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How To Create A Low Maintenance Stone Garden Border

Monday 27 September 2021 17:30

Whether it’s your first garden or the garden you’ve always imagined for your retirement, you will want to spend time enjoying your garden rather than maintaining it. And let’s be honest, weeding is one of the tasks we all dread! So if you agree, a stone garden border is a perfect low maintenance feature to include in your garden design.  

Stone edging suppresses weeds and adds a beautifully natural finish to pathways, patios, water features, walls and flower beds. You can choose from many types of garden stones - stunning slate chippings, gravels and cobbles and pebbles create a stylish framework for nearby planting, fencing, brickwork or grass. Each stone has its own unique size, colour and texture which will improve any garden design and add structure and form. 

From choosing the ideal aggregate to the process of laying, this article inspires and guides you through a step by step process for designing and creating your own decorative stone border.

But don’t be put off if the task ahead seems daunting, you don’t need to be an expert! All you will require are some basic gardening tools, the perfect stone to complement your garden scheme and some planning.

Garden stone border benefits

  • Low maintenance – stone edging does not require trimming or weeding.

  • Drainage – decorative aggregates are porous and provide natural drainage, ensuring surrounding plants and flowers receive the hydration they need.

  • Easy to lay – stone borders are simple and easy to lay and do not require a landscaper or specialist, just some digging and shovelling.

  • Attractive – stone borders look lovely and there are many colours, textures and sizes of stone to choose from to match any garden style. They also help to distinguish your planting areas and bedding from turf and other areas.

Creating your stone border

What you will need to create stone edging

  • Decorative aggregates such as slate chippings, gravel and aggregates or decorative cobbles and pebbles.

  • Wheelbarrow for moving stone, dirt and debris.

  • Square edged garden spade for excavating out the area.

  • Weed prevention membrane to restrict weed growth.

  • Garden rake for evenly spreading the stone.

  • (Optional) Wooden logroll to ensure the stones remain in place.

How much stone is needed to make a garden border?

To help you calculate how much stone you will need, we have created a helpful gravel calculator. Simply enter the length, width and depth of your garden border edging. For gravel or slate chippings, we recommend laying 3-4cm deep.

How to create a stone border – step by step

1.      Mark out the area for your garden or landscape border using string or marker spray. Remember, decorative aggregates are highly versatile and can be used to create curves and winding edging and don't need to be square or rectangular.

2.      Dig out a trench along the marked area using a garden spade and clear any loose debris of weed growth. If you are using slate chippings or gravel for your border, we recommend digging to a depth of at least 4-5cm and for larger cobbles and pebbles we suggest digging to around 10cm.

3.      Cut your weed prevention membrane to fit the excavated area and lay it to cover the border area. We suggest pinning the sheet into the ground using fixing pegs.

4.      Place the edging stones into your trench and distribute them evenly using a garden rake.

Top Tip: If you have left over garden stones, you can use them to top off plant pots to introduce a colourful layer of mulch.

 

Choose the ideal decorative stone for your garden border edging

Before you begin your garden border project, you will need to choose which decorative stone will be featured in your garden border. All our decorative pebbles, gravels and slate chippings are perfect for creating attractive borders – so bring your imagination to life and start creating your happy place. 

Choosing gravel edging

Gravel is a popular choice for edging as it’s easy to lay and available in a wide selection of beautifully natural colours and sizes.

Gravel also provides a range of practical benefits which help reduce upkeep such as excellent drainage and its hard-wearing finish means it is rarely affected by adverse weather conditions.

At Decorative Aggregates, we stock a variety of stunning gravels and aggregates featuring a range of stunning colours, from rustic browns, golds and yellows to striking reds to vibrant whites and greens.

Polar White Marble Gravel is a lovely angular gravel imported from Spain that provides a bright white modern finish. Available in both 10mm and 20mm sizes, Polar White Gravel is a classic choice for creating a spectacular contrast against darker coloured brickwork, timber or plants.

Our beautiful new 20mm Flamengo Gravel Chippings are ideal for adding a splash of colour to the edges of paths, patios and planting beds, and the elegant flecks of peach and pink will match the colour tones of individual flowers beautifully.

Multi Spar Gravel 10mm is a distinctive and contemporary multicoloured gravel featuring a burst of radiant reds, creams, whites and greys for a unique and bright finish.

Choosing slate chipping edging

Slate chippings are perfect for creating stylish stone borders in any style and size of garden or landscape and conform to both traditional and contemporary designs.

Attractive and versatile, there are many slate chipping colours available, from Green Slate Chippings to Blue to Plum and Graphite Grey, and each colour looks stunning when wet.

Like gravel, slate chippings help prevent weed growth and are effective as mulch. What’s more, slate chippings are eco-friendly than other garden stones.

Choosing cobble or pebble edging

Cobbles and pebbles are available in many sizes and colours and provide a wonderful natural finish for borders. The sheen and beauty of the natural stone when wet means garden pebbles and cobble stones look stunning alongside water features. 

The difference between garden cobbles and pebbles

Cobbles and pebbles are very similar; however, pebbles are usually smaller than cobbles. Generally, garden pebbles can range in size from 20-60mm and are a similar size to small plums, whereas cobbles vary in size between 40-100mm.

To ensure your border remains easy to maintain, we recommend pebbles as their smaller size makes it more difficult for weeds to protrude, whereas the larger cobbles are more likely to leave gaps for weeds to grow through. 

However, cobbles still look stunning and can be interspersed with smaller sized gravels to form a beautiful mixture of stones, and their larger size makes them excellent for drainage and ideal for surrounding the base of large plants.

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