A gravel path leading to a home

This is the era of the weekend warrior. As people were confined to their homes, they began to envision their living spaces in a whole different way. Thousands of people flocked to home stores and hardware stores to get the materials they needed to spruce up their living quarters. In order to create beautiful landscaping creations, reaching out to your nearest aggregate supplier will do the trick. Sand and gravel are versatile and easy-to-use materials with incredible transformative potential.

It’s all about thinking outside the box and defining your own space.

And you don’t always need a professional landscaper to do it. Here’s how you can get your hands on the best materials and put them to use to beautify your home without too much hassle. 

Sand and Gravel as Building Material

People have been using sand and gravel as decorative material for many years and even in ancient times. They fall under the bigger category of aggregates. These materials are all-natural and are derived from igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. The powerful duo paved its way into U.S. history as the automobile became a bigger part of society and required roads. Asphalt and concrete were in high demand as these road systems got underway across the country.  

The word “aggregates” is used to describe materials that are mineral-based. These aggregates are granular such as sand, crushed stone, and gravel—a crucial component (along with Portland cement) of concrete. 

If you look around, aggregates are likely a big part of your daily commute, your kids’ schools, the structures you encounter, and even your homes. 

Finding Sand and Gravel in Nature

Aggregates are usually acquired and dug from a pit or quarry. They can also be dredged from a pit, seabed, lake, or river. Heavy machinery such as excavators are often used to extract the material. Controlled explosives are also used to blast the rock from the face of the quarry. The material is then separated and cleaned. Unwanted clay is removed so that the material is pure and ready to go. 

The type of aggregates used in any project will affect the quality of the concrete. Quality materials are needed for sturdy concrete. 

3 Projects to Spice up Your Landscaping 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of sand and gravel extraction and their function in modern society let’s look at how a small sample of this natural material can take your home to the next level with just a little bit of planning.

#1 The Infallible Gravel Path 

No landscaping can go wrong with a well-placed path leading to a focal point in the yard, garden, or front porch. Gravel paths are easy to install and don’t require too much material, nor do they have to be set very deep— so they are perfect for a beginner or advanced DIYer looking to spice up their landscaping. 

Gravel is also easy to handle. There is no pouring involved as there would be when installing a concrete path. It also feels soft beneath your feet and blends in better with any kind of landscaping. The ease of installation allows you to choose the shape: curvy, straight, meandering, you-name-it!

So a well-placed gravel path can add a sense of unity to any yard. Here are some things to consider:

  • These paths are used for lighter trafficked areas. Consider where you will be placing the path. An area that sees a lot of foot traffic may not be ideal for gravel. It can work great in areas in your garden and backyard that are trampled on less. 
  • Consider the upkeep. A little maintenance often goes a long way with a gravel path. Otherwise, it might lose its shape and begin to look smudged. 
  • Install reliable siding to keep it together. Along with your gravel path, the material of the siding will have an effect on its functionality and will aid in the maintenance of your path. 

#2 The Tranquil Zen Garden 

This Japanese tradition will add a splash of the exotic with a breath of the meditative. Zen rock gardens, known as karensansui, is translated as dry mountain water. Here in the Southwest, this type of garden works really well because of our mountains and dry climates. After using computer models to analyze traditional zen gardens, researchers found that the shape often resembled branching trees, but visitors to traditional gardens have discerned images such as a mama bear escorting her cubs across a river. That’s part of the mystery and the beauty of these outside creations. 

Tips to keep in mind when installing your own meditation spot: 

  • Use quality sand to enhance beauty. It will make the sand easier to rake. Zen gardens rake the sand to create the tranquil effect of water. 
  • Use bigger rocks or stones to create the zen effect. A traditional zen garden will place larger stones in the middle or in clusters, which resemble islands from a distance. Place one in the middle or on the sides to encircle the sanded area. 

#3 A Children’s Play Area or Playground 

If you have small kiddos running around, designating a play area can help the rest of your yard stay organized and give them an area to play. Installing a children’s playground does not have to disrupt your landscaping design. However, it can enhance it. 

Here are some tips on approaching your backyard playground. 

  • Choose an area of your yard that is free of obstructions or obstacles and mark the area to ensure there will be plenty of room for installation. 
  • A playground will have a main attraction. That can be a playset, swingset, or a small playhouse that you choose to install. 
  • Consider the arrangement of the rest of your landscaping to help your play area complement the design. 
  • Use quality sand and materials to give your kids the best playing experience. 

Find the Right Aggregates with New Mexico Ready Mix

We supply construction contractors, professional landscapers, and DIY homeowners looking to enhance their curb appeal. Our high-quality aggregates are used for concrete mixes as well. Our aggregate material is ready to go and is only the highest quality. 

Looking to find accessible quality building material for your project. Call New Mexico Ready Mix today. 

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