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The Ultimate Guide to Using Decorative Aggregates - Ashbrook Roofing Supplies

The Ultimate Guide to Using Decorative Aggregates - Ashbrook Roofing Supplies

In the world of landscaping and outdoor design, the smallest details can make the biggest difference. Enter decorative aggregates – the unsung heroes of outdoor decor. From adding texture and colour to pathways and flower beds to creating stunning focal points in gardens, decorative aggregates offer endless possibilities for elevating your outdoor space.


What are Decorative Aggregates?

Decorative aggregates are a diverse range of materials used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of outdoor areas. These materials come in various shapes, sizes, colours, and textures, allowing for versatile and creative landscaping designs. From gravel and chippings to cobbles and pebbles, decorative aggregates offer a natural and visually pleasing alternative to traditional paving materials.


Gravel, Chippings, and Cobbles: What's the Difference?

While often used interchangeably, gravel, chippings, and cobbles are distinct types of decorative aggregates, each with its own characteristics and applications.

Gravel: Gravel consists of small, rounded stones ranging in size from 2mm to 75mm. It's versatile and commonly used for pathways, driveways, and drainage solutions. Gravel comes in various colours, including natural tones like beige, brown, and grey, as well as more vibrant options like red and blue.

Chippings: Chippings are larger than gravel, typically ranging from 5mm to 20mm in size. They are angular or irregularly shaped and often used as mulch in flower beds, around trees and shrubs, or as decorative accents in garden borders. Chippings are available in a wide range of colours, including granite, slate, and marble, offering plenty of options to complement your landscaping design.

Cobbles: Cobbles are the largest of the three, measuring over 20mm in size. These rounded or irregularly shaped stones add a rustic charm to outdoor spaces and are commonly used for edging, water features, and as focal points in gardens. Cobbles are available in natural stone or recycled materials, giving you the flexibility to choose the perfect option for your design scheme.


Best Ways to Display Decorative Aggregates

Now that you know the difference between gravel, chippings, and cobbles, let's explore the best ways to incorporate these decorative aggregates into your outdoor space:

Pathways and Driveways: Create inviting pathways and driveways by layering gravel or chippings over a compacted base. Choose a colour and size that complements your home's exterior and landscaping style for a cohesive look.

Garden Borders: Define garden borders and flower beds with a layer of chippings or cobbles. This not only adds visual interest but also helps to suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil.

Water Features: Enhance the tranquillity of your outdoor oasis with the soothing sound of water cascading over cobbles or pebbles in a fountain or pond. The natural texture and colour of decorative aggregates add to the aesthetic appeal of water features.

Mulch and Ground Cover: Replace traditional mulch with decorative aggregates to add texture and colour to garden beds while reducing maintenance. Chippings and gravel are excellent options for suppressing weeds and conserving moisture in the soil.

Accent Pieces: Use decorative aggregates as accent pieces or focal points in your garden design. Whether it's a cluster of cobbles surrounded by lush foliage or a striking sculpture nestled among gravel, these materials can add visual interest and create unique outdoor vignettes.


How to Install Decorative Aggregates

Installing decorative aggregates requires careful planning and proper execution to achieve the desired results. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless installation process:

  1. Prepare the Area: Start by clearing the area of any existing vegetation, debris, or obstacles. Use a shovel, rake, or garden hoe to level the ground and remove any weeds or roots that could interfere with the installation.
  2. Create a Base: Depending on the intended use of the decorative aggregates, you may need to create a stable base to support the weight of the material. For pathways and driveways, excavate the area to a depth of at least 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) and compact the soil using a hand tamper or mechanical compactor.
  3. Install Edging: To contain the decorative aggregates and prevent them from spreading, install edging along the perimeter of the area. This can be done using plastic or metal landscape edging, concrete pavers, or natural stone borders. Secure the edging in place with stakes or adhesive as needed.
  4. Lay Weed Barrier: To minimize weed growth and maintain the integrity of the installation, lay a weed barrier fabric over the prepared base. Trim the fabric to fit the area and secure it in place using landscape fabric staples or pins.
  5. Spread the Aggregates: Once the base and edging are in place, it's time to spread the decorative aggregates evenly over the surface. Use a shovel, wheelbarrow, or spreader to distribute the material, ensuring uniform coverage and the desired thickness.
  6. Compact the Aggregates: To ensure stability and longevity, compact the decorative aggregates using a hand tamper or mechanical compactor. This helps to lock the material in place and create a firm, level surface.
  7. Add Finishing Touches: Once the aggregates are compacted, take a moment to inspect the installation and make any necessary adjustments. Use a broom or rake to sweep away any excess material and create clean edges along pathways and borders.
  8. Regular Maintenance: To keep your decorative aggregates looking their best, perform regular maintenance tasks such as sweeping, weeding, and re-levelling as needed. Over time, replenish the material as it settles or gets displaced due to foot traffic or weather conditions.

By following these steps, you can install decorative aggregates with confidence and create a stunning outdoor space that's both functional and visually appealing. Whether you're enhancing a pathway, creating a garden border, or adding a focal point to your landscape design, decorative aggregates offer endless possibilities for transforming your outdoor oasis.

In conclusion, decorative aggregates offer a simple yet effective way to enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. Whether you prefer the understated elegance of gravel, the versatility of chippings, or the rustic charm of cobbles, there's a decorative aggregate to suit every style and landscaping need. So why wait? Transform your outdoor oasis with the timeless appeal of decorative aggregates today!

Here at Ashbrook Roofing Supplies, we stock a wide variety of decorative aggregates, from Chippings to cobbles, and gravel to slate, we stock almost everything you can think of.

We also offer 20KG bags and bulk bags version of each aggregate, so we can get you the exact amount you need.

If you're after something other than rocks, we can also supply decorative bark, so you can give your landscape that more natural feel!

If you have any questions or require further information then please do  not hesitate to contact us on:

Phone: 01629 732988

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