In many ways, decomposed granite (often referred to as DG) is the ideal hardscape material. Formed from the natural erosion of solid granite, it’s similar to gravel but finer and more stable. It compacts down hard like concrete, but has a more natural feel than paving. Decomposed granite comes in a variety of colors, such as buff, brown, gray, black, red and even green. There are many advantages to using decomposed granite in hardscape, such as:
It’s versatile. Decomposed granite can be used in a variety of projects, such as paths, driveways, patios, and many more projects. You can use decomposed granite as a groundcover underneath trees where grass won’t grow. It also makes a great groundcover for low-water landscaping projects. Careful attention has to be paid to plant selection when using decomposed granite as not all plants react well to it as mulch.
It’s attractive. The fact that decomposed granite is available in many different shades means that it can be used to complement almost any existing outside décor. When combined with flagstone, you can achieve a beautiful, high-end effect on patios and walkways. Using more than one color together in decorative patterns can make for a unique irrigation-free landscape feature.
It’s inexpensive. Compared to various other hardscape materials, decomposed granite is relatively inexpensive. It generally costs about a third of concrete and a fifth of interlocking pavers, and is both durable and long lasting.
It’s easy to maintain. When pavement begins to erode or crack, replacing it can become an expensive and time-consuming project. When decomposed granite weathers or erodes, all you have to do is add more and re-compact it.
It provides excellent drainage. Decomposed granite is permeable, so water doesn’t pool on top and cause problems. It’s similar to gravel in this regard, but it’s more attractive and remains firm underfoot.
One thing to remember about decomposed granite is that it softens when wet. After sustained rains, it is possible to leave indendations in the material. Application of a stabilizer can help prevent that. Even after days of heavy rains, however, the decomposed granite will dry out and harden again within a couple of days.
Decomposed granite can be used in a variety of landscaping styles. It makes for a classic pathway in a Mediterranean or Tuscan landscape. It can create charming walkways in cottage gardens. It can also be used in a desert or arid garden to great effect.
For more information on how decomposed granite can be used in your landscaping or hardscaping project, please give us a call or stop by for a visit. We’ll be happy to answer questions or give you some creative ideas.