View Full Version : Gravel/hardscape

09-04-2004, 10:26 PM
I'm not sure it this is the correct forum, but it seemed to be the closest, so....

I am going to be landscaping my yard soon. I only want lawn in a limited area (under my clotheslines) due to both the cost of maintaining a nice-looking lawn and my limited time for gardening. I hope to do most new planting with California natives.

My ideal groundcover for most of the yard will gravel or stone of one sort or another, but I don't want it to look like a parking lot. I usually walk barefoot, so that is also a consideration. I would appreciate any suggestions as to various kinds of hardscape/gravel that will look nice and not be too expensive, how deep to lay gravel and how much it takes to cover an area, whether to lay it directly on the dirt or use a liner, and how to punctuate the ground cover with drought-tolerant plants so that there is a nice display. Thanks!

10-02-2004, 09:50 AM
If you prefer stone over a thick layer of mulch and native ground cover, I would consider using gravel/sand and flagstone.

Dig the area down 4". Then lay landscape fabric. Next rake in 2" of gravel/sand. Wet and tamp. Then lay down 2" thick flagstone as pavers and fill in gaps with gravel. Wet and tamp. A native groundcover can be planted between flagstones as well. With the proper design. It could be very attractive

10-06-2004, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the "how-to", Mike. I hadn't really thought of live material for ground cover, but I will consider it. Certainly it will look nicer in the front yard than just gravel. My main criteria are low water usage, low maintenance, and easy on bare feet!

10-07-2004, 01:39 PM
When we landscaped 3 years ago, we used flagstone set in decomposed granite, not mortar, for a rough, country look. The DG is not easy on bare feet, but compact and hard enough to hold the flagstone firmly. We did all paths, major and minor, this way. If we had to do it again, we would use woodchip mulch for the minor paths, as they are easier to reroute or widen or shrink. DG and flagstone are near permanent, and are good for patios and seating areas.

We now have a low maintenance garden full of natives, and couldn't be happier.