Is Slate taking over the Garden?
Over the past few years, the average person’s lifestyle has become much more hectic and it is more difficult to find time to relax or even spend time on the garden. For this reason, decorative aggregates have become a popular product to use as it looks fantastic and requires very little maintenance.
There is one product that has been incredibly popular since the increase in demand of decorative aggregates and that is slate.
I am sure most of you know what slate is but for those that don’t, it is a very decorative aggregate that is often flat and quite sharp but always vivid in colour. It is a completely natural product that is literally dug out of the ground in North Wales, filtered into different sizes and sent out.
Uses of Slate
Since the start of the boom of decorative aggregates in the garden, slate has been the highest seller by far and can now be found in many gardens around the UK. It has been used on pathways, driveways, rockeries, plant pots and even in fish ponds as it is very fish friendly. In many ways slate has become so popular because it can be used all over the garden with no damaging effects, unlike some other decorative aggregates.
When it comes to the colour of slate, it is surprising that it is an actual natural product because of the sheer difference between them. The 3 basic colours available are blue, green and plum, with blue being the most popular. Like any product that is extremely popular, there have been different garden features made out of slate from simply supplying it in different sizes.
Slate comes in many different sizes and variations, I will briefly explain each type starting from the smallest.
- Mulch: Slate mulch is the finest and it is usually gathered as a by product from creating a larger sized slate and is 2 – 14mm. This is ideal for garden use and for pathways but is not recommended for drives as it will break easily.
- Chippings: Chippings are approx 20 – 40mm in size and are the most popular type of slate. These can be used anywhere in the garden and can even be used on the driveway although you may want to be closer to the 40mm size for driveways.
- Paddlestones: These are approx 50mm – 150mm is size and are often tumbled to give a smooth look. These are often used as an addition of a rockery but shouldn’t be used on a drive as they are too large.
- Rockery: Slate rockery can be anything from 150mm to 450mm and is mainly used for purely decorative purposes in the garden. A slate rockery can really make a garden look fantastic.
I could go on and talk about slate monoliths, slate water features but the product range is so vast it is beyond the scope of this article. If you want to see the different slate products available, check out the slate products section at the Aggregate Store.
Will decorative slate be the norm in all gardens, such as gravel?
Whether decorative slate will be used in most gardens really depends. It is a beautiful decorative aggregate that can be used anywhere and looks good in any garden area. The only reason that slate hasn’t taken over the standard decorative aggregates such as 20mm gravel is simply the cost. Because there is only one location in the UK that slate is sourced from, this makes the price of shipping it to all parts of the UK quite high. But none the less, slate’s cosmetic benefits over standard aggregate are still selling it by the tonne.
To conclude this article, is slate overtaking standard gravel? No, it is simply not cheap or readily available as what gravel is. Is it taking over the garden? Maybe, it depends on how much a person loves to do their garden but with modern houses having smaller gardens and peoples lives getting busier. Slate is being chosen as part of a maintenance free decorative garden.