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The New Gravel Backyard: 10 Inspiring Landscape Designs

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The New Gravel Backyard: 10 Inspiring Landscape Designs

May 13, 2019

We’ve pondered over our neglected backyard for years now. Our garden deserves more than a weed-filled lawn and a few patches of dirt. This year we hired a landscape architect to help put our ideas to paper, and now we’re finally ready to fix the landscape.

The design is simple, manicured, and geometric; the 60-by-60-square-foot backyard will be lined in a horizontal cedar fence, following straight planting beds (think lots of boxwood shrubs), geometric gravel paths, and centered with a square lawn in the middle. Look at these 10 geometric backyard gardens with gravel paving, and you’ll see what inspired me.

Quartz Gravel

These garden paths are lined with pearly quartz gravel. The gravel also functions as a transition between the hardscaping of the terrace and the softer garden plantings. For more, see Landscape Architect Visit: A London Terrace Gets a Grownup Update from del Buono Gazerwitz.
Above: These garden paths are lined with pearly quartz gravel. The gravel also functions as a transition between the hardscaping of the terrace and the softer garden plantings. For more, see Landscape Architect Visit: A London Terrace Gets a Grownup Update from del Buono Gazerwitz.

Pavers in Gravel

Designer Naomi Sanders edges a gravel hardscape with tightly clipped borders of box to create a dramatic contrast between gray and green. Photograph by Jennifer Roper. For more of this garden, see Before & After: A Grande Dame in LA&#8
Above: Designer Naomi Sanders edges a gravel hardscape with tightly clipped borders of box to create a dramatic contrast between gray and green. Photograph by Jennifer Roper. For more of this garden, see Before & After: A Grande Dame in LA’s Hancock Park.

Gravel and Boxwood

Paved with gravel, a patio complements adjacent bluestone pavers. Boxwood balls planted in straight rows create symmetry in this Brooklyn garden enclosed by a slatted wood fence. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. For more of this garden, see our Gardenista Book.
Above: Paved with gravel, a patio complements adjacent bluestone pavers. Boxwood balls planted in straight rows create symmetry in this Brooklyn garden enclosed by a slatted wood fence. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. For more of this garden, see our Gardenista Book.

Gravel Pit

Photograph by Jack Thompson courtesy of Robertson Design. A gravel pit centered in a wood deck creates a serene symmetry.
Above: Photograph by Jack Thompson courtesy of Robertson Design. A gravel pit centered in a wood deck creates a serene symmetry.

Modern Gravel

In a Brooklyn backyard, garden designer Brook Klausing edged limestone pavers with crushed limestone dust mixed with gravel. “It’s a very modern look, but I tried to soften it with the gravel and plantings, like the ferns in the gravel,” says Klausing. For more of this garden, see Designer Visit: Brook Klausing Elevates a Brooklyn Backyard. Photograph via Brook Landscape.
Above: In a Brooklyn backyard, garden designer Brook Klausing edged limestone pavers with crushed limestone dust mixed with gravel. “It’s a very modern look, but I tried to soften it with the gravel and plantings, like the ferns in the gravel,” says Klausing. For more of this garden, see Designer Visit: Brook Klausing Elevates a Brooklyn Backyard. Photograph via Brook Landscape.

Gravel Lawn

A gravel &#8
Above: A gravel “lawn” surrounded by graceful ferns looks airy and green. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Gravel Patio

Landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck&#8
Above: Landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck’s gravel patio in her walled garden in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Gravel and Grass

A small lawn of turf grass is bordered by straight planting beds; a row of hydrangeas marches alongside a gravel path. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: A small lawn of turf grass is bordered by straight planting beds; a row of hydrangeas marches alongside a gravel path. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Gravel Fire Pit

 Photograph by Jim Powell for Gardenista. Surrounded by woodland, a gravel seating circle surrounds a fire pit and provides a buffer between sparks and the garden. For more of this project, see Lessons Learned: From “Neglected” Slope to Charming Garden, in South London.
Above: Photograph by Jim Powell for Gardenista. Surrounded by woodland, a gravel seating circle surrounds a fire pit and provides a buffer between sparks and the garden. For more of this project, see Lessons Learned: From “Neglected” Slope to Charming Garden, in South London.

Gravel Squares

This geometric garden in a Brooklyn backyard, designed by Susan Welti of Foras Studio, features bluestone pavers, pea gravel, and square flower beds.
Above: This geometric garden in a Brooklyn backyard, designed by Susan Welti of Foras Studio, features bluestone pavers, pea gravel, and square flower beds.

For more backyard inspiration (and gravel), see:

Finally, learn how to successfully use gravel in a hardscape project with our Hardscaping 101: Gravel Guide.

N.B.: This is an update of a post published on August 10, 2015.

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