How to Landscape a Gravel Seating Area in the Yard. Having a patch of gravel in your yard with benches or chairs placed on it can provide instant seating around your home and encourage garden guests to relax together or spend quiet time alone. Through careful landscaping, you can take the drab, open area currently on your gravel and transform it...
Having a patch of gravel in your yard with benches or chairs placed on it can provide instant seating around your home and encourage garden guests to relax together or spend quiet time alone. Through careful landscaping, you can take the drab, open area currently on your gravel and transform it into the kind of garden nook youíd like to sit in. Before you can begin planting, youíll need to consider the types of plants and accessories you want in the area and the overall look youíre going for.
Things You'll Need
Stepping stones or bricks
Trees, shrubs, plants
Consider the style of the landscaping you want to display or whether you simply want to create a relaxing atmosphere. Popular styles include colonial, Mediterranean, oriental and cottage gardens. Keep in mind whether you want the area to appear formal (often symmetrical with specific planted elements) or whether you want an informal look (asymmetrical with plant borders blend together). Use these style ideas as you make your other landscaping decisions.
Determine where you want the seats, benches or chairs to be on the gravel -- either facing away from your home, toward your home or at an angle. Place side tables as desired. Include any statuary, birdbaths, sundials or other accessories, and set them as preferred so that you know where the available space is to walk around on gravel.
Create a pathway from the main seating area to the lawn itself. This can be done simply by clearing some gravel and placing stepping stones or by setting a series of bricks or large rocks in a row to line the visual walkway over the gravel.
Choose one to three trees to line behind the seating area to create shade and reduce heat from beating down on your guests. Dwarf fruit trees can produce fruits while flowering trees can add color to the seating area when in bloom. Select medium-height trees such as lilacs or dogwood to create the shade without rising so far above the seating area that itís no longer attractive.
Select shrubs to rest near the base of the trees or surround the boundaries along the back half of the gravel area. Azaleas and juniper can provide an evergreen backdrop to the seating area year-round while ferns fill in areas quickly.
Pick perennial plants that are knee high or shorter (hosta, daylilies, lavender, salvia, phlox) to run along the sides and front of the gravel area or all the way around the gravel including the back. Donít block pathways with these plants. Vary the colorations, leaf shapes and heights of these plants to create interest.
Set up large and small planters on the gravel around the sides and behind the seating to grow plants closer to the seats without disturbing the gravel. Planters in areas like these are useful for planting topiaries, annual flowers, herbs and even vegetables. Set planters around your garden accessories (statues, birdbaths) to nestle them in rather than have them stand out.
Tips & Warnings
Keep the sun and shade availability of your space in mind as you choose plants for the area.
Substitute trees for lattice screens and climbing plants, such as clematis, ivy or roses, if desired.
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