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Front yard design with gravel: pictures, ideas and tips for a low maintenance gravel garden.

You never have enough time to take care of your front and back yard? Gardening is not an easy thing to do and can really wear you out. To give you more time to relax in the fresh air and admire your garden, you can try creating a low-maintenance front yard. That means small to no lawns , fewer plants and more structure. And this can be achieved very easily by designing your front yard with gravel. What you need to pay attention to, as well as many inspiring ideas and pictures, you can find in our article.

Designing the front garden with gravel: What’s in it for you?

Small front yard garden design with gravel and low maintenance plants

If you’re looking for an alternative to a green lawn for your front yard, consider gravel for a modern, low-maintenance landscape. Once you replace your lawn with a gravel landscape, you eliminate the need for constant maintenance such as watering, mowing and fertilizing. This makes weeding and pesticide use a thing of the past. The reduction in water and chemical use benefits the environment, especially during the dry summer months. Plus, your front yard landscape will look well-kept even without all the effort.

Front garden design with gravel and plants bushes

So, if you have decided to landscape the front yard with gravel, then you can count on many benefits. Here are the most important of them at a glance:

  • The gravel garden is easy to maintain and looks neat even with little effort
  • Modern look for the front garden
  • Suitable for any garden style
  • Gravel is cheaper as a ground covering compared to pavers
  • A gravel layer compensates for temperature fluctuations in the bed and retains soil moisture in summer
  • If properly laid, no problems with weeds

The disadvantages of gravel garden

Tips and ideas for front yard design with gravel and plants

Before you embark on a gravel garden design, you must first learn about local building codes. In some states, gravel gardens are actually prohibited or illegal. At least if no or only a few plants have been used. This is because a gravel garden, which consists solely of stones, gravel and gravel without planting, can be problematic from an ecological point of view. So what are the disadvantages of a garden design in which stones and gravel play the main role?

 Gravel garden in front of the house without planting.


Here’s an overview:

  • Gravel gardens do not provide food and shelter for small animals and insects.
  • Stones heat up a lot in the summer.
  • Crushed stone and gravel increase noise from cars.
  • Without plants, dust in the front yard is not filtered.
  • Soil fertility is reduced.

Am I allowed to design the front garden with gravel?

Front garden with gravel and paving stones plus planting

So although garden design with gravel looks low-maintenance and structured, it is not allowed everywhere. In Baden-Württemberg and Saxony-Anhalt, for example, there is a complete ban on gravel gardens under the Nature Conservation Act. Other states refer to their state building codes, but plan to use such a ban in the near future as well. However, under what circumstances is the creation of a gravel garden allowed?

Front garden design on a slope with gravel and grasses


Rock or gravel gardens, where there are sufficient plants, do not count toward the definition of gravel garden and are excluded from the ban. Therefore, if you want to make the front garden low-maintenance with gravel, you must necessarily take advantage of planting.

Gravel front garden – pictures and ideas for inspiration.

Zen garden design with gravel front yard

The combination of gravel and plants looks modern and neat in the front garden. Here you will discover some beautiful ideas that illustrate a front garden design with gravel and suitable planting.

Front garden design with gravel and grasses

Front garden with gravel design plants ideas and tips

For those who want a low-maintenance garden design, the combination of gravel and grasses is a great solution. Ornamental grasses require much less maintenance than perennials or shrubs and still look very pretty. This allows for a minimalist front yard design without completely forgoing plantings.

front garden design with gravel and grasses

Some of the prettiest types of ornamental grasses that partner well with gravel include blue fescue, mosquito grass, switchgrass and bluestem oats.

What plants for the gravel garden?

Gravel in front yard design and planting ideas

A gravel garden primarily cultivates plants that can tolerate poor, nutrient-poor soil. In addition to grasses, these include drought-loving species such as stonecrop (Sedum) and houseleek (Sempervivum). These plants enliven the front garden with gravel and are also very low-maintenance and undemanding.

Designing the front garden with gravel and bark mulch

Garden design idea for front yard with gravel and bark mulch

In addition to gravel, mulch is now considered another popular option for front garden design. Bark mulch has a very decorative effect, and it can be used to beautify various areas in the garden. However, its use is not limited to decorative functions.

Front garden design with gravel curved gravel path

The natural mulch in the garden also offers some advantages. For example, this suppresses weeds in beds and it is also perfect for mulching a shady front garden on the north side .

Front yard design with gravel when allowed

In combination with gravel and various plants, the bark mulch in the front garden looks best. Wonderful color contrasts are created and you can consider an original garden design by creating different areas with gravel and mulch.

Modern and yet natural: front garden with gravel and turf

Ideas for the front garden with gravel and grasses

If you simply want to give the front garden a modern touch, then you can use gravel specifically for this purpose. Simply spice up the beds with it or create a decorative border for the lawn. The contrast between the green lawn and the small stones makes for beautiful colorful accents in the front garden.

Front yard garden design with gravel and lawn tree in gravel bed

You can also use a gravel bed to showcase a tree in the front yard.

Design a gravel path in the front garden

Gravel garden path in combination with bark mulch beds

A classic garden design with stones is the gravel path. This option is much cheaper than laying pavers and also looks very romantic. To create a gravel path in the front garden , you must first excavate part of the path floor and lay a gravel layer under the gravel. This will make the garden path more stable. Over it also comes a weed fleece and on top of it the gravel is spread.

Gravel front garden design with wooden stepping stones

Gravel is also popular as a flooring material in the front garden. The small stones can be combined with various materials such as wood and natural stone, for example, for the design of beautiful garden paths.