Building a gravel driveway can be an affordable and great-looking way to create a place for parking vehicles. To install, it will require special maintenance, like stabilizing the gravel, and a heavy-duty edging to keep the gravel in place. With several types of edging that work well with gravel driveways, you can choose that one that works best for you.
A flat edging may look good, but it's not going to hold the gravel in place as well as a raised edging would. You can find raised edging in a variety of materials. Granite is popular for those who want a more refined look and have the money to spend on it, while brick and pavers are perfect for saving money while still being functional.
To add more stability, a raised edging material can be set in concrete. This will ensure the edging stays in place and helps lessen the chances of getting gravel all over your yard as you drive up and down the driveway.
Steel edging is recommended for those who want to use a loose stone, such as gravel, but don't want to spend the money on edging which can be expensive. Steel edging can be masked with shrubs, or decorative steel edging can be used instead. Steel edging is more cost-effective as well when compared to other forms of edging.
Railroad ties can look fantastic when used as edging, and they will do a good job of keeping the gravel in place. Another benefit to this type of edging is that it is cheap. Railroad ties are simple to install and will last for years with little to no maintenance.
For the best protection from escaping gravel, dig a small trench to place the ties in. You want them to set down only a few inches so that they will still protrude upwards. Another option, if you like the rustic look, is to use river logs. The concept is the same, and the look is great when done with cabin- or country-style homes.
Shrubs and Landscaping
Carefully placed shrubs can serve as the perfect edging for gravel driveways. You will want to use shrubs that will sit low to the ground and won't root deeply. Bayberry and Boxwood are great shrubs to use for this. Many people will add flowers to the mix for a prettier design. Before you plant anything, just be sure you know what types of plants will grow well in your area. You can find hardiness-zone reports at your local garden center or on any garden-related website.
If you want to get even more creative, use a combination of the above materials for an effective heavy-duty edging. You can use two or three different layers to create your own look. If you start with railroad tiles on the inside edge of the driveway, then use some flowers, then some shrubs, you will have a beautiful-looking driveway that will also prevent gravel from getting all over the yard.