Why Use Pebbles Instead of Gravel for Your Landscaping?

When you need to do some landscaping in your garden, you might want to use pebbles or gravel for decorative features, to keep back weeds or simply to create a path through your outdoor space. Plenty of people tend to think of pebbles and gravel as more or less the same thing, but there are major differences between them:

  • Gravel is made from small fragments of crushed rock, so each piece will have an angular, irregular shape.
  • Pebbles are small smooth stones that have been naturally shaped over time by water. Some are polished and tumbled to improve their appearance.

While gravel has its uses, pebbles are usually the better choice for landscaping, and here are just three reasons why.

1. Versatile Appearance

Gravel is more commonly used for its durability and practical benefits for its appearance — you're more likely to see it in commercial rather than residential settings. As such, you'll generally only find gravel in the same dull grey colour, which might not be exactly what you want to create a nice-looking garden. Pebbles offer more design options since they come in a greater range of colours. You can either have a mix of colours or pick just one to make more of a statement. Some people even use different pebble colours to create complex designs. In any case, you'll end up with something that looks more appealing than gravel.

2. More Natural

Even if you're not worried about getting the right colour, you might find that gravel looks a little too artificial for your garden. Of course, it's still a completely natural material, but crushed rock just doesn't seem as natural as pebbles because it hasn't been naturally rounded. The colour of gravel might seem like a good fit, but the material itself could look out of place next to soil, plants and turf. Pebbles offer a more natural fit.

3. More Comfortable

Gravel is often used for driveways because the pieces crush together when put under sufficient weight. This means ruts are less likely to develop. However, they can be uncomfortable underfoot thanks to all those jagged edges, and that's not going ideal when you're looking at something for your garden. Paths won't be comfortable, and any piece of gravel that escapes from where it's supposed to be will be painful when you step on it. Since pebbles are nicely rounded, they're much more comfortable to walk on.

For more information on which material to use, contact a landscape supplies store in your area.