When it comes to landscaping your garden, rock aggregates are often a popular choice for many reasons. Whether you choose to completely cover your garden or use rock aggregates for part of your garden renovation, there are plenty of ways to integrate it into your design and many benefits of doing so too.
What Is Rock Aggregate?
Aggregate is a type of ground gravel and is often made up of different kinds of small decorative stones. Rock aggregates are typically made up of crushed stones, gravel and sand and can feature a mix of different materials or be made up of pebbles and larger rocks and include materials such as slate, marble, granite and limestone.
Why Should You Use Rock Aggregates In Your Garden Renovation?
Rock aggregates have a wide range of plantations and are one of the most versatile materials you can use within your garden design.
Firstly, they can be a much cheaper alternative to other types of garden coverings. Not only is it more affordable to purchase and lay, but it also has a long lifespan, meaning you can put it down and leave it for a while before you need to refresh it or replace your existing aggregate.
Due to its composition, it can be extremely easy to lay, giving you fast and effective results. Once you have prepared the area you wish to lay the gravel on, you can apply it how you wish and create your chosen design. While not a requirement, removing any vegetation from the area and laying either sand or landscape fabric underneath it to help avoid regrowth is advisable.
Did you know that using rock aggregates can often be an additional security feature for driveway or garden renovations? This is because walking or driving over the materials will produce a loud crunching sound making it obvious someone is approaching not only to homeowners but neighbours too. As well as this, the tiny bits of stones used to make the aggregates can get stuck in footwear, meaning it gets traipsed around the home or vehicles used to visit your property by would-be burglars.
Lastly, rock aggregates are cost-effective, low maintenance, drought tolerant, and highly durable. This makes them perfect for pretty much any environment, be it for a small garden to create a decorative area, for laying driveways, or for covering pathways or creating pathways through grassy areas.
Tips for Buying and Laying Rock Aggregates
Choose an area for your aggregate
Firstly you need to decide if you are using your aggregates over the whole garden or just parts. From here, once you have defined your space, you can then work on clearing the area. If you are only using the aggregates in certain areas, map them out to ensure they work with the rest of your garden ideas and design. For example, if you are laying a patio and want to make a feature using your rock aggregate, leave a designated space for you to fill in with your chosen aggregate when the work is finished, such as around a fire pit or ornament you wish to place.
For the best results, you should remove vegetation under the area you plan to add your aggregate. The reason being it will result in anything left behind regrowing, and you have to remove it time and time again. While weeds will often be germinated entirely, if you don’t remove them from the weeds, persistent weeds may appear to come through year after year.
That is, of course, unless you add it around plants, trees or shrubbery. In this case, you can carefully arrange your decorative stones around your plants or trees to allow them room to grow and produce an added visual element to your greenery.
Once you have cleared the space and chosen your location, you must determine the best aggregate type for your garden design. Gravels and aggregates are supposed to blend in with your landscaping, so one of the best garden tips for adding rock aggregates is to ensure the material you choose works well with your other elements. Start by matching the colour of the colour of your house to avoid any clashing colours, especially if you will be lying close to the home. If you have white walls, choose lighter shades of gravel. If you want a more earthy, natural feel, browns and darker tones can work well against traditional brick exteriors. The same goes for more modern light-coloured paving designs; a white marble aggregate can give your garden the added wow factor, while a blue slate chipping feature can work well for more contemporary garden styles.
Edging helps you set your garden apart and finish the look you are going for. The edging you choose will be instrumental in ensuring that the material you lay stays in its designated area and help you complete the design. This is vital when you aren’t laying the material around the whole garden and in select areas. Your border should be laid so it is a few inches above the top level of stones you have applied to keep them securely in place. You can create a solid border, add larger stones to define the area or use metal fencing to help you complete the look you are going for.
First, when laying your rock aggregate, you must clearly mark the area. This is where you add your border, ensuring it is raised above the level of stones, you are lying above. You can do it with some wood or rope to help you stay in the correct dimensions. From here, you need to dig a trench by removing around 4 inches of topsoil if required. Ensure you are using a square-edged spade to ensure all surfaces are flat. Make sure to smooth the base and compact it using a flattening tool. Once done, you must line the trench with crushed stones to around 10 cm in depth and cover it with a weed-resistant membrane to s any regrowth. Finally, you can add your aggregates, ensuring it is laid smoothly and evenly for a good finish.
Rock aggregates are one of the most cost-effective garden tips for creating a beautiful landscape. If you need garden ideas and inspiration, you can find a wide range of materials to help you complete your landscaping design and add an additional natural element to your garden.