Decorative gravel can be a brilliant way to enliven and enrich your garden. Here are our top tips for maintaining its beautiful look for years to come. There are many ways to use decorative stones and chippings to create focal points, patios and other areas within your garden space. Whether you have a gravel path, driveway or other feature, with the help of our brilliant landscape designer, Matt, we’ve compiled our top tips for long-lasting gravel. 

  1. Lay on permeable membrane

Before you lay any form of gravel, you must ensure you have laid a permeable membrane. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it helps to prevent weeds from growing and ruining the effect of your beautiful gravel stones. As the membrane is permeable, it will allow water and other elements to permeate through the soil below. Not only that, it will help to maintain the clean and crisp appearance of your stone chippings by creating a barrier between the stones and soil. 

When choosing the right permeable membrane for your choice of gravel, ensure that you choose the one that is designed for the purpose of your gravelled area as they may differ depending on if it is going to be laid in a high-traffic area such as a driveway or pathway. 

Gravel path feature in English countryside
Image Credit: Mark Foster
  1. Control your weeds

Whilst your permeable membrane will prevent weeds from growing upwards, it can’t prevent weed growth from surface weeds for example if seeds have been dropped by birds. To ensure the longevity of your gravel, regularly weed the area to prevent unsightly regrowth. 

The easiest way and most environmentally friendly way to remove weeds from gravel is to pull them up by hand! Do this every time you spot a new weed to keep your gravel looking sharp, all year round.

Gravel path covered in weeds
Image Credit:  Akira Deng

3.Choose a high-quality gravel

One of the main elements to consider when choosing your gravel is its durability. Ensure you choose a garden gravel that is robust to challenging weather conditions and hard-wearing against heavy traffic. Our range of decorative gravels were designed in collaboration with the National Trust, highlighting their unrivalled quality and hardwearing nature. 

Gravel patio dining area in garden
Image Credit: Camile Brodard

4. Clear winter debris

In the cold autumn and winter months, it can be easy to forget (or avoid) raking and removing any stray leaves or weeds that appear amongst your gravel. Ensure you keep on top of this to prevent damage to your gravel and keep it looking fresh for the spring and summer ahead!

Gravel path next to greenhouse
Image Credit: Annie Spratt
  1. Lightly rake occasionally

In order to avoid bald patches and an uneven surface for your garden gravel, it is crucial to lightly rake every so often. Not only will this help you to remove any unwanted debris such as leaves and twigs, it will also break up any compacted areas and create a more even surface. 

If you want to take it a step further, you can also create some beautiful and intricate patterns within your gravel which can add interest and an element of refinement to your garden. 

Patterns in raked gravel
Image Credit: Ryan Schram
  1. Clean with diluted patio cleaner 

If your gravel is looking a little worse for wear, it doesn’t harm to clean it with a diluted patio cleaner or simply with water to get it looking as good as new, once again! Using a brush, lightly scrub the stones until any dirt or stains are lessened or fully removed. Avoid using a jet wash or hose pipe as this will cause major disruption to your gravel and you may be finding stones in your lawn for a while afterwards! 

Top Tip: Ensure you don’t brush too vigorously to avoid damaging the gravel stones!

  1. Enjoy!

Last but definitely not least, enjoy your garden gravel for years to come! After all your hard work, it’s time to enjoy the beautiful space you’ve created. 

Golden retriever laying on gravel stone path
Image Credit: Jamie Street

For more tips and tricks, keep up to date with our blog!