No one wants an asphalt airstrip in front of the house, but we sometimes assume that dense paving is necessary to take the load of a carport or driveway. This isn’t always true. Many people have paver driveways that are not only very appealing but are helpful in desperate drainage situations.
Pavements can take up twice as much area as our houses and are a main culprit in all kinds of environmental problems, including polluted runoff, depleted groundwater, high temperatures, unnecessary erosion and stunted tree growth.
This beautiful patio has just enough stone to provide a clean, modern edge, but a percentage of it is permeable because the center is filled with gravel.
Remember that even with a classic gravel path, properly installing the subgrade, the base course and the surface layer can give you a much more durable result. Instead of just throwing some gravel down in your garden, consult a landscaper to get some good recommendations on plastic grids and fabric backings that discourage weed growth.
Notice the small area of the garden that resembles a Texas riverbed. It basically is a deeper section of the garden filled with river rock and pebbles, where the stormwater can gather before slowly being absorbed back into the ground. My mom then added a stone path with gravel joints to balance accessibility and permeability.