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What's The Cheapest Way To Make A Shingle Garden With A Border?

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There are few activities more relaxing than gardening. With endless possibilities for what you can create in your garden, there are no limits on just how creative you can get… except perhaps the budget for your gardening project.

Thankfully, there are countless cheap and cheerful ways that you can bring life and colour into your garden without breaking the bank. One of the most interesting ways is to create a shingle garden, bringing a taste of the Mediterranean into your home.

Let’s look at the cheapest way to make a shingle garden with a border and still get a beautiful end result!

What Is a Shingle Garden?

A shingle garden, or gravel garden, is slightly different to your standard flower bed. They are wonderfully low maintenance, and perfectly designed for a large number of plants that do well in conditions where there is very little water.

There are few restrictions when it comes to making your own shingle garden on a budget, but a popular choice is to border-off an area of garden and fill it with a thin layer of gravel, normally accompanied by a gravelly soil.

While gravel gardens are not normally exceptionally cost-intensive, there are a couple of ways to achieve a unique and eye-catching design on a very low budget, starting with the plants that you choose.

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Generally speaking, gravel garden plants thrive best in sandy soil. This soil type is also ideal for growing a range of edible crops, such as: lettuce, peppers and potatoes

Making A Shingle Garden: An Overview:

Any area is suitable for a shingle garden; however, if you're looking to grow Mediterranean plants, or flowers that require full sun, a sunny spot with well-drained soil is best. 

Generally speaking, gravel garden plants thrive best in sandy soil. This soil type is also ideal for growing a range of edible crops, such as: lettuce, peppers and potatoes.

Although grey is the generic colour of gravel, most people are plesantly surprised to discover that it also comes in an extensive selection of colours, enabling you to choose the gravel type that blends in best with your existing backdrop.

Despite offering a good deal of visual intrigue, gravel is prone to constant displacements, and will need to be topped up at regular intervals to ensure the surface remains level over time.

One other word of warning: weeds can easily grow through gravel, and will require an ongoing process of removal to remove stubborn stragglers. You should also aim to remove dead flower heads, to encourage new shoots to grow through.

Any small plants should be potted before being placed on the gravel to prevent them being swamped by the stones. 

Additionally, if you're a self-confessed wildlife enthusiast, you may wish to keep crafty cats away from your garden for obvious reasons! In these instances, larger sized aggregates are ideal, as they will be painful for paws to walk on.

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Sculptural plants are best suited to shingle gardens. They should be spaced out nicely, so that the gravel has a chance to peak through, and make an instant impact

Ideal Plants for a Low-Cost Shingle Garden

A prime choice of plant for a shingle garden are sculptural plants. These should be spaced out nicely, so that the gravel has a chance to peak through, and really help to make an impact.

Some of the most affordable plants to consider, that won’t leave your shingle garden wanting for colour or texture, include:

• Colchicum
• Cosmos
• Hypericum
• Thymus
• Eryngium
• Lavandula

In addition to this, succulents can also offer a good deal of visual intrigue. They are particularly well suited to South-facing homes, as they thrive in arid conditions, with relatively little maintenance needed to do so.

Contrary to popular belief, most succulents and cacti also produce beautiful buds and flowers, adding an essential injection of colour to your garden space, without requiring a great deal of upkeep.

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Before starting your shingle garden project, make sure you select a suitable gravel type to complement your plants, rather than one which restricts their growth

Tackle Problems at the Start to Reduce Overall Costs

To avoid problems later down the line that can make maintaining your shingle garden a costly chore, it can help to pay out a little more at the start, and properly prepare the area.

Before starting your shingle garden, make sure:

• Smaller plants aren’t lost beneath too much gravel
• The soil is right for the plants – not very damp or heavy
• You choose a suitable gravel type to complement and not restrict your plants
• You use a landscape fabric to stop pesky weeds and allow your plants to thrive naturally

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Choosing to create a border is a great way to keep wayward stones in check, as well as add a good deal of aesthetic interest of its own!

Choose an Affordable but Beautiful Bordering Material

One of the best areas to save money with your shingle garden is on the bordering. If your shingle garden is large then you’ll need LOTS of bordering, so it’s important to choose carefully at the start and avoid enormous costs later.

Choosing a border is a great chance to get creative. There are many inexpensive and creative ways to design a border, including using:

• Recyled and treated timber
• Old bricks
• Large natural logs
• Seashells
• Old bottles

Any material that can contain the gravel can be used to craft a beautiful border!

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Cutting costs by combining a path with a border is a great way to plan out your garden in advance-without having to purchase endless bordering!

Break up the Gravel with a Strong and Attractive Path

Investing in a stunning garden path can do wonders for your garden landscaping but holds some particular benefits when it comes to creating your own shingle garden.

Not only will the path allow you to fully enjoy your garden, no matter the weather, but it can also act as the perfect border.

Cutting costs by combining a path with a border is a great way to plan out your garden in advance without having to purchase endless bordering. Strong materials, like resin bound surfacing, are fantastic for this job – providing a strong border and a path that is going to last for years to come.

With resin, you also get the benefit of a path that can truly compliment your shingle garden. From a wide selection, you can pick out the perfect aggregate to match your gravel choice, or contrast with it – giving you even more control over design.

Why not go a step further? Resin doesn’t just make for a great paving material, but also a top-quality patio and driveway material.

With ready-constructed resin borders, you can create inexpensive but beautiful shingle beds all around your garden!

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Whether you desire a resin bound path of distinction, or revitalise your outside space on a budget, we're here to help you make your vision a reality

Home Logic – Helping to Make Your Vision a Reality

If you’re trying to revitalise your garden on a budget, then Home Logic are on hand to help. Our durable, beautiful, and easy to care for resin surfaces are the ideal solution to enhancing your home with a top-quality driveway, perfect patio area, or unique garden path.

With resin bound material, you get the assurance that the finished product is going to last, making the investment one that pays off for years to come. It’s time to let your creativity run wild and really unleash the potential of your garden space for the long-term…

Make the most of your outside space, with the help of Home Logic.

We're ready when you are.