In torrid Texas, irrigation poses a serious environmental problem. Patches of sod and gravel help cut down on water consumption at this boldly-reimagined Austin bungalow.
Gravel complements the muted material palette of grey stucco and reclaimed lumber at this affordable townhouse in Houston.
Poured-in-place concrete interspersed with gravel and stone create a textured pathway between the four separate "garden rooms" at this indoor-outdoor residence in Silicon Valley.
A zig-zagging white gravel pathway leads to a circular concrete-and-steel fire pit at this leafy garden in Oakland Hills, California.
At this summer retreat on Shelter Island, the pebbles in the gravel-lined entry court remain cool thanks to shade from a Japanese maple.
Handscaping keeps water use to a minimum at this high-tech green house in Los Angeles. Drought-resistant bamboo accents the home's gravel side yard.
Designing with gravel not only reduces the need for irrigation, it also creates space for water to gradually percolate into the soil. As Stephen Shoup, owner of this eco-conscious home in Oakland, explains: "One of the challenges in green building is to not only minimize water use but minimize what is getting into our storm drains.”