With busy lifestyles, my husband and I were looking for as low maintenance as possible for the yard. He suggested we use gravel. I was very opposed to that idea. After taking me by several places that were using gravel, I reluctantly gave in. That was the best move we ever made. I shrubs are planted in beautiful pots in gravel beds and their is gravel around the trees. It is basically a weed free yard. We get more compliments on our beds than we do on the house. Wish I would have seen this article from HOUZZ.