Raking a gravel garden will keep it clean and orderly. It also offers a form of meditation in motion, an interaction with the arid landscape in a karesansui garden (which means “dry mountains and water”). Some rakes are suitable for both actions: cleaning out fallen leaves and debris, smoothing the surface with the back of the rake, and raking lines through the rock as desired. Here’s our list of favorite gravel rakes in wood and metal.
For a good read from the custodian of a gravel garden at the University of Florida, see Pulling the Rake: A Practical Guide to Raking a Karesansui Garden.
Above: The Handmade Beech Zen Rake is designed for sand and gravel with prongs that can be sawn off to make wider gaps as desired; £50.22 at Japan Garden ($63 USD). Contact Japan Garden about shipping rates.
Above: The Faithful Wooden Hay Rake is based on the traditional haywainers pattern with a wide head and long reach for gathering straw, hay, grass, or debris. It can also be used to make a pattern in gravel after the debris is gone; $28.95 at Amazon.
Above: The Timber Rake is handmade in Oamaru, New Zealand from the strong wood of the Oamaru street tree. It’s oiled with a mix of linseed and vegetable turpentine and finished with beeswax; $185 NZD ($134 USD) at Garden Objects.
Above: A long Traditional Wooden Garden Rake stands 63 inches tall with a wide head and 12 dowel teeth and is made of beech; £19.95 ($25 USD) at Quick Crop in the UK. Note that Quick Crop delivers within the UK and across European countries only.
Above: The Japanese Zen Gravel Rake is 48 inches tall and is made in the US in unfinished oak; $119 at Land & Garden.
Above: From Cheesebrough of Freeport, Michigan, the Landscaping Rod Rake with Rod Frame has closely set teeth; $85 at Scythe Supply.
Above: The Midwest Aluminum Landscape Rake has a long 30-inch head with rounded teeth to keep from gouging the ground beneath the gravel; $53.35 at Amazon.
Above: The PKS Copper Rake Perseus has 13 copper teeth with rounded edges; €87 at Fruit Hill Farm.
Above: The Gillhams Gravel Rake is designed for the large gravel garden and cuts down on hours of raking with a simple design that can be dragged across the surface; £108 including VAT from Gillhams Gravel Rake in the UK. Gillhams Gravel Rake does ship outside the UK; contact for more information.
Above: The Faithful FAIALR Aluminum Landscape Rake is designed for leveling sand and gravel with a 27-inch head and 18 aluminum teeth; $24.95 on Amazon.
For more of our favorite gravel garden ideas, see:
- Hardscaping 101: Gravel Gardens
- Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel
- Low-Cost Luxe: 9 Pea Gravel Patio Ideas to Steal
- Expert Advice: 11 Tips for Gravel Garden Design
- Required Reading: Beth Chatto’s 5 Favorite Flowers for a Gravel Garden
Finally, learn how to successfully use gravel in a hardscape project with our Hardscaping 101: Gravel guide.