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10 Stones to Use in Your Hardscape

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Decorative Gravel

You can use gravel in a functional settling like a driveway, or you can use it decoratively in a backyard garden.
You can use gravel in a functional settling like a driveway, or you can use it decoratively in a backyard garden.
Connie Coleman/Getty Images

Gravel is used more to describe the size of rock rather than the actual type of rock. Gravel can come in a variety of stones and colors. Due to its small size, people use gravel in a number of different ways around the yard. "I love decorative gravel used as a driveway or a path," says First.

Gravel tends to be an inexpensive option for many areas of hardscaping [source: Lawrence]. For driveways, gravel should be angular, or shaped in a way that will allow it to compact when trod on, instead of round, which can make for a more uneven surface [source: First]. Using gravel as a substitute for mulch in garden beds can provide a lower maintenance alternative [source: Bradley-Hole]. Certain gravels, such as river rocks, look great in a water feature [source: First]. Yet, one place you might want to avoid gravel is around a pool or hot tub, since the small stones can easily make their way into the water [source: Pools & Spas].

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