A pea gravel open area or “patio” is a low to medium cost way to achieve a low maintenance usable gathering space in your yard. We usually cover the ground with weed barrier fabric to keep dirt and gravel separated while keeping weeds out for 10 years or more. The pea gravel shades the ground and dries out to quickly to allow weed seeds to germinate. Occasional raking is your only maintenance! Sometimes stepping stones can be added…now or later. Pea gravel open areas make great kids play areas!