Landscaping your garden can be a daunting experience, as there are many different styles to choose from for inspiration. However, one thing that stays the same whatever style you choose is the materials. Here are the top sevennatural materials used in garden landscaping.
Bark chippings are readily available. They create lovely natural mulch to place around plants and trees. As well as the aesthetic quality, there are many great advantages to using mulches over other materials.
- Mulches help soils retain their moisture in the summer. This means that you will not need to water as often, as the bark traps and holds any moisture present.
- Mulches protect plant roots from the elements. Since bark chippings once protected the trees they came off, it’s common sense that they will offer protection to the plants you spread the mulch around. The insulating properties ensure that extreme temperatures are kept at bay.
- Mulches offer protection from weeds. By covering the soil with bark, you cut off the light supply to the soil so any weeds that try to grow will just wither and die. Freshly shredded conifer bark can be on the toxic side to other plants, which is probably why you won’t find much of anything else growing in a coniferous forest
- Mulches provide a barrier between the soil and the plants. This is useful if you grow crops like squash or pumpkin for example, as it stops the fruit from coming into contact with the soil, which could cause rot to set in.
Slate is a natural, beautifully hardwearing material. It comes in different hues from blues to reds and greens. Slate has a varied range of applications with many advantages, making it an ideal landscaping material for your garden. Offering a stylish contemporary look, slate is often used as a cost effective alternative to block paving. The colors in the slate really come alive when wet; as such, it makes a great addition in water features.
Granite comes in different forms when used in landscaping. You can get decomposed granite, which is the fine, sandy like result of erosion, and more stable than gravel, as well as the normal granite rocks that come in different sizes.
Decomposed granite is an ideal material for areas that suffer from drought, especially when used with drought tolerant plants. Granite comes in all different colors and makes a great material for areas of high foot traffic. Granite rocks can also be used to great effect in alpine rock gardens and can complement the soft hues of alpine plants, although when making a rock garden, it will look more natural if you have the rock’s grain running in the same direction, and sloping back slightly.
Pea gravel is a very popular material for driveways, as well as filling in the spaces between plants on rockeries. It is readily available and relatively cheap, making it an ideal material to use when on a budget. Pea gravel is a useful alternative to paving slabs when making a patio, as it has its own advantages. When using slabs, they have to have a fall so water runs away. Pea gravel on the other hand has the advantage that water drains straight through it, so it is advisable to lay a garden membrane underneath to stop mud from coming to the surface.
Pebbles can provide an aesthetic focus to a hard landscaped garden. Pebbles are distinctly round in nature and can make an interesting addition to borders, as well as rock pools and waterfalls. A glass bowl filled with layers of different colored pebbles can provide a nice focus point to a garden.
Stone chippings come in a varied range of colors and are ideally suited for driveways, walkways, and a good covering material for borders. You can make interesting patterns by combining different types of stone chippings, and if you are of an artistic nature, you might even try to create a mosaic with them.
Created from recycled glass materials, glass pebbles add a distinct style to any landscaping project. Due to the way the glass is made, color is impregnated when it is melted, so it does not fade over time and can bring a splash of color to an otherwise dull garden.
When planning any landscaping project, it is advisable to use a landscape rock estimator to give you an idea of the quantities of materials you need.