How to Use Grey Granite in the Garden
Aggregates are among the most multifunctional and versatile groups of products in the landscaping and construction world. With their use as a large part of concrete – usually about 60-80% of the final mix – and as foundations for roads, bridges and buildings, they’re one of the most commonplace yet least visible materials around.
Aggregates also have plenty of uses in the garden. Grey granite is one of the most popular choices in this regard, and this article will examine some of the best ways you can enjoy its multiple benefits in your home’s outside spaces.
Grey granite is perhaps best known as being a naturally attractive aggregate, but granite generally is also extremely tough and durable. In fact, it’s one of the toughest aggregates of all, which is why it is often used as a sub base for roads and buildings. That combination of strength and decorative appearance makes it a great choice for use on driveways, where it is strong enough to easily cope with years of being driven and walked on without losing any of its shape or visual appeal.
It won’t need its durable qualities so much here, but it certainly adds a delightfully decorative touch to any garden when used to create winding paths across lawns or between flower beds. It’ll look even better if you add some railway sleepers to create ‘steps’ along the way.
Soil – or mud, as it is more regularly and prosaically known – has many benefits and plus points to its name, but you’ll very rarely find people waxing lyrical over its appearance. If you’re going for busy beds and borders with lots of plants and flowers packed closely together, no one’s going to notice what they’re sitting in; but if you’re giving your plants plenty of room to breathe, wouldn’t some grey granite pieces look far better filling the gaps than brown mud?
You’d think that durability and decorativeness would be enough for one aggregate, but grey granite has another trick up its sleeve – it’s one of the best choices for use in and around water features like garden ponds. That’s partly because, unlike some other aggregates, it has no effect on water quality, but also because it looks even better wet than it does dry!
We’ve so far been talking about how attractive and durable grey granite is for a number of garden applications, but it also has a couple of very handy practical uses as well. The first of those can save an awful lot of time doing something very few of us enjoy but which is an essential part of maintaining a neat and tidy garden – weeding! Just put some fabric or membrane down first, lay your granite on top and you’ve got an attractive bed with nowhere for weeds to grow!
The other thing of use that grey granite does – wherever you lay it – is help to retain moisture in the soil beneath, making it a far better place for those plants you want to do well to flourish and grow (by the way, the weed suppressing fabric we just laid beneath is porous, so don’t worry about that getting in the way!).