Great Gravel Ideas for Your Garden

Tuesday 04 October 2022 14:30

When introduced to a garden or outdoor space, gravel adds structure, and colour and helps provide an attractive contrast to planting, with a wide variety of textures and shapes available. Gravel allows you to be more creative with your garden designs and it is economical, easy to lay and reduces garden maintenance. 

Gravel has become an increasingly popular choice for new garden ideas and projects. As one of the leading suppliers of decorative aggregates to homeowners and landscapers in the UK, we wanted to showcase some of the great gravel ideas our customers have shared with us.

10 Fantastic Ways to Utilise Gravel in your Garden

Create a Gravel Pathway

Gravel pathways are fantastic for providing shape in garden design schemes and for defining specific areas such as planting, rockeries or outdoor furniture spaces. 

Compared to other pathway surface options, gravel provides a softer and more natural look; there are many different colour options to choose from; this helps create a truly personal and unique pathway for you to enjoy.

We would recommend that gravel no bigger than 16mm is used for a gravel path. The most common choice for pathways is 10-14mm gravel. This size is more stable and easier to walk on than larger options. 

natural gravel pathway laid in back garden surrounded by green plants and small bench

Garden Gravel Steps

A current trend within gardens is the creation of split levels within the outdoor space. If this is an idea that you are considering for your garden, then you should consider using gravel as a step topping for steps leading to and from different areas of the garden space. 

Gravel can either complement or provide a stylish contrast to the other materials used within the area and regardless of the step you choose, there will be a perfect aggregate to use. Natural Cotswold buff chippings at 20mm are used in the example below to complement beautifully the honeyed tones within the decking and walling. 

natural cream coloured gravel used as garden step topping

Use gravel to decorate and fill space

One of the most popular uses of gravel is laying down the aggregate as decorative ground cover, edges or borders for the garden. For smaller areas, instead of showing soil, gravel can be laid down to provide a neat and clean finish and give the garden a designer feel.

Polar white gravel either in the 10mm or 20mm size is one of the most popular choices for customers who want to create a garden with a contemporary and modern look.

Polar white gravel used to fill space and be a decorative feature around other garden features such as brown decking

Match gravel with garden trees and plants 

If you are lucky enough to have a garden which is full of beautiful trees and colourful flowers then highlighting their beauty with a backdrop of decorative gravel through matching colour tones adds real impact to the outdoor space.

If you are using potted plants, then the many different colour gravel options will allow you to choose exactly the right colour and shape to achieve a professional finish.

Below you can see how the stunning beauty of the Acer is highlighted by the 20mm red granite gravel and polar white cobbles used in and around the base of the plant pot. 

Back garden patio and path area with red potted acer tree and red granite gravel laid underneath

Gravel areas for Garden Furniture

We love relaxing and entertaining in our gardens and it is now rare to see a garden that doesn't have some element of garden furniture placed somewhere - from benches and chairs to sofas and tables.

A gravel surface laid underneath garden furniture helps highlight these important parts of garden design and landscaping. 

Natural cream and brown gravels or natural grey aggregates such as the dove grey limestone 20mm will match most furniture options but with the vast choice available, it is easy to find gravel that complements the colour and style of your furniture. 

garden furniture with dove grey gravel laid underneath to highlight brown sofas and chairs

All Gravel Garden

If you're looking to have a garden that requires next to no maintenance then an all gravel garden is worth considering. Gravel gardens have many benefits. They're less expensive compared to other fixed surfaces. They create a real standout for any outdoor space and whether traditional or contemporary, they can blend beautifully with any style of home.

For help turning your garden into an all-gravel garden, you can read our guide on creating and maintaining a gravel garden.

Back garden that is completely gravel using the polar white stones

Complement Rockeries with gravel

A major plus of using gravel in a garden is to quickly and easily enhance the beauty of other features. 

rockery feature can introduce a natural, rustic look to any garden design and is a great way to showcase eye-catching plants. The use of gravel helps enhance planting even further, the slate rockery example below shows how the shape of leaves and shades of green within the planting scheme is highlighted against grey slate chippings. 

Grey slate chippings laid around rockery stones and plants

Decorative gravel planting sections

As well as adding a decorative element to planting sections of a garden, gravel also has great practical benefits and is often used as a mulch on top of the soil.

Gravel aids moisture retention in warmer weather and provides insulation for plants to keep them growing and looking healthy. 

Raised planting areas are highlighted when gravel is laid around the planting scheme. 

Area of garden dedicated to planting, laid with decorative gravel stones

Place Gravel around water features

Water features of all sizes can be added to a garden and they instantly bring nature closer with the sight of gorgeous sunlight reflecting in the water or the sound of water gently dripping adding a calming element to any outdoor space.

Water features can be created in multiple ways. For example, as well as introducing ponds, customers have also used monoliths, boulders and slate rockery to create amazing water features.

The colour, shading and texture of most gravels really come to life when they're wet. Cheshire Pink gravel with its brown, white and pink stones make a great match.

Plum and blue slate stones stacked for a water feature, paddlestones laid underneath alongside gravel chippings

Front gravel gardens add kerb appeal

For most homeowners, coming home to a gorgeous driveway or front garden is very important. The front of the home is gaining more and more attention from homeowners and many of our customers are choosing to no longer have grass at the front of their home and instead substitute it for decorative gravel. 

Gravel is very versatile and allows areas for both car parking and planting - with low maintenance an added advantage. 

If you are considering a gravel driveway or pathway, then gravel at around 20mm is the perfect size as, for cars, the aggregate doesn't get stuck in wheel treads. 

All gravel front garden using natural cream aggregates, laid around shrubs and trees

Need more advice or have any questions regarding Gravel? We're here to help.


We hope that these gravel ideas have given you the inspiration for your garden or landscaping project. 

At Decorative Aggregates, we offer the largest range of high-quality gravels and aggregates in the UK. Products are available with nationwide next-day delivery and we offer a variety of sizes from single maxi bags to bulk bags - or even loose loads! 

For more information or to speak to our friendly sales team, please call 01629 630256.

Back to Top