Landscape Materials: Using Sand and Gravel in Ulster County, NY, Landscaping Projects

Sand and gravel are used for both aesthetic purposes as well as utility when landscaping in Ulster County, NY. Make sure that you have a wide range of knowledge on these landscape materials so that you can produce personalized designs for your clients.


Sand can be used in a wide range of applications. A common application of sand occurs during the installation of concrete pavers. It is first used to level the surface that the pavers will be going on. Sand is a preferable material for this job, since it has such fine grains, which offer preciseness when leveling an uneven surface. Sand is also used in between pavers after they have been installed. This is because of the non-absorbent properties of sand that make it a perfect candidate for allowing water to pass between while keeping debris out. The sand also prevents the pavers from shifting out of place, which could cause breakage and instability of patios, walkways, and driveways.

Another application of sand would be when building an outdoor play area for children. Whether it’s for a simple play box or larger play equipment, sand acts as a shock absorber for falls. And due to its granularity and density, it is more likely to stay inside the designated area and not get tracked around.

Sand is a great utility when landscaping, but it can also be used in some of the finishing touches in a landscape as well. Sand is the go-to material when it comes to constructing a rock garden bed. Thanks to sand’s irrigation properties, it can be spread over a large area and not intrude on the drainage of the yard.

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Done correctly, rock gardens are a beautiful addition to a client’s backyard. A perfect example of this is a Japanese-inspired garden. This contemporary idea will bring a soothing feel to the entire outdoor space. If homeowners have a love for the beach, consider adding a slice of it in their backyard. You could add a small sand pit near a close pair of trees and string a hammock across the top.


Landscape Materials: Using Sand and Gravel in Ulster County, NY, Landscaping Projects

Much like sand, gravel can be used as a tool in various applications when constructing landscaping features. More specifically, gravel is an excellent material when constructing paths or small roads. Gravel is great for this application because it has great drainage and erosion control. It allows water through while simultaneously keeping the soil underneath it in place. It is easy to maintain, too, as it only needs to be regraded every year or so depending on the amount of use it gets. Gravel also plays a major utility role in the construction of a retaining wall. It can add integrity to the build if the client’s soil is less than ideal. Use it to fill in the back of a retaining wall after it has been fully constructed.

Although it is not the prettiest material, if done right, gravel can look great in certain applications, such as water features. After putting a waterproof layer down first, gravel can be used to replicate a small creek bed for the water to flow through. It’s an idea worth presenting to clients who enjoy relaxing by the sound of water.