooms in warm seasons and enhance the flavour of your outdoor meals.
Whether you intend to use the patio for family meals, relaxing or hosting guests, comfortable furniture will increase your enjoyment of the space. Opt for tables and chairs with a flat base or wide feet. Set your grill or fire pit on the gravel, as the rocks provide a fire-resistant surface for stray embers. Visually, the combination of pea gravel and fire add a casual, rustic touch.