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Why & where the gravel garden is forbidden: these are the disadvantages of this garden design with stones.

Without question, weeding is one of the most unpopular gardening tasks. Nevertheless, it is simply part of the job. Or is it? Many a person has already come to enjoy the so-called gravel gardens. Not only do they look interesting and modern, but they also offer the advantage that no weeds grow, or at least significantly fewer, which of course makes the garden particularly easy to maintain. Nevertheless, there are municipalities that prohibit the creation of a gravel garden. We explain why the gravel garden is prohibited and list the states with, without and possibly expected ban in this regard.

What are the advantages of the gravel garden?

Why is the gravel garden prohibited in some states

On the whole, besides the interesting appearance, there is only one advantage, and we have already mentioned it in principle: weeding is not necessary with this garden design, or at least less often. This is of course an important advantage with the little free time we have in our daily lives. Used, as the name suggests, stones (gravel). Plants are completely absent or are used only in small quantities and in the form of shrubs and trees. Sounds in itself not really bad. But why is the gravel garden forbidden, at least in some places? Well, it’s because the gravel garden brings disadvantages, and these are not to be underestimated.

Gravel garden forbidden: Disadvantages of garden design with gravel

Gravel garden banned - Insect biodiversity is reduced.

In some states, the gravel garden is banned because it is precisely harmful to the environment . But this is not the only disadvantage. We summarize below what disadvantages this type of garden design brings – both for yourself and for the environment:

Gravel garden prohibited: It harms the environment

Rock gardens do not get weeds, reducing maintenance

Due to the fact that the amount and variety of plants is very low, if you create a gravel garden, the biodiversity of living creatures is also reduced , because their natural living conditions are no longer met: Both insects and birds no longer have natural hiding places, and they also find it harder to find food. Valuable nesting sites are also taken away from birds. And this has an impact on the climate. In rural areas, this problem is not so big, but in the city, where there is already a lot of construction anyway, it disturbs the urban climate. And even if you plant some shrubs, perennials or small trees here and there, you will not make the situation better, especially if you choose non-native specimens.

The temperature rises

Alternatives to create beds from crushed stone


Surely you know that city areas with greenery or avenues are pleasantly cooler in the summer than those that are built up. And you notice this when you go to the countryside – plants are like a natural air conditioner and if you cover your garden areas with stones, you also automatically increase the temperature. This may seem like an advantage in the fresher seasons, but in the summer it quickly becomes a pain. Even in the evening hours, the stones cool down with difficulty and very slowly.

The sewage system can flood

Modern garden design with stones, trees and shrubs is disadvantageous

This is especially a potential problem if you previously lined the gravel gardens with a sheet . And this is quite often the case, because this is exactly what you want to prevent the growth of weeds. But just as no more weeds come up, no more rainwater comes down, which is very unfavorable, especially in larger areas and heavy rain. A so-called trickle is formed, which runs to the sewerage system and if it is a particularly heavy rainfall, the water floods out of the sewerage covers. For this reason, owners of a gravel garden must also pay a fee.

Your own house can be flooded

Gravel as a substrate causes flooding due to the film


If the large amount of rainwater is not even drained to the sewer system, there is a possibility that it will instead run towards the house, flooding not only the entrance, but also the basement or other lower levels. And in such a case, even the insurance company would not pay compensation.

Where is the gravel garden prohibited?

Neophytes planted in rocky beds are not enough

All these are reasons why some states and/or municipalities prohibit the creation of a gravel garden. However, in most cases, this only applies to new plantings. So, if you have already had this type of rock garden for several decades, you do not have to remove or redesign it right away. However, if you still want to find an alternative for the gravel garden because of the other disadvantages, the classic rock garden is best suited. This is characterized by a much more diverse planting. In addition, no film is incorporated, but a garden fleece, which also allows rainwater to seep through. So, for example, how about a front garden with stones or another corner?

Convert crushed stone garden into a nature-friendly rock garden with fleece

Where is the gravel garden prohibited?

  • Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg

Partially prohibited:

  • Bavaria

Create a classic rock garden instead of a gravel garden

Currently under discussion:

  • Brandenburg
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Saxony
  • Thuringia

Disadvantages, which is why the gravel garden is prohibited

Where is the gravel garden allowed?

  • Berlin
  • Hesse
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
  • Lower Saxony
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saarland, taking into account local building regulations
  • Saxony-Anhalt, taking into account local building regulations
  • Schleswig-Holstein

The advantage of the gravel garden is that it is low maintenance