Garden gravel is often used for aesthetic purposes, but it also can be an excellent way to discourage weeds, protect the roots of plants from sun damage and help keep the area moist. This kind of gravel is available in different shapes, sizes and colors, using many kinds of materials, such as marble, terrazzo chips or pea stone. Some rocks have jagged edges, while others are rounded and smooth, such as polished rocks in colors of red, black and tiger stripe. Tumbled marble garden gravel usually has a lighter color and courser texture and may be used to brighten an area or as a background for colorful plants. Sea glass pebbles can add vibrant colors to a garden, with cobalt blue, bright red and yellow pebbles made from recycled, frosted glass.
Generally, garden gravel falls into two categories: utility and decorative. While utility gravel is usually somewhat plainer and offers fewer color options, it can be used in many of the same ways as its more fashionable counterpart in places where appearance is not as important. On the other hand, decorative gravel can make the garden a focal point, with its bright colors and unusual textures. Both types of garden gravel are usually easy to install and maintain as well as being long lasting and environmentally friendly.
Landscaping a garden with gravel may make plantings stand out and give the garden a finished, almost manicured look. It can also provide a place to walk between rows of plants when tending to the garden. Some homeowners get creative and decide to create a rock garden, which mixes different types of garden gravel, using colors and grains in a backyard space that may be ideal for sitting, reading a book, or enjoying a pond. These multicolored rocks can be laid in decorative patterns or pictures and may be redesigned or added to if needed.
Sometimes different types of garden gravel are combined to display an attractive and healthy garden area. For instance, polished red pebbles may be laid next to white beach pebbles to delineate certain areas of a garden. If a more rugged look is desired, unpolished rocks in brown, black lava or deep green colors may give a garden a more natural, earthy feel. For gardens that need color, usually sea glass garden pebbles are used since they offer brilliant colors such as aqua, orange or pink, creating a garden area that is colorful even in the grey months of winter.