Crushed seashells are a traditional, versatile landscaping material. They work well with a variety of landscapes and reflect the character of your region if you live near the coast. They come in a mix of colours and textures and can serve a number of purposes from blocking weeds to creating a casual garden path.
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Add a unique backdrop to a garden or flower bed by mulching with crushed shells. Hard shells add contrast to soft, delicate petals and thick foliage. Similar to wood and other common mulches, crushed shells moderate ground temperature, block weeds, retain moisture and prevent soil from eroding. As shells break down and require replenishment, they add minerals and calcium to the soil.
If you have multiple gardens in a small area, crushed shell borders create a subtle division between each section while tying the different elements together. Choose colours that accentuate the blossoms and other growth. For example, white and beige sea shells make a clean, elegant backdrop for bright red, yellow and orange flowers, while dark seashells complement light flowers.
A pathway with loose pebbles or crushed seashells is simple to install and gives the entire yard a unique touch. New crushed shells can have sharp edges so they're a better fit for a garden than a pool or other area where people walk bare foot. Remove grass and root systems for the course and lay down weed barrier fabric to deter weeds. Install medium-sized field stones, bricks or timbers as edging to prevent the shells from scattering in the lawn and to block wayward grass.
Crushed shell ground cover reduces the amount of lawn you need to mow and can improve drainage over a waterlogged area. Use the area to frame a water fountain, sun dial or dry-stacked stones to add visual interest. Shells are a natural complement to water features and add visual balance to trees and tall plants that draw the eye up.
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