Maintaining A Gravel Landscape
After a few years, it was time to replenish the gravel landscaping in my front yard.
Gravel landscaping is easy maintenance but it definitely requiring a little attention every now and then. The fallen leaves and blossoms don’t bother me too much, but after my Jacaranda does its yearly post-flowering dump, I do sweep up all the debris. The dirt was showing through in some spots so it was time for a little topping off. And that’s basically all I do to maintain my gravel ground cover.
I love all the various rock materials but the plantings on 3 sides really soften the hardscaping.
When I moved into this house, the front yard was Bermuda grass, lavender, agapanthus and valerian. Definitely not something that appealed to a garden hound like me so I tore most of it out and did a makeover in 2007. I kept the planting along side the house and added raised beds along the street. I love gravel but I love me some plants even more!
See what we did to give the gravel landscaping a facelift:
Besides the fact that this replenishing was long overdue, my house is for sale and I just wanted it to look better. First impressions do count for something after all and it’s amazing what an inch of 2 of fresh rock can do aesthetic wise.
Here’s where the rock borders the driveway. 1/4″ California Gold covers most of the yard & I used 3/4″ in the small strip in between.
Here’s what I did:
* Ordered 1/4 ton (1/2 of a scoop) of 1/4″ California Gold to use as the ground cover. I ordered 3 bags of the 3/4″ California Gold to top off the driveway strip.
* Moved the table & chair set to the driveway.
* Removed the bulk of the plant debris from the area to be covered.
* Carried the rock in by the bucket full & distributed it all around.
* Raked out the rock to spread it evenly.
* In the areas that needed to be built up more, additional rock was spread. Overall, the rock was built up by 2″.
* The stepping stones were raised up as needed by putting gravel under them. They sit about 1/4″ – 1/2″ above the gravel now to allow for sinkage.
* The dust (be prepared, landscape rock comes with a lot of dust!) was removed from the area by giving it a strong hosing down. We only hosed for a few minutes because of our drought here in California.
* The 3/4″ rock was laid in the driveway strip. I used the larger size here because it doesn’t track in on your shoes. And, visually, the contrast in size is appealing to me.
* The table & chair set was put back. Time to enjoy the outdoor life here in coastal Southern California!
In the ideal world, I would do this maintenance every 3 years. My front yard doesn’t get heavy foot traffic nor have we had a lot of rain here in Santa Barbara in the last 3 years. If your climate is harsher or your gravel landscaping (whether it be a path, driveway, seating area, etc) gets more wear and tear, then you’ll probably have to do the replenishing more often.
By the way, my back yard is a whole lot “weedier” than this front yard so pulling out unwanted plant materials is not an issue. I love everything about the rock ground cover in my front yard. The look, lack of maintenance, zero water usage and sound underfoot all make my heart sing!
On the side that borders the street, I did raised beds. Yes, more plants!
C’mon, take a virtual tour of my garden.
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