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HELP! CLAY OR NOT TO CLAY?

edited 2 April in Problem solving
Hi guys,

I've attached photos.
Front of my house I'm preparing area for laying down decorative gravel.
You can see in the photos that I've removed 6" thick blue clay. Horrible stuff. The gravel was a thin layer laid by house developers 20 years ago! Blue plastic sheeting was used as weed membrane. Unbelievable!
My thoughts are can I use this clay mixed with the gravel and shovel it back in as it will be to deep to lay decorative gravel and it will cost too much. I think I need only 2" of decorative gravel on top. So I need to refill with 4".
Or should I dump the clay and fill with 4" of normal gravel?
Because of solid clay before I don't think there was any drainage and what with the plastic sheeting under 1" inch gravel weeds and slime was sitting on top.

So would it be okay to refill area with the clay and break it up, mixing it with gravel or sand? Plan is then to lay planter boxes in areas ie over and in front of ugly meter box.
Look forward to responses.


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Posts

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,414
    I'm lazy so I would have just skimmed off the minimum required for the desired depth of gravel, lay landscape fabric, and then the gravel.

    For a proper job you would lay 75mm of hardcore and then about 40mm of gravel. You don't lay decorative gravel too deep as it is a bit wasteful and your feet will sink in rounded gravel like pea shingle (not such a problem with slate or chippings). Gravel, Cinder and Hoggin Paths and Drives | Pavingexpert
  • Hey Loxley thanks for your response.
    I just hate clay and the Bellway must have just dropped the clay there and sprinkled on some gravel over a plastic sheet. It was hard work digging the clay out but I think dropping hard-core in is the proper way and that can come in bulk with the decorative gravel. Yes effort time and money but the objective is trying to get the front looking attractive.

    I'm attaching 2 photos. Contrast decorative gravel or this type. Black ice or flamingo pearl. I just want something to compliment the brick work.

    I should start a poll.

    A. Black ice 
    B. Flamingo pearl 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,414
    Flamingo Pearl for me. Well done for doing it properly.
  • I'm torn. I'm asking people I know and it's pretty even. I'm struggling to find local merchants who stock pile decorative gravel so I can see for myself and not just by photos. 

  • Oh can I ask why flamingo pearl?
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,207
    I know The Range used to show gravel samples in their garden centre. Most builders merchants who supply  will have samples you can see, our Buildbase does and  even B&M have samples of what they sell. 
    If you live near Derbyshire there are several quarries you can go to.

    Someone up the road from us with similar bricks have gone for the flamigo pearl and it looked nice when first down but now it's been there for a couple of years it seems to have lost it's colour but màybe it just needs a hosing over to remove the dust.  It looks very nice when wet. 
    We have Yorkshire cream and down the road have the black and white mix which looks very nice also.
    I'd just go with the cheaper one!
  • That concerns me ref losing their colour.
    I think what I'm going to do is prep the area first and keep looking around merchants and see what's out there including planter boxes. I was thinking of putting soil down with lots of shrubs but then thought no I won't I will add planter boxes 😁
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,414
    I preferred the warmer tone of the flamingo pearl against your brick. However I would probably go for a 10mm buff limestone or Cerney shingle.
  • Got any photos?
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 4,475
    Loxley is correct, what are you going to use this area for?
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