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Decorative Stone Uses For Landscaping

One of the benefits resulting from the diminishing rainfall now being experienced Australia wide is the growing realisation by the community that there are alternatives to the vast areas of lawn traditionally found around suburban houses.

The new trend toward smaller property sizes has also caused people to look at more practical uses that could be made of the surrounds to their homes.

One of the fastest growth areas experienced over the past 5 years has been the increased usage of decorative pebbles. Landscapers and homeowners basically have two main sources for these pebbles and stones.

Natural coloured stones can be sourced throughout Australia, under licence, from old river and creek beds where their removal does not harm the ecosystem. These stones are quarried, then tumbled to give a smooth rounded edge which adds a touch of class wherever used. Local decorative pebbles are increasingly being used throughout the landscaping of new display homes to provide a low maintenance, low water requirement home environment. Attractive exterior inorganic mulches like pebbles suppress weeds and retain soil moisture when applied over already moist soil. They don’t break down over time and with the wide range of colours available can look great providing a modern stylish garden appearance.

The alternative source of decorative pebbles is the growing range of colours and sizes available in the imported pebbles. Whilst the initial major source of these was from non enviro-friendly areas of beaches and rivers in India and Indonesia, the recent trend had been to the wide range of natural coloured pebbles which are manufactured particularly in China and Italy. The two types of pebbles sourced are either polished and waxed or are manufactured stone that is tumbled from quarried rock to the desired size.

Polished pebbles are sourced from huge mounds of pebbles produced as a by-product to sand mining operations. Stacks up to 4 metres high and covering areas as large as a football field provide the pebbles that are hand picked for the colour required (usually black). These pebbles are then taken to local villages where they are polished by tumbling, then waxed and bagged.
Imported decorative pebbles are increasingly being used in a wide variety of applications including interior and exterior landscaping, roofscaping and the latest trend in decorative concrete – “seeded exposed aggregate”.

One of the many aspects drawing landscape architects and designers to this finish is the complete versatility in design and colour produced by the product. With over 100 different colour oxides available to select from for the concrete colour the wide range of over 40 different colours pebbles available provide a limitless colour combination to work with.

Apart from colour selections, designers can also incorporate exciting features in the project works. Polystyrene cut-outs which are set in the concrete when the initial pour is done can be subsequently removed and replaced with a contrasting feature concrete/pebble combination. Side borders can vary, from the many decorative pavers and bricks available, to hand laid pebble borders using any of the 100+ colours and sizes available.

A particularly popular range of pebbles are sourced from an Italian marble manufacturer who tumbles marble off-cuts to provide a colourful range of smooth edged marble pebbles. These environment friendly pebbles contain all the variations naturally found in marble providing an exceedingly decorative and appealing appearance.

Should We Landscape With Gravel Or Grass?

Why is it important to contemplate on how your outdoors should look like? There are things that are definitely more important inside your house, right? Well, it is essential to pay attention to how your property looks. This is because it represents your household to the community. Pleasant looking exteriors suggest that the homeowners are taking good care of their property. In addition, this is vital especially if you plan to sell your property in the future. Buyers are drawn to houses with wonderful curb appeal. You may not want to sell your property today, but the need could arise after three or five years.

Among the first things you have to decide on is to whether use gravel or grass. If you have noticed, these materials are normally found in the front yard of homeowners. But how do you decide which one to pick? How will you know that grass or gravel is good for you? Making the right choice is important as this will affect your stay in the property.

Your decision will depend on various factors. First, you have to think about the people living in your home. Do you have children who love to play outside? Or, are they adults who love to have friends over? Obviously, you have to use grass if your kids are going to play outside your home. The grass can cushion them when they fall, which is contrary if you have gravel. Gavel can cause injury. It can also be destructive especially if your children play with them. They can throw some of the stones, which could end up breaking your window or windshield.

Maintenance is another important consideration. If you have the luxury of time, then picking the grass will not be a problem. Using grass in your landscape poses a lot of responsibilities. First, you have to water the grass regularly. This means that you should have an efficient watering system. You also need to trim the grass occasionally to maintain its beauty. However, if you live a busy life, the use of gravel is a better choice. Although gravel also needs maintenance, it is not as tedious as when you use grass.

You should also consider the use you intend for the landscape. Are you going to use it to entertain friends? If you want to use it for parties and other similar events, gravel is a better choice. This is because it is easier to decorate and restore. The grass can also be used for the said purpose. However, the grasses can wilt and even die when stepped on. It cannot tolerate heavy objects as well.

You can also use both. You just have to make a good plan to make things work. Remember, your decision is very important. This is why you have to consider several factors. Check the area and think about how you can make things work. Decide how you are going to use the area you have and come up with a plan that will work for your needs. It only takes careful planning to make both materials work.