Last Modified: March 1, 2024

Gravel Colours

  Guide to Decorative AGGREGATE Colours

A gravel blog page template

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Decorative aggregates, like gravel, stone, bark and wood chippings, play a key role in landscaping and garden decorating, providing both practical and aesthetic benefits. The variety of beautiful colours available in the UK is enormous, which, along with textures, can dramatically amplify the look and feel of an outdoor space. The challenge for professionals and homeowners is getting access to the entire range quickly and easily.

This is where Outdoor Aggregates encyclopaedia, and the innovative concept of a search filter based on gravel colours, marks a significant advancement in both indoor and outdoor design. Our tool, the Pebble Picker, caters to the specific needs of gardeners, landscapers and interior designers, offering an fast and efficient way to find the perfect aggregate colours for any project.

In this article, we explore the diversity of colours available in the UK and also discuss how our groundbreaking search filter can greatly speed up the process and pave the way for you to find and choose the ideal colours for renovating your outdoor space!

Everest blue gravel driveway

Key Takeaways

  • Variety: In the UK, decorative aggregates come in may colours, but accessing them is the challenge. We have the solution!
  • Selecting: Learn how to identify where to start when choosing the colour of your decorative gravel or aggregates.
  • Pebble Picker: Discover why finding and choosing gravel by colour or type has never been easier thanks to our new tool.
  • Compatibility: The best aggregate for the job comes to a multitude of factors, which we also cover.
Colour swatches with brightly coloured scottish pebbles. Jpg

Understanding Which Gravel is Best for the Job

When choosing decorative aggregates for landscaping projects, it's important to consider factors such as the purpose, drainage, aesthetics, maintenance and budget. There are many types of aggregates available, ranging from quartzite, flint and marble stones to decorative barks, wood chippings and even self-binding gravel. Each type has unique properties and best uses, which come down to many factors, all of which are covered within our individual encyclopaedia listings. We also cover the types of gravel, and how they work best for different applications, in a separate article.

Plum slate chippings with complimentary green. Jpg

Choosing Which Gravel Size is Most Suitable

Choosing the right size of gravel or aggregate is often key to satisfying the practical purpose of your landscaping project. For example, shingle comes in various sizes, from small 6mm - 14mm pea gravel to larger-sized 40mm stones. The size affects both its functionality and appearance, with smaller sizes useful in creating a neater look and larger for offering a more natural aesthetic.

When selecting the sizes, you should also think about the practicalities of your project, especially if it's not a purely decorative feature. For walkways and patios, smaller sizes like pea gravel are usually more suitable as they can pack down well to provide a smooth surface. Larger sizes, from 20 - 40mm, are recommended for areas with less foot traffic. Soft gravel, like pea gravel 10mm, is better suited for garden paths or decorative purposes. We cover the aesthetic of size in design, here.

Rainbow pea gravel 10mm. Jpg

The Best Gravel to Walk on

For many, the best gravel to walk on often comes down to comfort. Where this is the case, choose a gravel known for its smooth, rounded edges. In this case, pea gravel is the most comfortable underfoot. Additionally, pea gravel's variety of colours further allows for creative landscape designs.

However, for some, safety may be the primary goal. If this is the case, you will prefer more textured options like crushed gravel, which are used for their slip-resistant properties in wet conditions. Examples include Cotswold chippings 20mm, or golden gravel 10mm, which is a type of shingle that can offer the best of both worlds.

Cotswold stone chippings in buff with purple spring bulbs. Jpg

The Many Colours of Decorative Aggregates

Decorative aggregates come in a wide range of colours that can be used to customise any outdoor space. From warm earthy tones to vibrant hues, in the UK, there is a colour to suit every taste and style. Natural gravel and chippings are available in shades of brown, beige, grey, and black. These colours are perfect for creating a natural look in your garden or driveway. Decorative aggregates come in a variety of colours, from red and blue through to pink, green, cream and the dazzling polar white chippings. These bright colours can be used to create eye-catching designs while adding brightness and light to your outdoor space, all of which are covered here at Outdoor Aggregates.

Contrast: Finding the Darkest Gravel

Selecting the darkest aggregates is for those who are looking to create a striking contrast in their garden design. Popular options include black basalt 10mm chippings and grey granite chippings, which offer a deep, rich tone and look great when wet. Grey granite chippings are also popular due to the fact that they are extremely hard wearing gravel and come in an angular shape, making them suitable for pathways and driveways.

Another reason for the popularity of dark gravel lies in its use around the border of the garden, which highlights the beauty of plants and other features by serving as a dramatic frame.

Wet black limestone chippings 20mm garden border

What Types of Gravel are Black?

Among the variety of gravels and decorative aggregates available, there are four types, which are deep black in colour: black glass aggregate, black slate chippings, black limestone and black basalt. Black basalt 20mm is popular for its striking black shade and angular shape that provides texture and depth to any space. Black slate chippings 14-20mm possess a slightly lighter shade of black with a hint of grey, delivering a sleek and modern look.

Need to work out how much gravel your project needs? Try our free gravel calculator.

Choosing Decorative Gravel by Colour

When choosing the colour of your decorative gravel or aggregates, it is good to start with the overall look you want to achieve. If you want a natural look, then earthy tones are the way to go. If you want something more vibrant and eye-catching, then decorative aggregates in bright colours that compliment the exterior of your house or planted areas can be very appealing, and this is where our Pebble Picker really comes to the fore.

Pebble Picker, the world's first search filter to allow you to choose based on decorative aggregates' colours, is an innovative tool that transforms the way we choose and helps you personalise your landscaping and design. The filter not only provides users with the ability to browse through a vast range of colours and types, enabling them to discover the ideal shades or materials, but it does so by aggregating the entire range of options available within the UK. Whether it's a garden design or an architectural project, our search filter guarantees access to source the biggest selection quickly and easily. You can also quickly get started over in the sidebar.

Thumbnails of different gravel and chippings from the pebble picker

The Best Coloured Gravel for Gardens

The choice of colours for a garden can greatly impact its overall atmosphere and theme. Whether a decorative garden gravel or dark brown landscaping bark mulch, the colour scheme can range from rustic and natural to minimalist and monochrome, such as those seen in Zen rockeries. Picking the right decorative stone, bark or chippings can not only enhance aesthetics but also provide utility by reducing weed growth and improving drainage.

For a warm Mediterranean feel, peach and blue, like Flamingo chippings, or the apricots of Onyx gravel can help to emulate the essence of sun-drenched landscapes. Alternatively, green granite, dove grey limestone, or Everest blue can create a cooler and more tranquil vibe that harmonises well with water features and greenery.

Ultimately, the colours you go for should complement any existing or planned garden elements such as flower beds, border designs and hardscape features. This is where the use of our Pebble Picker can greatly simplify the selection process, allowing for limitless experimentation with different shades and textures in the search for your unique vision.

Flamingo stones in a planter as mulch

Picking the Colour of Gravel for Driveways

When choosing driveway gravel for your project, it is important to consider both appearance and durability. The gravel must be able to withstand vehicle movement and not get stuck in tyre treads. Neutral colours such as grey, buff and brown are popular for their ability to blend with the natural environment while hiding dirt and tyre marks, with cost-effective options like golden gravel 20mm or Yorkshire cream 20mm providing a way to add warmth while looking great.

The colour of the driveway should complement the home's exterior, with soft hues providing a contrast to darker building materials, while vibrant colours can make a bold statement against lighter themes. We take a closer look at both the use of stone chippings for driveways as well as how much a gravel driveway costs in separate pieces.

Golden gravel driveway

Which Colours Go Best With Red Brick

When pairing gravel with red brick structures, earthy tones such as buff, gold, or rustic brown can complement red brick without overpowering it, while grey slate chippings can offer a modern twist and make the red of the brick really stand out. The choice depends on the desired aesthetic. Using decorative aggregates around red brick features can bring a landscape to life and draw attention to architectural details or garden features. With the wide range of colours available, finding the perfect style to complement red bricks is easier than ever.

Panda chippings edging with red bricks border


We hope you have enjoyed our guide to choosing the colours for your next garden project. With a range of hues, from subtle whites to bold reds and blues, now at your fingertips, you should be well on your way to achieving a stunning look with your next feature.

Remember that choosing the right colours is a personal decision that should always reflect your style and preferences. Don't be afraid to jump on our Pebble Picker and experiment with different colours until you find the one that resonates with you. After all, your garden is an extension of your home and should be a place where you feel most comfortable. So why not take the plunge and let your imagination lead the way! Happy gardening.

1blue and red granite gravel garden


What colour gravel is best?

Choosing the best gravel colour is one of the easiest ways to transform your garden, but the choice always depends on personal preference and the desired look. As a guide, natural tones like brown, grey, and green are ideal for gardens, while brightly coloured gravels like gold or red granite can add a pop of colour to themed gardens or borders. Neutral colours are often preferred for driveways.

What are the three types of gravel?

Gravel comes in many more than three different types. They include crushed gravel, pea gravel, slate chippings and river rock. Crushed gravel is made by breaking down stones and is good for driveways and drainage. Pea gravel is usually small, smooth stones and is ideal for walkways and patios. River rock has naturally rounded stones and is popular for most landscaping features. Each type of gravel has specific properties that make it suitable for different needs, allowing for a range of decorative and practical applications.

Can you get black gravel?

Black gravel is easily accessible and commonly used for landscaping, gardening and decorations in fish tanks. It is available in different materials like black basalt, black slate and black limestone, offering a range of textures from sharp to polished. Its bold colour can create a striking contrast in garden designs, highlighting greenery and colourful plants or giving a modern look to driveways and pathways.

What is the best gravel to use?

Choosing the right gravel for a project depends on factors such as drainage, traffic, and appearance. For heavy use areas like driveways, crushed stones like granite 20mm or panda gravel are recommended. Maintenance should also be considered, with angular gravel providing a more stable surface. Using a permeable, heavy duty weed membrane with gravel can also prevent weed growth, help water to drain away and maintain a clean look.

We have every type of gravel available to choose from in the UK. Check them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.