How I Created A Garden Feature With Black Shale And Blue Glass Gems


The Problem: When we moved into our present home the previous owner was a passionate gardener so a lot of the work was already done. But strangely they left one area that runs along the east side of the house alone. It was always loaded with weeds and when it rained or the snow melted it became a muddy mess. It is 23 ft by 5 ft (762 cm x 152 cm) making it a very long and narrow area.
We decided to landscape it with black shale. To ensure no weeds came back we covered the area first with several layers of landscape fabric before adding the black shale and my husband finished it off with some very nice grey interlocking bricks.
It looked a lot cleaner and became a very low maintenance landscaped area of the yard. However, it didn’t look very pretty. It just looked very black and very grey.
The Solution: I happened to have a lot of different tones of blue and white glass gems that I thought could be added to the black shale to add some sparkle and colour to the basic black and grey.
I sprinkled them on top of the rock in a wavy pattern to represent a flowing creek or river. They start at one end and run along to the other end just before you take the sloped pathway down to the backyard.
I did originally worry about how durable the glass gems would be against the weather elements like rain, snow, heat and wind. But they have lasted two years so far and still look just as shiny and sparkly.
I see landscaping as being creative and having fun working with living and both non-living features to add those special touches to your garden! This was a very inexpensive feature to add to a very dull area!
I provide more details about this project on my blog. I invite you to learn more by stopping by!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Pam Klecan
    on Mar 25, 2016

    Is this a walking area? Was there any concern about walking on the glass and it breaking?

  • Kay
    on May 26, 2017

    I am thinking of useing them in my fairy garden as a path. Will they sparkel shine at night? I am making the garden inside my old turtel tank. Great job! The stones look great I love them. Kay Adelaide Australia

Join the conversation

3 of 85 comments
  • Paw21651846
    on Jun 6, 2017

    This is the first time I've commented. Thank you for the compliment. No photo, sorry.
  • Stephanie
    on Jun 18, 2017

    Wow that is awesome - unbelievable talent and creativity
    • Time With Thea
      on Jun 19, 2017

      Thanks! I do love walking by that part of the garden. It does look so pretty. Such a simple and inexpensive idea too!

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