28 Pea Gravel Backyard and Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Pea Gravel Backyard and Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

There are all sorts of ideas with pea gravel that can be used for landscaping around a house. Our ideas are organized into four categories: front yard and backyard landscape, walkways installations, and drainage designs. These pea gravel landscaping ideas are great for DIY projects and can be done on a budget. They are suitable for large or small yards of modern, traditional, or rustic style.


28 Uses For Landscaping Around House


Pea Gravel Front Yard Ideas

1. Around House

There are several reasons to add pea gravel around the foundation of your house. First, it looks nice and makes the grass easier to maintain. Second, pebbles help prevent erosion around your foundation from water dripping off the roof or gutters. This is the main reason people tend to have some sort of border around their houses.

The third reason to use pea gravel around your house is to prevent termites. Many pest control companies will suggest using rocks instead of mulch or pine straw around your foundation. While the rocks don’t repel termites, termites will build their mud tunnels on top of them making a termite infestation easy to spot. If you use mulch or pine straw, termites tend to build their tunnels underneath it where you won’t see them.


2. Driveway

Above are just a few pea gravel driveway ideas for you to consider. It works well for short or long driveways and you can even create a circle to make turning your car around a breeze! You can even choose a color to complement your garage doors like they do in the bottom photo.

There are a few pea gravel driveway pros and cons you should consider. They are usually much cheaper than concrete and you won’t have to worry about concrete developing cracks as it ages. Another pro is you can install this type of driveway yourself rather easily if you don’t mind doing a little heavy lifting.

One con when it comes to using pebbles on your driveway is that they can move around and make a mess. You can avoid this issue by using a gravel grid which will help make the gravel more stable. You can also add a border around the edges to keep it in place. Weeds can also be problematic. Make sure you install some weed cloth to help prevent them from growing.


3. Parking Pad

Pea gravel makes a great parking pad for your home. It can be used underneath a carport or to create extra parking next to your driveway if you like hosting big get-togethers! Your guests will have plenty of space to park without tearing up grass and making a muddy mess.

Just like with gravel driveways, you might want to install a gravel grid and weed cloth underneath to make maintenance easier.


4. Around Trees

I love using pea gravel around trees because it doesn’t have to be replaced every year as mulch and pine straws do. You can add a plastic trim around the edges to help the gravel stay in place and keep the grass from spreading into it. Make sure you leave a slight outward slope to the soil away from the tree trunk so that water doesn’t pool around its base.


5. Around Shrubs

Just like with trees, you can add pea gravel around shrubs too. You can keep it simple with a single color, or get fancy and create a design with light and dark gravel to make your home look like a million bucks! While pebbles are a little more expensive than pine straw and mulch, they will actually save you money in the long run since you don’t have to replace them very often.


6. Flower Bed

Adding pea gravel to your flower bed will reduce the overall maintenance each year. You can use a color that contrasts with your plants to help them stand out even more! You could also use multi-colored pebbles which will give your flower bed more color during the winter when plants are dormant.


7. Replacing Grass

If you’re serious about having a low-maintenance yard, replacing your lawn with pea gravel might just be one of your favorite front yard landscaping ideas. It will keep you from having to mow the lawn, giving you more free time on the weekend. It can also save you some money on your water bill. Depending on where you live, you might even get a tax break or rebate if you don’t plant grass in your yard. Pair pebbles with some cacti or palm trees which go perfectly with the desert/beachy vibe the gravel creates.



Pea Gravel Backyard Ideas

8. Under Deck

Adding pea gravel under your deck can have a variety of benefits. It prevents erosion from the water dripping off the deck to the soil below. It can also help reduce the number of weeds that grow.

If you have a taller deck, you can even set up some seating underneath on top of the pebbles. They will provide a stable base while the deck above will keep you in the shade during the hot summer months!


9. Patio Furniture On Pea Gravel

A pea-pebble base works well under patio furniture too! You can either set up an outside dining area or an outdoor living room for entertaining guests. This works best with crushed pea gravel and a gravel grid which will help the rocks in place.


10. Around Fire Pit

A pea gravel fire pit is a simple and cheap way to enjoy a cool evening outside roasting smores! It’s a good idea to bring the gravel out a bit from where the fire sits to help keep any sparks that might jump out from catching anything on fire. If you want to get a little fancy, you can also add a few layers of bricks or pavers around the edges.


11. Fire Pit Area

You can also expand your pea gravel fire pit into an entire area. Add some wooden lawn chairs for a more natural feel or some metal furniture if you want it to look more industrial. The rocks will hold up better than turf with the heavy foot traffic. Don’t forget to add a few side tables to the mix so you have somewhere to sit your drinks or set up a wireless speaker to really get the party started!


12. Around Pool

Pea gravel works great to create traction around a pool. There are several products available that will bind the rocks together so they don’t end up in the pool! It’s also super easy to find gravel colors that will go with your pool liner and any other stonework. Pea gravel will also hold up better and is much easier to repair if cracks begin to form versus other types of stonework.


13. Hot Tub Base

Crushed pea gravel makes an excellent base for a heavy hot tub in your backyard. It will keep water from puddling around the area and has plenty of grip so you won’t be slipping and sliding when you get out. Make sure you use crushed gravel, not river rock, for this project so that you can easily compact it and get a nice level surface.


14. Under Patio Swing

You can easily place a free-standing porch swing on pea gravel. A swing provides a wonderful place you can relax with a cup of coffee or your favorite book while enjoying the outdoors! Using gravel rather than a concrete slab is more aesthetically pleasing and it’s a more budget-friendly option.


15. Under Swing Set

Pea gravel doesn’t just work well for a porch swing but also for the kiddo’s swing set. Wood mulch and rubber mulch are often used instead but they have their drawbacks. Wood mulch breaks down quickly and needs replacing about once a year. Rubber mulch often has a chemical smell that takes time to fade away and often becomes a nuisance to homeowners. Rubber mulch can also become uncomfortably hot to walk on during the summer.

Pea gravel helps with drainage around the swing set and lasts much longer than other materials. You’ll have to rake it every so often to keep it the correct depth and to keep it level. However, you won’t have to replace or add to it for several years.


16. Playground

Just like with a swing set, gravel pebbles make a great foundation for a playground. It will hold up better to the elements and is much more cost-effective than rubber mulch. Make sure to use river rock pea gravel which has naturally smooth edges. This will increase its ability to cushion any falls that might occur when children are playing.


17. Dog Run

Pea gravel is a fantastic choice for a dog run because it’s soft enough for their paws and provides great drainage. Many dogs tend to create bare spots around the perimeter of a fenced yard where they like to patrol their territory. By providing them with their own pebble dog run, they can still get plenty of exercise without damaging the lawn.


18. Dog Potty Area

While dogs provide their owners with love and friendship, they also can create quite a mess in your backyard. Some breeds are notorious for creating dead spots in the lawn due to high levels of nitrogen in their urine. It’s also a chore to go hunting for their number two’s before mowing the lawn.

Use pea gravel to create a dog potty area to decrease damage to the lawn and make your weekly clean-up chore much easier. It also provides good drainage and is easy to hose down when a quick clean-up is needed.



Pea Gravel Walkway Ideas

Creating a walkway adds an interesting landscaping feature to your yard. Whether it leads to your front door, to your garden shed, or connects the front and backyard, it’s an excellent way to add visual interest and keeps heavy foot traffic off your lawn.

19. Walkway

There are many different ways to make a pea gravel walkway, but simply adding a layer of pebbles is all you really need to create a beautiful path. There are so many colors available you can easily choose one that complements existing plants or structures in the area. This low-cost option is easy to install and doesn’t require replacing every year as mulch does.


20. Pea Gravel Edging

Adding borders to landscaping can help features pop and add more texture to the overall design. You can add a simple pea gravel border to your concrete walkway to take it to the next level! For a more subtle look, use a more neutral pebble that blends with the concrete. To create a more dramatic look, choose a contrasting color like black which will stand out from the main walkway.


21. Flagstone Walkway With Pea Gravel

I love flagstone because of its semi-smooth surface and natural edges. No two pieces are alike which adds to their beauty. However, their shape can make them difficult to fit together like other pavers and that’s where pea gravel comes in. You can make a stunning walkway with flagstone stepping stones surrounded by gravel. It accentuates the flagstone if you use the right color and allows you to define the edges of the walkway.


22. Concrete Pavers with Pea Gravel

Concrete pavers can be a little plain due to their lack of color and texture. However, if you leave some space between them you can add pea gravel in between them to provide both color and texture to the walkway. Gravel is also a good deal cheaper than large concrete pavers which will save you some money.


23. Stepping Stones

If you like the look of pea gravel but don’t want a solid walkway, aggregate concrete patio tiles may be just what you need. These pavers are made with a layer of pebbles on top and held together by binders or concrete. You can use these tiles as stepping stones and allow grass to fill in between them for a natural-looking walkway.

Since the gravel is stuck together, you won’t have to worry about it moving around when you walk on it. You can easily find these pea gravel pavers in both square and circle shapes.



Pea Gravel Drainage

If you’re not familiar with pea gravel, you may be asking yourself “Is pea gravel good for drainage?” The answer is absolutely. Pea pebbles are recommended for use in all sorts of drainage projects and it works very well. When you use it for drainage, you get the added benefit of it being aesthetically pleasing as well!


Pea Gravel vs River Rock For Drainage

Pea gravel vs river rock is simply a difference in size. Pea gravel is composed of small river rocks that average around 3/8 inch in size. When it comes to drainage, pea gravel works great when water will be flowing straight down or if it has a gravel grid underneath to keep it in place.

Larger river rocks are necessary when you are working in an area where water will be flowing. This includes areas with a slope or in a drainage ditch. They are much heavier than pea gravel and will stay in place when heavy rains may create small creeks in these areas.


24. Around Patio For Drainage

Large concrete patios generally have a slight, barely noticeable slope to them to allow rainwater to flow away from your door. This excess water runoff can create a soggy lawn or muddy areas around your porch after heavy rains. To avoid this issue, add a border of pea gravel around the patio to allow for drainage into the soil and keep your lawn from getting soggy.


25. Walkway Border For Drainage

Similar to patios, walkways made of concrete or pavers can create drainage issues around their borders during heavy rainfall. Adding a pea gravel border will resolve this issue.


26. Next To Drainage Grate

Drainage grates can be added to areas where water tends to pool to help redirect it. They may also be added over French drains to help direct the flow of water. Add a layer of pea gravel around them to help during heavy precipitation that may still overflow the grate at times.


27. Under Downspout

Water from downspouts can damage grass and displace materials like mulch due to the amount of water they transport from your roof. Many people simply use a plastic tray to minimize the damage but pea gravel looks so much better! You can select a color to complement the surroundings and it won’t fade over time like those plastic trays.


28. Dry River Bed

Dry creek beds are one of my favorite landscaping features which can also serve a functional purpose. Most yards have low areas around the edges of the property which serve as drainage ditches during heavy downpours to keep water away from your home’s foundation. You’ll often simply see grass filling these areas. However, depending on the grass type and rain frequency, prolonged soil moisture in these areas can lead to root rot or other disease issues making the grass look a bit worse for wear.

Adding a dry river bed to these areas adds visual interest and eliminates any disease issues you might encounter by having grass or plants instead. To create a stable design, use pea gravel around the edges and larger river rocks down the center which holds up better to flowing water. You can also create a dry creek bed in other areas of your yard to create a gorgeous landscape feature as shown in the photo above.

About Dakota Crawford 44 Articles
Dakota Crawford is a freelance science writer who covers gardening, forestry, wildlife, and entomology. She earned three degrees from The University of Georgia: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Master of Science in Forest Resources, and Master of Science in Entomology.