If you’re looking to restore a historic Williamsburg look to your landscape or want to add some color without planting flowers, pea gravel may be what you’re looking for. It comes in a variety of colors that can be mixed or used in just one shade for a monochromatic effect. Calculate how much gravel you will need for an area by measuring the length and width and multiplying the numbers together. Multiply this number by the desired depth in feet you want the gravel. This will give you the cubic feet of gravel needed; to convert to cubic yards, divide by 27.
Shades Depend on Location
Think pea gravel and usually the first image to come to mind is small, smooth milky-beige colored stones. These are popular colors, but pea gravel comes in a variety of colors, including grays and shades of white. It gets its color from minerals in the earth where its formed, so different shades are formed in different geographical locations. A shade that may not be available in your area may be available in another state, but keep in mind the farther the gravel has to be shipped, the greater the cost.
A Garden of Calm
Layer a garden path with a shade of deep red pea gravel through a bed containing purple foliage, and you'll create a calming effect, because red and purple are analogous colors that promote tranquility. They are also warm colors, which appear closer than they are. Use them at the back of a long, rectangular lot to make it appear shallower and more square. A monochromatic color scheme of blue flowers, mulched with a bluish shade of pea gravel, will evoke a serene feeling.
Colors that Disappear
Cool colors, like pinks and blues, appear much further away than they are, making them hard to see from a distance. Use them in areas where you don't want pea gravel noticed or show them off by placing them in beds near driveways where they can be viewed up close. Create a garden path with pink pea gravel, and then lay white stepping stones on it. The contrasting colors will turn the stepping stones into garden features, letting walkers know exactly where to step.
Pea gravel gets its name because of its small size and that it is shaped like a garden pea. Sellers class it into small and large sizes. Small sizes are less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Large sizes range from 1/2 inch to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Try mixing sizes of the same shades of milky brown gravel to give your garden beds more texture. Alternatively, put small brown pea gravel in your beds and use the same color in a larger size gravel to make a pathway leading to your front door.
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- Colorado State University Extension: Mulching with Wood/Bark Chips, Grass Clippings, and Rock
- Landscape Calculator: Stone and Mulch Calculators
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