For a water-efficient landscape, use gravel instead of cement for large features like driveways or patios. Rainwater will soak through the gravel, moistening the soil to benefit surrounding vegetation. The rainwater can also seep down to the water table to replenish wells. Gravel won't burn like mulch can, making gravel a good choice for landscapes located near forested areas prone to fire.
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Use gravel to create a sitting area for a single chair, like on garden path, or create a large patio for a table and four or more chairs. Dig down about 6 inches to create a patio base in any desired shape, such as round or square. Lay landscape fabric to block weed growth and then fill the dugout area with gravel.
Cut a walkway into the soil about 36 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Secure strips of landscape fabric and then fill the walkway with gravel. Place bricks or large stones along the edge, if desired. Instead of an all-gravel walkway, you can place stepping stones at a comfortable stepping distance apart. Fill the area between the stepping stones with gravel.
Instead of wood mulch, use gravel around shrubs and trees. Laying landscape fabric first will not only help to block weed growth, the fabric may also help to remove the gravel if you later change your mind. Avoid using limestone gravel around acid-loving plants like azalea and rhododendron. Unlike wood mulch that you must replenish as the wood decays, gravel will last indefinitely making it a low maintenance landscaping product. Choose a colour of gravel to complement the setting, like dark gravel for a house in a wooded area and light gravel for a beach house.
Flower Bed Borders
Roll out a narrow strip of landscape fabric around the perimeter of a flowerbed and cover the fabric with gravel. Light coloured gravel will make the border stand out. The border will provide a barrier between the lawn and the flowerbed.
Place a layer of stone on top of landscape fabric beneath a fence and around the fence posts to help block weed growth and perhaps eliminate the need to use a string trimmer to manicure the area.
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