Decomposed Granite Landscaping Ideas and Installation Tips

Whether it’s a remodel or an impending garden design project, simplifying garden maintenance and reducing water usage is the solution. Nothing guarantees that better than Decomposed Granite (popularly known as DG). Wondering why it’s the most ideal landscaping material? Well, it’s natural, aesthetically versatile, permeable and amazingly cheap.

For these reasons and much more, decomposed granite is evidently the most popular type of hardscapes. We wish to have you achieve your dream hardscape with decomposed granite. Therefore, here are 8 decomposed granite landscaping ideas, their installation tips as well as how to install the various types of Decomposed Granite. So, hold your horses and read on, but first.

What Is Decomposed Granite (DG)?

DG is a type of gravel that is finer and more stable. It is made of small granite rock particles that normally result from natural weathering and erosion of solid granite. In addition to the material being cheap, it’s also simple and fast to landscape using decomposed granite.

The decomposed granite used for landscaping comprises of fine 3/8 inch particles-some are smaller than a grain of sand. Their colors vary and mostly include shades of brown, gray, red, black and green.

What Is Decomposed Granite (DG)

Types of Decomposed Granite

Despite there being more than 30 varieties of decomposed granite, there are only three types of decomposed granite.

  • Natural DG. Best used as mulch material around garden beds as it weathers with time thus providing extra nutrients to the soil. It’s durable than other mulch materials.
  • Stabilized DG. Used on paths or patios. It’s often added on top of other gravel material.
  • Resin-coated DG. Mostly used on driveways thanks to its permeability and natural look.

 Best Ways to Use Decomposed Granite

  • Used for driveways, paths and garden trails.
  • Use as mulch material.
  • Use to create a smooth visual transition from your real garden and wilderness.

Warning: Never install your DG material near the entry of your house or any building. It usually sticks on shoes and can cause scratches in your floor. Instead, place other surface materials and maybe a door mat between your home and the DG.

Types of Decomposed Granite

Decomposed granite landscaping ideas

So, do you finally feel like you want to have inspirations for actualizing your dream of decomposed granite landscape? If so, we have compiled what we believe to be the most popular decomposed granite landscaping ideas from best designers around. Explore them and choose the best for your home design and renovation.

1. Side Garden

Decomposed granite landscaping ideas

This is a generous decomposed granite landscaping idea that’s perfectly sheltered by trees. It forms a close relationship with the nearby landscape and gardens. Does it look like something you would wish to try! Why not?  However, when planting the trees for shade or installing some a shading, be keen to on the sun’s path and install the shading appropriately.

2. River Parkway Oasis

River Parkway Oasis

This is a perfect example of a mid-sized traditional backyard. The water feature adds an intimation of life to your garden. It’s great for fall.

3. Rancho Santa Fe Edible Garden

Rancho Santa Fe Edible Garden

Leave alone the raised garden beds, if you have a taste for Mediterranean full sun DG, you ought to embrace this idea. Though they may never affirm this, your decomposed granite will cherish the company of raised vegetable garden in their neighborhood.

While installing such a raised beds DG, we recommend you have drip irrigation in place before planting-it offers more flexibility.

4. Kirkland Charmer

decomposed granite garden ideas

This is a mid-century modern decomposed granite landscaping idea. Love the purple shrub? Good, why not embrace it? Believe you me; it won’t cost you the earth. What’s more, this idea is very easy to actualize. Who wouldn’t love to have climbing roses along a pathway! What about having ground-cover all over your paths leading to your ever flourishing garden. Mmh, that’s just a feel of what comes with this DG landscaping idea.

5. Coconut Grove Decomposed Granite Project



Coconut Grove Decomposed Granite Project

Looks amazing, isn’t it? This is a great partial front garden DG garden path for spring.

6. I See Wild

I See Wild

I see wild, do you? Well, just taking it literally. This heavenly design should be in you must-do- list. Simply add a few stones at the bottom, no need of filing them all around. You may also need to mark the space. Ultimately, this is going to be the envy of your neighborhood.

7. Side Garden Patio, Cottage Style

Side Garden Patio, Cottage Style

Could we just save the issue on patio ideas for another day? I mean, they’re just so many. However, as matters decomposed garden landscaping ideas go, this is a rewarding shot.

Just remember to add some greenery, especially the drought-resistant plants, around your garden.

8. Sophisticated Surrounding

decomposed granite landscape ideas

Don’t get it twisted; the use of the word ‘sophisticated’ doesn’t hold water in this case. If anything, it’s not only inexpensive but also very easy to implement this decomposed granite landscaping idea. It’s a great idea to draw you through your garden.

Just be keen to use varied materials including wood, drought resistant lush and concrete to offer your visitors a multi-sensory environment. You’re the only limitation towards having this idea complement the mid-century design of your home.

Now, to whom much us given, much is expected. Having fed you with the above thoughtful decomposed granite landscaping ideas, the ball is now in your court. However, as your all time ‘yours truly,’ here are all the tips as well as guide on how to install decomposed granite hardscape.

Tips When Installing Decomposed Granite

  • Follow the installation tips.
  • Don’t add DG to a landscape that is full of rock elements.
  • Be creative at every step. Pay attention to the decoration your DG needs to compliment.
  • Be keen on how everything ties together in the ultimate landscape design.
  • Purpose to do it yourself. Hiring a professional may make it a little durable but way too expensive.
  • Use header boards. These keeps the DG contained in the pathway this preventing the scattering effects caused by harsh weather.
  • Use DG with stabilizer. You can have it pre-mixed or opt to buy a soil stabilizer later. However, using a pre-mixed stuff may save you time.
  • Get a compactor. This ensures the decomposed granite doesn’t scatter over the place. Secret Sauce: Let it get wet hours before compacting for best results.
  • Use a weed barrier. We’ve told you how to get rid of weeds Well, they are also the worst enemy towards your DG landscape. Prior to installation, use weed barriers to hinder weeds from ruining tour beautiful DG garden paths.
  • Install multiple layers of the decomposed granite. Ideally, you should install at least 3-4 layers of thin DG and compact in between each layer. This prevents sand like effect after constant stamping of the pathway.

Tips When Installing Decomposed Granite

How to Install Decomposed Granite While Implementing Your DG Landscape Idea

Thank you for finally deciding to improve the look of your home with this cost-effective way, you won’t regret it. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just an amateur, trust the process.

Though quite easy to do, here are all the tricks you need to have a durable DG surface. Hopefully, you have access to a compactor, water, and others as tipped above.


  1. Decomposed Granite
  2. Compactor
  3. Rake
  4. Header Boards
  5. Hose with sufficient pressure
  6. Weed Barrier (optional)
  7. Measuring tape, paper, pencil

Installing the Decomposed Granite on a Pathway

1. Determine the location of your path

How to Install Decomposed Granite While Implementing Your DG Landscape Idea

You may need to use spray paint to help you visualize the natural look of the path.

2. Determine the amount of decomposed granite that you’ll need

Hoping you have you calculator, paper and pencil around, take the path’s dimensions and do the multiplication to get the square footage of the path. Input the result into your coverage calculator to find the amount of DG you need. We recommend a depth of 2-3 inches all over the pathway.

3. Install header boards and secure them with stakes

First dig the soil to a depth of one inch to let the DG pathway be three inches for the oath surface. Secure them with stakes at every four feet.

4. Add weed barrier

Though optional, if you’re worried about weeds, start by spreading a weed barrier before adding the layers of your decomposed granite.

Installing the Decomposed Granite on a Pathway

5. Adding the Decomposed Granite

Do this in phases. At first, fill the space between the header boards with a 1.5 inch thick layer of DG and soak them with water. Let it sit for eight hours and then compact it. Add another 1.5 inch layer of the DG and re-compress. After another eight hours, add a third layer to make the path flush reach the top of the header board.

5. Adding the Decomposed Granite

6. Maintenance

After adding the final layer, do the final touches by raking the decomposed granite’s surface to loosen it up and enhance a natural look. In case it wears up after some time, refresh it by adding another layer as described above.

Wrap Up!

So, which of the above decomposed granite landscape idea have you fallen for? Or, is there a favorite one that we didn’t mention? We wouldn’t mind hearing from you on the comments section below. Meanwhile, all the best as you in your next decomposed granite landscaping gig.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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