How to Landscape Gravel - Sunset

Landscaping with Gravel IDEAS

Ideas / January 31, 2019

We’ve pondered over our neglected backyard for three years now. In other words, our garden deserves more than a weed-filled lawn and a few patches of dirt. This year we hired a landscape architect to help put our ideas to paper, and now we’re finally ready to fix the landscape.

The design is simple, manicured, and geometric; the 60-by-60-square-foot backyard will be lined in a horizontal cedar fence, following straight planting beds (think lots of boxwood shrubs), geometric gravel paths, and centered with a square lawn in the middle. Look at these 10 geometric backyard gardens with gravel paving, and you’ll see what inspired me.

Quartz Gravel

Above: These garden paths are lined with pearly quartz gravel. The gravel also functions as a transition between the hardscaping of the terrace and the softer garden plantings. For more, see Landscape Architect Visit: A London Terrace Gets a Grownup Update from del Buono Gazerwitz.

Naomi Sanders Hancock Park garden by Jennifer Roper.Pavers in Gravel

Above: Designer Naomi Sanders edges a gravel hardscape with tightly clipped borders of box to create a dramatic contrast between gray and green. Photograph by Jennifer Roper.

Gravel and Boxwood

Above: Paved with gravel, a patio complements adjacent bluestone pavers. Boxwood balls planted in straight rows create symmetry in this Brooklyn garden enclosed by a slatted wood fence. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. For more of this garden, see our Gardenista Book.

Brooklyn garden by Matthew Williams for GardenistaGravel Pit

Above: Photograph by Jack Thompson courtesy of Robertson Design.

A gravel pit centered in a wood deck creates a serene symmetry.

Modern Gravel

Above: In a Brooklyn backyard, garden designer Brook Klausing edged limestone pavers with crushed limestone dust mixed with gravel. “It’s a very modern look, but I tried to soften it with the gravel and plantings, like the ferns in the gravel, ” says Klausing. For more of this garden, see Designer Visit: Brook Klausing Elevates a Brooklyn Backyard. Photograph via Brook Landscape.

Gravel Fire Pit

Surrounded by woodland, a gravel seating circle surrounds a fire pit and provides a buffer between sparks and the garden. For more of this project, see Lessons Learned: From “Neglected” Slope to Charming Garden, in South London.