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Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Posted by three3apples (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 22:50

Landscaper said this would be good because its not sharp (we have small children), but I wonder if there are nicer alternatives.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Pea gravel is no good for a walk at all.

Children are not idiots. They learn how to use all the basic things with little problem, actually.

What is the purpose of the walk?


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

I have cut and pasted the same answer I gave another poster asking about kid pathways:

You'll be sorry.

We had one, with 2 kids and a dog. Worse than worthless. Painful to walk on. Wouldn't stay put. Kids loved piling it, scooping it, throwing it at each other, the dog, the roof, birds, etc. Dog would run through it, spraying gravel everywhere. Then you have to pick it out of the yard. Weeds grew up in it. Hopeless to scoop snow off of.

As soon as I had the money I replaced it with a real concrete sidewalk.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

This is for a formal walled courtyard that is separated from any yard areas by tall limestone walls. It will have a parterre garden and armillary sphere in its center. We have no dog. Still a mistake? Concrete is not an option as that would kill the look for this type of space. Thanks.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Littlebug is your response to pea gravel or decomposed granite?

Pea gravel is really hard to walk on. I'd look at decomposed granite instead if you want some type of gravel. I would do stone if in your budget instead. Or if you need it to be impervious I'd use grass, or a low ground cover with open pavers.

This post was edited by lyfia on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 11:04


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

I am not sure what you call "pea gravel." We had what is called around here "river rock." Smooth (not jagged edges), multicolored, semi-decorative rock, ranging in size from 1" to 2" across each pebble. Pretty to look at, hard to manage.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

I line my paths with wood chips.

Often over a layer of corrugated cardboard to keep the weeds down.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

lyfia, what type of stone do you suggest?

out here pea gravel consists of small smooth stones in various colors.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Neither children nor adults -- nobody -- could walk well on pea gravel. It's like walking on marbles. As lyfia mentioned, decomposed granite is the ticket. It doesn't have to be granite, but stone crushed fine like that. It could be cinders, or crushed brick, etc.See what is available in your locale. It would need an edge to retain the material.

Examples...


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Pea gravel, which comprises small smooth irregular roundish stones in various shades of brown and tan, is the traditional material for formal garden paths. I have never had difficulty walking on it. It does need to be contained with edging, weeds have to be sprayed or pulled, and it looks better when raked-- the frequency would depend upon usage. Threeapples' parterre garden will not be used as a playground, and nothing else will look as appropriate as pea gravel in the setting she describes.

Wood bark or chips is, IMO, the worst path material available. The first hard rain and it washes away....it is too light and it is not at all attractive.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Thanks, all. I agree with kswl and will proceed as planned.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

Has anyone ever tried a compromise approach - i.e. a base of compactable material (dg or what is called 'screenings' around here....) either mixed into the pea gravel or as a base with a thin layer of pea gravel compacted in to the top, so it looks like a pea gravel path but has greater stability? I think deviant-designer has talked about some sort of stabilizer product that can be used with the pea gravel. I can't find the thread, but maybe it would be useful to talk to a stone yard about whether there's a product like that....?


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

pea gravel's only hard to walk on when done wrong. 4-6" base of compacted 21A (crusher run) with an inch of pea stone, done. Women in high heels (or men in high heels too, I guess) can walk across it easily. It's when you have several inches of pea gravel that it's like walking through beach sand.

there are binders (Klingstone Path or Gravel Lok) that can be used to lock pea gravel together but it'll change the look.

props to everyone pointing out the issues with pea gravel as it's important to set appropriate expectations for materials but it sounds like the OP has one of the few settings where it'll potentially be the right solution.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

marcinde - is the pea gravel just laid on top of the base material or is it compacted into it?


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

just dumped and spread. I haven't seen a benefit to compacting it. Now if I were using 3/8" chip gravel (which is actually a nice compromise if the client's nervous about pea stone, as it's angular and interlocks better) I would compact that topdressed layer.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

I saw that chip gravel somewhere but didn't know what it was called..... That's definitely what I'd use if I wanted the look of pea gravel but the stability of a compacted surface. Thanks for that info marcinde.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

This is mountain granite I put in behind the house also called golden granite. It stays put and what gets kicked out of place is easy to put back. And I have dogs that run back and forth over it. And I can hear if someone is coming or going from the crunch crunch crunch. Pea gravel is like walking on coarse beach sand or running in peanut butter. Smooth stones just push away from each other. This packs down and stays put from the rough edges.

This post was edited by elysianfields on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 18:55


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

This is the path through the dogs level of the garden and the stone is called black and white or salt and pepper which are smaller pebbles. It still stays in place with a border. It used to have a driftwood border but that does rot away through time.


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RE: Pea gravel, or is there better for walkways?

This path is a river rock with stone stairs going from level to another in the garden. I add to this path when I dig stones up in the garden that were used in prior owners landscaping. It stays put really well too and is available in bags from big box stores. And yes, I have bark paths too in the gardens out front which I have great luck with. They are easy to maintain and just need topping off once and awhile.


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