Types Of Garden Stones - Choosing Your Ideal Aggregate

Friday 18 March 2022 14:55

When choosing aggregates to feature in your garden design, there is a lot to consider. What size or aggregate colour should you choose? Should you choose slate chippings or gravel? Where can different garden stones be used?

In this blog, we explain the different types of aggregates available and we hope to guide and inspire you into discovering the perfect stones to improve your garden design.

Different types of garden stones

Whether it’s your first garden or the garden you’re hoping to retire into, improving a garden is always exciting and when it comes to choosing which garden stones to use there is so much choice, so you can have lots of fun choosing!

Garden stones come in various different shapes, sizes, textures and colours: from bright, white rounded marble pebbles to tall and striking grey slate monoliths.

Each type of garden stone is suited for different uses and it’s important to choose a material which is suitable for your garden project.

So, what are the different types of decorative stones available for gardens?

Gravel

Gravel is one of the most popular types of garden stone chippings. The range of colours, sizes and textures available covers the whole spectrum and will suit any design; from contemporary Polar White to warm Golden Gravel to chestnut Pea and elegant Flamengo.

As a natural material, gravel varies considerably in size. At the larger end, 14-20mm gravel is ideal for large areas of landscaping or driveways. Smaller, rounded gravel such as Rhinegold Gravel 10mm is perfect for paths as it’s comfortable to walk on. Dove Grey Limestone Gravel 20mm is very popular for driveways and as an angular stone it naturally interlocks making it easy to drive on.

Some of the key benefits of gravel is its versatility, minimal preparation to lay and easy maintenance. It naturally suppresses weeds and is an ideal mulch  - a major plus if you’d prefer to spend time enjoying your garden instead of endless hours of weeding!

Gravel also acts as a wonderful finishing touch to water features and wildlife ponds - why not mix and match different colours and shades to create a stylish edging around the pond?

If your pond has wildlife, we recommend using a fish friendly gravel - just look out for the ‘fish friendly’ logo:

To help you find the perfect gravel for your garden, we have put together an Ultimate Guide To Gravel: read here.

Slate Chippings

Slate chippings are the ideal aggregate for enhancing garden areas, rockeries, ponds, borders and driveways. 20mm Slate Chippings are also flat, making them perfect for paths and comfortable to walk on!

Classed as a recycled material, slate chippings from Decorative Aggregates are the by-product of roofing slate manufacturing and are more environmentally friendly than most other garden stones.

Slate is available in a range of natural colours including plum, green, blue and graphite grey. 50-150mm Paddlestones are typically the largest sized slate chipping and look beautiful close to water. 40mm and 20mm sizes are also available.

If you want to create a beautiful garden that keeps weeds under control, slate chippings are an excellent choice.

For even more inspiration and advice, take a look at our Ultimate Guide To Slate Chippings.

Cobbles & Pebbles

Cobbles and pebbles are traditionally larger than gravel and often have a smooth, rounded finish which makes  a stylish looking addition to any garden.

They can be used as part of a rockery formation or to add a designer touch to borders, ponds, aquatics or planting beds.

Cobbles and pebbles are particularly popular for stone garden water features as the smooth texture glistens beautifully when wet. Scottish Cobbles and Pebbles are a classic choice for water features; they offer a gorgeously smooth finish and the beauty of the stone is enhanced by water bringing out the natural colour tones.

Pebbles range in size from 20-60mm, and cobbles range from 40-100mm. Their lovely natural shape is formed from rock that has been smoothed by flowing water and tumbled to produce a rounded shape.

If the garden you have always imagined features decorative borders or an attractive water feature or pond, cobbles or pebbles are the perfect addition.

For more information, read our Ultimate Guide To Cobbles & Pebbles.

Large Garden Stones & Feature Stones

Don’t be afraid to go big! Every beautiful garden needs an eye catching focal point and large garden stones are the perfect way to achieve this.

Large garden stones can include boulders, rockery stones, feature stones or even stylish slate planters.

If you find that your garden has shaded areas where growing plants can be difficult, a rockery or specimen stone feature could be the ideal way to decorate an empty space. Boulders and rockery stones come in all shapes and sizes from jagged and angular to semi-rounded

Part of the fun with designing your garden with large stones is choosing the perfect placement. You can use a large specimen stone as an individual feature or  create a cluster of feature stones to form a group. To introduce even more colour and texture, spread decorative gravel or add vibrant planting between individual stones.

Monoliths

If you’re looking to add  mystery to your garden, the sight of a striking slate monolith or standing stone can instantly add atmosphere and intrigue.

Slate Monoliths are sourced from the mountains of Wales and come in a variety of mixed colours ranging from plum, green and grey.  Every monolith has its own unique colour, shape, and character. Rustic and rugged, monoliths provide a really natural look, perfect for any garden.

Although spectacular on their own as a single central feature, smaller Monoliths can be grouped in threes or fives to form attractive clusters. If you’re limited by space, the small 1ft Slate Monoliths are a practical option.

Top Tip: When grouping stones together, place them in odd numbers. This will make your feature appear more natural.

Monoliths are available undrilled - however for a lovely water feature, drilled monoliths are ideal.

Holloliths add a contemporary touch to any design. Drilled Holloliths are distinctive slate stones which start out as monoliths before a large hole is drilled through the centre. Another hole is then drilled from the base to the centre, to allow water to cascade along the face.

For more information, read our Ultimate Guide To Monoliths & Standing Stones.

What are different types of garden stones made from?

There are many different types of stone found all over the world and each has its own unique texture, hardness and colour.

  • Limestone - Limestone is a softer, sedimentary rock that is typically ivory, buff or grey in colour. Limestone gravel is often angular and jagged in shape making it a popular stone for driveways and paths. As it contains calcium carbonates, Limestone is not typically used for aquatics or wildlife ponds as the aggregate is not fish friendly. Dove Grey Limestone and Cotswold Buff Chippings are popular limestone gravels.
  • Slate - Slate is a stylish metamorphic rock often found in the landscapes of North Wales. It is typically grey, blue and plum in colour. Quarried slate is often cut to form smooth, flat sheets which have long been used in roofing tile manufacturing. Slate chippings featured in gardens or landscapes are the by-product of the tile manufacturing process.
  • Granite - Granite is an igneous, often lighter coloured rock formed from molten magma deep within the Earth’s crust. Coincidentally, striking Red Granite Gravel is a fiery red microgranite from Scotland.
  • Basalt - Basalts are often darker in colour than granite. One of the most common rock types in the world, it is very finely graded. Green Gravel is a very popular and attractive basalt gravel.

Choosing driveway gravel

There are many different types of gravel available and it is important to choose a gravel colour that complements the brickwork of your home and is the appropriate shape and size for your driveway.

A driveway surface should remain stable and secure when driven on and we recommend gravel of 14-20mm in size is laid to a depth of at least 50mm. To aid stability, choose an angular gravel such as Dove Grey Limestone 20mm or Cotswold Gold Gravel 20mm. Angular gravel naturally interlocks under the pressure of driving and remains in place.

For even less maintenance, consider using a layer of Driveway Fabric Weed Prevention Membrane beneath your gravel.

If you’re considering building your own gravel driveway, read our simple step by step guide here.

Where to buy garden stones

Delivering nationwide, Decorative Aggregates is your stepping stone to a beautiful garden. We supply the largest range of gravels, aggregates, slate chippings, feature stones, monoliths and rockery in the UK and over 15000 customers have shared their happy experience of ordering from us on reviews.co.uk.

Why not take a look at our range of beautiful decorative garden stones? We’re confident you will find the perfect garden stones to help you easily create a beautiful garden.

For even more inspiration and  ideas and to see how previous customers have transformed their gardens, follow us on Facebook & Instagram.


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