Landscape Design forum: sinking pebbles

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Demby
Apr 4, 2018 11:09 AM CST
Hi. Some years ago, I converted a patch of moss ridden and dog fouled lawn to an area laid with 40mm red Chinese pebbles. with a path of stone flags running through it. I stripped the lawn back, and laid commercial geo-fabric on the bare soil. I then set the flag path and surrounded with 2000kg of 40mm pebbles, to a depth of 75-80mm. Over the years I have replaced or added to the pebbles with a similar amount, and still need to top up. I have found the silt has risen through the geo-fabric, burying at least one layer of pebbles. I also think that the magpies and squirrels are making off with some, because in some areas, the geo-fabric is exposed. I cant stop the creatures from stealing (I don't wont to set the pebbles in concrete because it will totally spoil the present natural look), but I feel that I must tackle this in some other way. I have considered laying a sub-base on top of the fabric, and either laying self-binding gravel on that, to be topped by my pebbles, or lay the pebbles straight on the sub-base. Another alternative was to lay10-20mm gravel on the fabric with a ciovering of 40mm pebbles on top.I have also considered cutting the geo -fabric away, and digging out to give me a deeper sub-base. I cannot stop the stealing, but by using a cheaper material below, the cost of topping up will be reduced. I would be grateful for any ideas including replacing the pebbles with another material (I already have slate and tree bark in other areas of the garden). I have considered larger pebbles but the price is putting me off. Smaller pebbles, akin to gravel, will spoil the look entirely. Ideas will be gratefully received
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Apr 4, 2018 11:34 AM CST
Pictures would be helpful. Welcome to the site.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 4, 2018 11:55 AM CST
Warm welcome from the Pacific NW. You may want to compact the soil before you lay whatever cloth you are using, then add a layer of sand to further stabilize, then finally your flagstones and pebbles. I have an access path (flagstones set about 6-8" apart) to the back of one of my larger perennial beds and it has been sinking on a regular basis. I wish I had put more prep work into it, but it's kind of a hidden pathway so I just work with it as is. For a main pathway, it may be worth redoing. I am not a fan of any of the fabrics, for me I end up with air-born weeds establishing themselves top-down, which then insert their roots through the fabric making it dang near impossible to pull. If you keep after it sooner, that would likely not be such an issue. And your location may also affect it - my brother-in-law has been happy with a weed barrier cloth covered by gravel, but he gets much higher summer heat than I do which likely heats the gravel and fries his weeds before they can get established.
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Demby
Apr 5, 2018 10:31 AM CST
Hi. Thank you for your reply. I have noticed that the lower pebbles are being buried in silt, presumably either working its way through the fabric (unlikely), or migrating from somewhere else above the fabric. I guess I will have to go back to the beginning, starting with the soil, and maybe figure out where the silt is coming from. End of the day though, I want to prevent the squirrels stealing my pebbles without harming them. I have considered replacing the 40mm (1and 3/4 inch) pebbles with larger ones but how much bigger before the squirrels give up. I have replaced over a ton of pebbles covering 30 square feet in just two years and buying bigger means more cost for less coverage
Name: chris Zone 8a
Peachtree City, GA
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chris
Apr 19, 2018 5:13 AM CST
Hi, I have been using pebble and rock in my landscape and small landscape jobs for many years. With the Georgia clay that we have, I understand your silt problem. The cure so that you dont lose your pebbles is carpeting. You can use old carpeting from anywhere but you might want to know if pets had accidents on it. It will smell of urine for a long time when it rains. The local carpet store gives away free scraps from their installs more than i can ever use. If you want to plant after stone, you just push away pebbles and cut through carpet then dig and plant. Hope this gives you some ideas. Pictures are not in the right order but should give you the idea.


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[Last edited by chris - Apr 19, 2018 5:24 AM (+)]
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