Five Ways to Use Decorative Garden Stones in Your Landscaping
There are a wide range of colours, sizes and materials to choose from when using decorative stones to transform your garden.
Here are the benefits and five particular ways to use them in your next gardening design.
Tips for Choosing Garden Stones
Before we talk about potential uses, there are a few things to consider before placing your stone order.
A lot depends on the result you’d like to achieve, the project you have in mind, and the purpose your stones serve – whether purely aesthetic or to act as a pathway or border.
Different types of stones include:
- Gravel or stone chippings: rough and usually come in a mixture of sizes, made from larger rock slabs broken down into smaller pieces.
- Pebbles and decorative stones: smaller, smoother natural stones and typically come in sizes up to about six centimetres across.
- Boulders or natural rocks: much larger, normally chosen for building low walls or borders alongside pathways or flowerbeds.
It’s important to choose the correct types of stone because pathways and drives need robust surfacing that can withstand pressure, whereas you’ll need smaller pieces to fill gaps or use to prevent weed growth.
1. Flamingo Stone Chippings as a Decorative Drainage Solution
Aggregates and chippings are a great way to improve drainage, particularly if your garden tends to be vulnerable to flooding in wet weather.
Flamingo stone chippings have a wonderful blend of soft pinks, greys and whites, so they look elegant in any outdoor space and can be used as an alternative to fixed paving stones or as the basis for your paved areas.
You can also use chippings to make your garden easier to care for. Poor quality soil isn’t great for planting but can present an opportunity to design a rockery, alpine garden or gravel-based herb garden. Placing stone chips over the soil makes the ground more tolerant to drought periods in the summer, provides improved drainage in the winter, and can be used in sloping gardens where linear paving isn’t an option.
2. Grey Decorative Stones for Pond Landscaping
Stones are an easy way to create a wildlife ramp to help animals reach your water without any hazards, and cushion harsh edges to make your pond safer for little ones to explore.
There are countless ways to make your pond unique, and grey is a popular choice since it’s subtly tasteful and offsets the vibrant colours of pond planting and lily blooms.
You could try:
- Using Decorative Scottish Beach Cobbles – the natural charm of these stones changes when wet. They are a pale grey with pink hints that become speckled underwater.
- Black Polished Pebble Stones for a more dramatic impact. The smooth, high-shine black is visually striking and looks fantastic around ponds or water features.
If you were using stones within the pond itself, we’d recommend a natural cobble that is safe for fish and pond life – anything with heavy lime content could alter the pH of the water.
It is wise to wash your stones before use to ensure any residue is removed, even if they are pre-washed.
3. Resurfacing a Driveway With Grey Granite Stones
Silver Grey Granite Stones change from light silver when dry to a darker, richer colour in the rain – and they are perfect for a traditional driveway with a modern update.
Decorative garden stones are an affordable way to resurface larger driveway areas, and angular chips work nicely as they fit together and are firmer under wheels or feet.
We wouldn’t suggest pebbles or stones because:
- Rounder pebbles or stones are better for borders and drainage systems, as they tend to roll downhill, and aren’t as stable for walking or driving on, so you should select smaller chipping for a tighter interlocking fit.
- Porous stones and natural pebbles can attract algae if they aren’t regularly power washed, becoming slippery.
Granite is one of the most suitable gravels for driveways as many materials, such as slate, break under weight stress. The best way to resurface a driveway with grey granite stones is to lay down a firm hardcore base and install edging, applying your gravel in layers, compacting and rolling each one.
A stabilising mesh is also a good call since it’ll stop the gravel from moving around, even on sloping surfaces.
4. Designing a Garden Pathway With Flamingo Decorative Stones
Most decorative stones and aggregates are appropriate for garden pathways, laid on a sub-base, as a durable and long-lasting structure. You can use pathways in numerous ways to enhance the usability and enjoyment of your garden, from creating walking spaces around ponds to separating your lawn from play areas or making access to those quiet spots easier.
Gravel pathways are cost-effective, especially if your path is fairly long, and a finely textured stone with clay particles is an excellent option, as it won’t start to shift.
Lighter flamingo decorative stones add a little brightness to darker, shady spaces and offset your planting and trees.
5. Garden Stones for Weed Control
Just as you can use decorative stones to improve drainage, they’re also very practical if you want to curtail weed growth.
Pebbles and chips are an alternative to mulch, and you can choose between a broad range of colours, sizes and textures via our Decorative Stones collection.
A landscaping membrane underneath is advisable, as it creates a barrier to stop weeds from seeding in your soil and growing upwards through your gravel or chippings. You can cut small holes in the membrane around your bedding plants, so they have plenty of room for growth.
Another idea is to use your pebbles to fill in the edges around your patio or irregular gaps at the side of flowerbeds – they look tidy and neat while keeping weeds at bay.
We hope these suggestions from the AK Kin Garden Supplies Team have inspired you to think about designs to refresh your garden this spring! If you’d like help choosing the best-suited stones for your outdoor projects, please get in touch for any further support, and we’ll be happy to help.