Create Ground Cover
Benefits Of Garden Ground Cover
Aggregates such as gravel, slate and pebbles are a low maintenance alternative to soil or grass.
Creating ground cover delivers several benefits:
- Provides moisture retention, helping plants to survive in periods of drought.
- Slate or gravel ground cover cannot retain water, providing natural drainage and a puddle-free surface.
- Complements planting schemes and creates beautiful features - without the need to cut or weed areas.
- Aggregate ground covers are highly durable, rarely getting affected by adverse weather conditions.
- Pebbles, bark, slate and gravel are all very simple to lay - making them popular ground cover aggregates.
Keeping Your Garden Weed-Free
We'll run through some different types of ground cover you can choose to keep your garden weed-free:
- Gravel instead of grass
We'll also take a look at various design inspiration for particular themes, such as coloured gravel, glass aggregates and rockeries.
Grass To Gravel Transformation
If you fancy a change (and a rest) from maintaining a grassy area, there's no need to remove the grass.
- Douse the grass with weed killer
- Lay a weed resistant membrane on top
- Spread the gravel out over it
An instant transformation! All that remains is to get out the garden furniture and light the barbeque.
How To Mulch
The best mulch for garden cover is a product such as; landscaping bark mulch. This acts as a natural weed suppressant and retains any moisture in the ground, aiding plant growth in hot weather.
- For effective mulching, lay your landscaping bark mulch to a thickness of between 5 and 7.5cm.
- Remove all weeds in the area.
- If you are laying mulch in an area without plants, firstly lay a weed-resistant membrane.
- Lay your mulch onto moist soil around plants. (Or on top of your weed-resistant membrane).
The Best Ground Cover Plants
If you're looking to use plants as ground cover there are certain plants most suitable for this. Low-growing plants that spread and provide dense cover are usually the ideal choice and they are generally evergreen plants.
Top tip: before you lay your plants in a bed or as a border, it's best to plan where you'll place each plant. Once you've chosen the spacing, lay a weed-resistant membrane. You can then plant through the membrane - simply cut a cross in the sheet and insert your chosen plant. A cross provides a tighter seal than creating a hole, minimising the chance of any weeds poking through.
Here are some of the best ground cover plants:
- Rubus tricolor - a chinese bramble
- Vinca minor 'Atropurpurea'
- Hebe pinguifolia 'Pagei'
- Genista hispanica
- Potentilla fruticosa
- Erica carnea
- Hebe pinguifolia 'Pagei'
Using gravel and aggregates in your garden provides a natural feel. Combine planting schemes interspaced with gravel and different sized rocks, creating a look you'd see by rivers or on mountain screes.
Whatever theme you have in mind, whether that's a seashore, a rocky outcrop on the moor or natural pools and rivers - ground cover can be used to make your garden something special and unique.
Modern garden designs can be enhanced and created using coloured gravels. There are a number of ways to do this, for example use black slate or charcoal granite for a monochrome design or silver grey granite to add a zen feel to any outdoor space.
Using glass aggregates is a unique way to add vibrant colours to your design. Use it on its own or with a combination of other colours to create intricate and exciting combinations.
Glass aggregates can also be used with water features or ponds to provide a modern feel. They can add a real wow factor, looking incredible when lit up at night.
Boulder focal points
Adding boulders, large slate feature stones or monoliths are a fantastic way to add a focal point in your garden design, helping to create height and depth.
Slate standing stones, monoliths or water features add an extra level to any sized garden. Create interest within the garden using mixtures of different products together, forming a contrast of textures and colours.
Using gravel with rockery stone compliments and highlights the stone, especially when you've chosen slate rockery.
Rockery stones with cobbles and pebbles will give you a river bed theme in the garden.
How much aggregate do you need for your ground cover?
The amount of aggregate you need will vary depending on the size and shape of the ground that needs covering.
It's vital to estimate how much you need to avoid a shortage or wastage. We've put together an aggregate calculator.
Simply enter the details into the calculator here and it will provide a rough guide to how much you need to purchase.
Aggregate Ground Cover Recommendations
Slate mini mulch is ideal for ground cover, borders and paths, due to its small size. It can provide a compacted finish if required.
Slate paddlestones are great as a large ground cover product. They can provide a scree-like effect or to stand out in water features or between rockeries and planting areas.
Cotswold gold gravel is the perfect ground cover, creating a professional look with beautiful subtle variations of light colours, especially when laid on larger areas.
Before And After
Don't just take our word for it, our wonderful customers have made incredible transformations using our ground cover products.
Products used for ground cover
Our best selling larger sized plum...
A stunning alternative to basic...