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Flint-based gravel, anyone?

Hi all!

I'm going through a bit of a garden redesign, having learned to appreciate the virtues of gravel..

By far the most natural I can find at my local supplier is one called 'cotswold gold' or something similar. Essentially it's a lovely looking mix of flint chips and quite rounded river pebbles- see photo below. 



My worry is this- because it's generally more rounded than, say, the quartz or granite based gravels, will it be less stable? More likely to 'flow' under foot pressure?

I'd love to hear from someone who's used this in their garden. It'd be really useful to also know how you've bedded it- have you used a sub-base or just put the gravel straight on top of a membrane? I'd hate to have an expanse of gravel that moves underfoot, exposing the membrane!

Thanks!
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Posts

  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 796
    It really depends how big the stones are. It doesn't look dissimilar to the Thames gravel we have on our driveway and paths. Some of our stones are more rounded and others have sharper edges. It does pack down fairly well but ours is a 20-40mm screen. Pea shingle will stick in the tread of your shoes, 20mm and above should not. Our pathways were made with scalpings, then membrane and gravel board edging. There are many aggregate stabilisation products on the market if you think you need it.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 796
    Sorry, don't know what I was thinking. Membrane elsewhere in the garden, paths just compacted scalpings with gravel top dressing. It does get weeds seeding into it but I just remove the ones I don't want. Alchemilla, Welsh poppy and others get to stay if they are not going to be trampled on.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,526
    My driveway is about 50ft long and on a downward slope towards the garage and was just the old concrete (in poor condition) with a grassy strip for drainage running down the middle.
    I used pea-gravel initially to cover it but that often shuffled its way down the drive and I'd have to rake it back in place.
    After some years I put down cotswold chippings about 20-40mm (on top of the pea gravel) and they barely moved at all, but it was a bit like trudging along Brighton beach until they settled properly.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,362
    We have the smaller pea shingle and have used it on top of membrane in the past. It always seemed to move around and expose bits of the membrane - especially anywhere there's a bit of a slope. Even worse is when an edge of the membrane comes to the surface and starts to fray and you end up with long threads trailing everywhere - unsightly and a potential trip hazard.

    The most recent work we've had done (patio and driveway) saw a good depth of properly compacted hardcore topped with about an inch of hoggin - also compacted using a whacker plate and roller. A top layer of shingle was then rollered to bed it into the hoggin. 

    With weed membrane it's easier to pull out any self seeded weeds - but I hate the fact that you usually see bits of exposed membrane. I also think membrane and shingle can be quite dangerously slippery on a slope.

    The hoggin finish looks better and the shingle doesn't move around anywhere near as much. Even when it does move you only see a bit of sand-coloured hoggin until you rake the shingle back over the bare bit. However, if weeds self-seed in the shingle they can root down into the hoggin and are then more difficult to remove. Not really a problem if you stay alert & get them when they're babies.

    Pays your money - takes your choice.

    I have only used the small pea shingle - no experience with larger stones.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,497
    That's what I have - or the very similar Solent Gold. Same thing. It's fine  :)
    2 or 3 inches on a membrane, on all my paths.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Topbird said:
    We have the smaller pea shingle and have used it on top of membrane in the past. It always seemed to move around and expose bits of the membrane - especially anywhere there's a bit of a slope. Even worse is when an edge of the membrane comes to the surface and starts to fray and you end up with long threads trailing everywhere - unsightly and a potential trip hazard.

    The most recent work we've had done (patio and driveway) saw a good depth of properly compacted hardcore topped with about an inch of hoggin - also compacted using a whacker plate and roller. A top layer of shingle was then rollered to bed it into the hoggin. 

    With weed membrane it's easier to pull out any self seeded weeds - but I hate the fact that you usually see bits of exposed membrane. I also think membrane and shingle can be quite dangerously slippery on a slope.

    The hoggin finish looks better and the shingle doesn't move around anywhere near as much. Even when it does move you only see a bit of sand-coloured hoggin until you rake the shingle back over the bare bit. However, if weeds self-seed in the shingle they can root down into the hoggin and are then more difficult to remove. Not really a problem if you stay alert & get them when they're babies.

    Pays your money - takes your choice.

    I have only used the small pea shingle - no experience with larger stones.
    Very useful indeed. I too hate the look and feel of a piddly layer of gravel on a slidy exposed membrane.. 

    I've just had to google hoggin, but I was thinking about a thin layer of sand over a compacted (also thin- maybe 4cm) layer of hardcore. Sounds like Sand will do a similar job- I don't think hoggin is a thing up here in Scotland! 

    Thanks!
  • Fairygirl said:
    That's what I have - or the very similar Solent Gold. Same thing. It's fine  :)
    2 or 3 inches on a membrane, on all my paths.
    Oh great! Yeah, looks similar. Was yours compacted, or just raked over?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,497
    edited August 2020
    I just shovelled it on  :)
    I had it in a previous garden too. 
    This is from 3 years ago

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    I just shovelled it on  :)
    I had it in a previous garden too. 
    Thanks! You've given me some confidence. I think I'm going to go for it!
  • Is it intended for your main access path in your garden? 
    My (elderly) friends had this or a very similar-looking one as their well-used path from the garden gate to back doors and it moved so much under foot that they found it very tiring to walk over on a regular basis, like walking in deep sand or powder snow!  They ended up shovelling it up after a year and used it elsewhere in the garden to fill a gap between paving and walls.  It was laid on top of weed supressing membrane over a compacted base of some type of scalpings. 
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