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Driveway Material

Just about to get our front garden/driveway done and looking for some advice on the driveway material. 

Front garden is small and will be mostly for the cars. Few raise sleeper beds around the outside and some blocks or sleepers for the cars to actually drive onto, everything else filled with gravel. 

Initially thinking a light grey gravel, but seeing as we're on the south coast we were thinking about a more 'beach' inspired feel - beaches in our area are pebbles. So we though these might look nice instead. Smaller stuff for most of it, getting bigger around the edges/corners for a bit of variation. 

So would pebbles work? If yes - what size would be advisable? Any thoughts/advice appreciated.


Last edited: 22 January 2018 17:23:12



  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    for Don't really understand this concept. If the grids are filled with gravel, they will still collect leaves etc. If filled with grass they will need a weekly mow. I can see it being useful in a sloping situation but cannot really see the need or advantages of it on the flat. 

    Last edited: 22 January 2018 21:29:56

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • @pansyface, thanks for the reply, but not really after grass, which is what I assume you meant seeing as you mention a 'quick mowing in the summer'

    And as for using them to retain gravel, that wouldn't really be necessary. 

    We're going with gravel, that decision has been made, not too bothered about the maintenance. I was more asking for advice on the type/size of gravel or pebbles. 

    The choice was really between some 20mm grey gravel or 20mm - 40mm pebbles. 

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145

    The advantage with gravel is that the irregular shapes tend to assist in binding together whereas round(ish) pebbles just move. Preparation of the sub-base is key to success. 

  • We had our driveway "done" about 3 years ago.  Before that it was a mess of ground and weeds.  We had gravel put down a couple of times but as mentioned here it soon became embedded into the soil of the driveway and disappeared into the depth of mud and weeds.

    Eventually and after spending quite a lot of money we ended up with a lovely driveway that has enhanced the house and garden.  It is gridforce, with a thick gravel on top.  The preparation was hardcore, and a sort of mypex sheeting only better. The gridforce layers were qualified men who have given it a life expectancy of at least 10 years providing we keep the gravel raked.imageI don't have a before picture - but believe me the driveway was a mud bath after every shower of rain.

    Last edited: 22 January 2018 23:16:48

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    The driveway in this house is fine gravel.   We find it shipped in thru the front door on the feet of our dogs and anyone who doesn't wipe their feet thoroughly.   It grows weeds with gay abandon and needs constant hoeing or spraying as the previous owners left it unmaintained for several years.

    Pebbles look much nicer and won't ship in on feet and they will create less friction dust so harbour fewer weeds but they will move under the weight of cars.   I think you should consider some sort of grid system to hold them in place and make sure it has a weed suppressant layer beneath.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Gridforce is what we used (above) - it keeps the gravel in place, with just a light raking once a month or so. The gravel is (I think) 20 cm anything smaller will get caught in tyre wheels and click as you drive along.  Gridforce is used in many commercial car parks and I would say is the best product on the market.

    Pebbles would be too big, would be almost impossible to rake due to size and as mentioned above would move too much when driven on. Incidentally our gravel above is Alderney gravel - so their is your beach theme. I don't particularly like grey gravel, this Alderney gravel is much lighter and uplifting in colour.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I think the real trick GD is the fact the gravel is laid on a base of hardcore . Without that, gravel will tend to disappear into the earth. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    Pebbles can be any size.  The essential difference between pebbles and gravel is that they are smooth and rounded so less dust but more movement.   Gravel can also be fine or medium or large but will always make dust which makes an excellent seed bed for weeds the minute it rains.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714

    Our neighbour has used the grids with success.  We had part paved, (runs off to drains by bungalow) and a semicircurle of shingle the size called "beach" from Parkers, it was done by the same company, dont go for pea shingle, definetely, that does go all over the shop.  it has a proper membrane, so you can park on it.  We are 10 minutes from the sea, near the South Downs, have got larger pebbles,driftwood, and beach planting, solar lights, to softed the effect.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714

    Oh, yes hogweed, a very deep layer of hardcore over the membrane.

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