When aiming for a low-maintenance landscape that requires very little to no watering, decorating with pebbles is a way to cover areas of the landscape with contrasting natural materials. Pebbles, or small rocks, can cover specific areas of the landscape or meander through it as dry paths and walkways. Plan the design of your pebble landscape using complementary pebble colors and drought-tolerant, full-sun plants that work well together in a dry landscape design.
Rather than pave a landscape's paths with concrete or asphalt, use pebbles to define walkways throughout the yard. Use finer grades of pebbles since they are easier on the feet than large pebbles. Walkways are a functional way to add and show off the color choice of the pebbles. Pebbles are available in different colors, including white, gray, beige, burgundy and a mixture of these colors. Place slate stepping stones along the path to add contrasting colors and textures. Planning the walkways to flow organically around the landscape's existing vegetation will add decorative interest to the landscape design.
Design an outdoor patio space with pebbles. Mark the outline of an area near the house for the patio, put down a weed barrier to prevent weeds from growing in the area and fill it in with pebbles. Framing the outline of the patio area with brick or stone edging will give the patio area a neat appearance and prevent the pebbles from spilling over into the neighboring parts of the landscape. Arrange a few chairs, a table or even a fire pit for socializing so you can enjoy this new outdoor room.
Use pebble landscaping to make a grilling area. Frame out a section of the landscape with edging and fill it in with pebbles to make a barbecue area in the yard away from the grass, bushes and trees.
Make a dramatic design statement using pebbles in the driveway. White and gray are common pebble colors, but beige, burgundy and a mixed color palette will make the driveway pop with style.
Use pebbles around the bushes as an alternative to wood mulch. Cover the area with a weed barrier that allows water to pass through and then place the pebbles around the base of the bush. The pebbles will keep the soil beneath it moist, and it will allow the water to reach the roots of the shrub.
Accenting Focal Points
A birdbath, a water fountain, a boulder or garden art can be a centerpiece feature of a pebble landscape. Use pebbles to highlight a focal point in the yard. By framing the area with stones, pavers or edging and filling it in with pebbles, this sets the focal point area apart from the rest of the landscape and will make it stand out in the yard.
Landscaping with pebbles can be more than an accent area or two in the yard. Xeriscaping takes landscaping with low- to no-maintenance gardening elements to a new level. The concept is to plan and design a garden space that conserves water by using less turf grass, more native, drought-resistant plantings and maintenance-free natural elements. Using pebbles to cover vast areas of a landscape conserves water and preserves the integrity of the underlying soil. Adding attractive drought-resistant plantings and planning a creative, decorative landscape design will transform a plain outdoor space into a uniquely beautiful garden.