Creating and designing a pebble bed - DIY instructions

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Pebble bed and garden pond

With a pebble bed, the magic of Tuscany and the grace of Asia in the garden. At the same time, the design variant solves many planning problems in terms of overall planning. Good to know that this unique combination of stones and plants creates space for exotic plants that stand out where classic perennials have long since given up. The reduction to clear forms creates a visual aura in the garden that fascinates, without requiring extra care. This DIY guide shows you how you can skillfully create and design a pebble bed.
Site selection and tillage
With the decision regarding the specific style direction you can still take your time, because the site conditions and the processing of the soil are made regardless of whether you create a Mediterranean, Japanese, formal or alpine pebble. The following overview shows what matters:
  • Full sun to sunny location
  • Dry, sandy-gravelly soil with some loamy topsoil
  • Low in nutrients, with low humus content
  • Well drained, without the risk of waterlogging
Where the soil conditions do not reach the ideal conditions, you can influence them with targeted measures. To do this, place the provided bed area 25-30 centimeters deep and remove all roots from the sole. Then mix the excavation halfway with gravel to refill the mixture as a substructure. If a vibrating plate is available, the substrate is solidified. Alternatively, smooth the bed area with a heavy-duty lawn roller. Spread out a sturdy weed fleece that overlaps at the edges by at least 10 centimeters.
Tip: The typical for an alpine pebble Aufhügelungen are created most uncomplicated with the soil of the substructure to be covered with the weed fleece. In this way, a later planting of small surveys is easily possible.
Beautiful ornamental gravel varieties

decorative gravel

With the prepared bed in mind, the decision in terms of stylistic orientation is usually a little easier. The choice of ornamental gravel varieties is defined by the design characteristics. While in the Mediterranean aura reddish-brown to terracotta or burgundy nuances in a mix with white tones are welcome, in the Japanese and formally oriented pebble bed white, gray and black shades determine the appearance. By contrast, the alpine style grants the creative hobby gardener more freedom of choice as long as the vision of apparent naturalness arises. The following selection of recommended ornamental gravel varieties may serve as inspiration:
  • Marble Carrara, pure white
  • Basalt, extra black
  • Bordeaux pebbles, beige
  • Natural granite speckled light gray
  • Quartz, black-and-white veined
  • Rose quartz, delicate pink
  • Glacier gravel, mixed colors
Rounded ornamental gravel on the one hand gives a harmonious appearance, but holds in the wet highest slip hazard. This problem solved on larger beds curved paths, covered with sharp-edged ornamental chippings. This design variant offers in the same train the possibility of a colored contrast formation between paths and surface to be planted. In addition, the different grain contributes to a varied look. While for gravel a grain size of 16/25 to 25/40 is an advantage, offers for Ziersplitt a grain size of 8/16 to 16/32.
Framing a Mediterranean pebble bed
The plants of the Mediterranean area thrive in the sandy-gravelly soil of the pebble bed extremely lush. The following collection of flowering perennials, filigree grasses and decorative shrubs is ideally suited for the dominant garden bed or the sunny front garden bed.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Federel (Dianthus plumarius)
  • Bead Basket (Anaphalis triplinervis)
  • Kleiniris (Iris Barbata-Nana)
  • Blue Cushion (Aubrieta x cultorum)
  • Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)
  • Palme Lily (Yucca filamentosa)
  • Gypsophila repens (Gypsophila repens)
In order for the flower spectacle to start early in the year, plant bulbs in suitable places, such as narcissi, tulips, crocuses and snowdrops. Although these are not typical Mediterranean plants, this design is considered the artistic freedom of the gardener.
Create Japanese pebble bed
A Far Eastern dream comes true with the following plant society, which is set only occasionally in the pebble bed. In a stylish design, the emptiness of the room dominates, loosened up by solitary trees as bonsai, perennials and grasses.
  • Bamboo (Nandina domestica)
  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Japanese Pillar Cherry (Prunus serrulata Amanogawa)
  • White Japan Anemone (Anemone japonica Honorine Jobert)
  • Magnolia as a high stem (Magnolia liliiflora)
  • Bearskin grass (Festuca gautieri)
  • Pendulum bilge (Carex pendula)
  • Funkie (Hosta)
  • Tibet summer primrose (Primula florindae)
  • Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Add other design elements, such as stone pagodas, lanterns and statues. In the large pebble bed in Japanese style, a stone bench invites you to linger. Avoid geometric shapes when creating them, because in the Japanese style, curved lines set the tone. Where it is not possible to integrate the element of water in nature, ornamental gravel and ornamental chippings simulate a course of the stream.
Create alpine character

Pebble bed with grasses

If a pebble bed has a slight incline or has small hills, stones and suitable plants can be used to imitate an alpine landscape. The following species and variety strips make an excellent contribution to this design variant:
  • Mountain pine (Pinus mugo)
  • Snow heath (Erica carnea)
  • Rock plate (Ramonda)
  • Gentian (Gentiana)
  • Edelweiss (Leontopodium)
  • Alpine Bluebell (Campanula alpina)
Anyone who has ever been in the mountains, is aware in the design, that here stones characterize the image significantly. From an orderly structure, as in the formal or Japanese pebble bed, the Alpinum is certainly far away. As usual in the wild, a merry mix of shapes and colors should be preferred, ideally complemented by mighty boulders from the region.
Troubleshooting for dry shadows
Do you rattle in your garden with a stain under tall trees or in a shady corner where nothing wants to grow? Then the pebble bed is a good solution. In this case, however, only plants that do not attach a high value to permanent sunshine are eligible, such as the following:
  • Milkweed (Euphorbia amygdaloides)
  • Woodland stone (Waldsteinia ternata)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum azureum)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea)
  • Sedge (Carex)
  • Red Veil Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)
  • Goatbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
As long as no Egyptian darkness lingers on the site, you transform previously barren regions of the garden with a pebble into a decorative eye-catcher. Since in this case a nutrient-rich substrate is required, can be dispensed with the addition of bulkheads to the topsoil.


Once the preparatory work has been completed and the selected plants are ready, the horticultural work begins. The still potted young plants are placed with their root ball in water until no more air bubbles rise. Then place the plants in their place on the weed fleece, in order to control the arrangement again. In these steps you create the pebble bed:
  • At the site of each plant, cut the weed fleece crosswise with a sharp knife
  • Create a pit with the hand shovel with 1.5 times the volume of the root ball
  • Insert the potted plant into it and pour into it
  • Close the fleece as completely as possible to the root collar
  • in good time, distribute the gravel in the bed. It is recommended, first with the grit to lay the ways to finally spread the gravel in a height of 5 to 8 centimeters.
Tip: The distribution of gravel and gravel is easier if you protect each plant with its inverted plastic pot or bucket.
Tips for the care
Once the pebble bed has been laid out and designed, you will spend much more time recovering than caring for it. Among the outstanding advantages of this Beet variant is a remarkable unpretentiousness. The following nursing tips show how it works:
  • During the growing season, water the plants regularly
  • As a result, water only in summer dryness
  • Do not leave autumn foliage for long, but remove it in a timely manner
  • A start fertilization in the spring in the form of compost or organic liquid fertilizer is enough
In general, you will meet the requirements with a pruning of shrubs and shrubs in early spring. Early flowering shrubs get a shape and maintenance cut right after flowering. However, withered and withered krautiger plants should be eliminated already in the autumn, so that the ornamental gravel is not unnecessarily polluted.
A pebble bed brings variety to the horticultural appearance, solves location problems and is extremely easy to maintain. Once established, the need for attention is limited to dew casting, a little fertilizer every now and then, and any pruning. Reason enough to study this DIY manual to create and design a stylish gravel bed in just a few steps.

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