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Creating gravel area for garden furniture

(22 Posts)
cablydably Sun 17-Mar-19 15:47:49

See pic - we've just removed some rotten decking from this corner of our garden and we are thinking of replacing it with some gravel so we can still use the corner for outdoor dining. I'm assuming we can do that fairly simply - just put down some membrane to stop weeds, then put the gravel on top. Or am I missing something?

BobTheDuvet Sun 17-Mar-19 17:34:04

If you don't want gravel in the grass jamming your mower you will need a barrier of some sort, and it would be best if the gravel level is not higher than the grass so if it were me (and I recently installed a gravel area next to grass) I'd dig down about 7-10cm before putting in the membrane. That also allows for a decent depth of gravel.

AmIAWeed Sun 17-Mar-19 18:19:54

Digging out and removing mud is a faff, especially if you need a skip to get rid of the mud, but you definitely need something between the grass and gravel. I've used bricks half sunk to achieve this and that's worked well, even better of you can get reclaimed ones for free from people wanting to get rid after demolition work.
Get the thickest membrane you can, great for stopping weeds but also stopping the stones going through to the mud too much, I can tell which areas I out membrane down and didn't by how often I top up the gravel!

BobTheDuvet Sun 17-Mar-19 18:45:27

I chucked my dug out top soil in a raised bed that needed topping up. A small depth of digging does create a surprising amount to dispose of, its true.

cablydably Mon 18-Mar-19 08:17:16

Thanks both - that's helpful.

Does the brick border need to be cemented in or will the gravel hold them in place?

senua Mon 18-Mar-19 09:07:44

If it's for a dining area then you will want a stable table (and chairs!) Would paving be better for that?

BobTheDuvet Mon 18-Mar-19 09:30:39

My border is made from decking boards on end, dug down into the soil
Between the grass and gravel. I think brick would need cementing which is what put me off it!

EcclesThePeacock Mon 18-Mar-19 10:46:47

Is there any particular reason for gravel rather than paving? The former might initially be cheaper and quicker but I think it might have a lot of downsides. I reckon I'd want to leave a border against the wall and fence so I could grow plenty up them, then pave an area, coming further out to at least partially overlap the steps. Apart from the furniture I'd have loads of pots on it.

bebeboeuf Tue 19-Mar-19 14:44:56

I have a gravel area (slates) and paved area and fine it’s dofficult to sit on patio furniture on the gravel as the legs sink

cablydably Thu 18-Apr-19 06:33:52

Would a layer of sand under the gravel help to stabilise it do you think?

BobTheDuvet Thu 18-Apr-19 08:15:38

I have recently made a gravel base to put a playhouse on. I used a plastic shedbase like this

It was really easy and a great result. You dig down a bit, but not too much. Level off and compact the soil, add a layer of hardcore, then then plastic base and fill it with gravel. It has given a really nice level firm surface. I don't know how it would be with furniture on it though - I have not tried that and it's now covered mainly with the playhouse base.

BobTheDuvet Thu 18-Apr-19 08:16:13

Sand would not help - the gravel would sink into it!

ACurlyWurly Thu 18-Apr-19 09:18:42

I laid a gravel patio after posting on MN and everyone was saying do slabs its better for siting on. I knew best and wanted instant results and cheap so put down gravel. I then had the added expense when I took it all up again and laid slabs as the table and chairs would sink.

I now have gravel in borders and pathways but for seating area i think you need more solid. As it turned out by buying cheapest slabs I could and sand for bedding in find it cost a similar amount to gravel and I laid it myself after watching loads of You Tube videos. It was a similar sized area to yours and it only took an afternoon to lay. 3 years later it still looks good and i only have one slab which needs lifting and relaying where it has sunk slightly (probably where I ran out of sand)

lapofhonour5 Thu 18-Apr-19 09:21:10

You can get something called ecogrid to make a base for gravel. We have a gravel area around our raised beds and I got some flat rounded lengths of wood (don’t know the correct term sorry) to make an edging.

Floralnomad Thu 18-Apr-19 09:24:03

If you have cats in your neighbourhood be aware that they use gravel like a big litter tray .

cablydably Thu 18-Apr-19 09:38:54

I was now thinking of maybe using something like blue slate in 10cm diameter pieces instead of gravel. Someone I know used it recently and have a bench on it. They filled their garden pond in with sand then put the slate on top. It looks very stable, but I suppose I didn't actually walk or sit on it.

bilbodog Thu 18-Apr-19 10:47:25

We have a table and chairs on gravel and the chairs do sink in a but - i just sit and wiggle the chair until it stops sinking and then its fine. Elderly people find it more of a problem. You could get some large cheap slabs and put them down with gravel round the edges and in between the slabs?

cestlavielife Thu 18-Apr-19 11:17:53

No isdue with furniture on gravel but Tons of seeds.come.up.thru the membrane and gravel. Flame thrower is fun to use ...

Villanellesproudmum Thu 18-Apr-19 12:20:38

This is mine, mud dug down, fabric weed membrane and white Cotswolds stones which are bigger than gravel so no cats digging. No weeds or furniture issues. But the gravel, grass barrier is a must. Trying to attach image.

Villanellesproudmum Thu 18-Apr-19 12:22:48

No won’t let me attach

Villanellesproudmum Thu 18-Apr-19 12:23:57

This is what I have anyway

peridito Thu 18-Apr-19 14:15:11

How about doing something along lines of bilbodog suggestion - gravel with a few paving stones ,the smaller ones from Wickes/Homebase for the chairs and table to stand on ?

And an edge to stop gravel escaping - you can get that green metal edging easily .

Of course if money were no object a lovely hardsurface of beautiful tiles/paviours or even the new plastic composite decking made from bambo or recycled plastic could work .

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