Got gravel - blue metal (granite) or otherwise - that you need to store somewhere? But you don't want it contaminated with leaves and you don't want it to be an eyesore? Then consider thinking different!

Basically for this approach, all you need is the gravel to store, shade cloth, 150 mm wide garden edging and a few nails.

First, work out the volume of gravel you have. There are plenty of formulae available on Google but if you have the pile shaped as a spherical cone, the volume is:

where π is approximately 3.14, h is the height of the pile and D is the base diameter of the pile.

If you know the pile slopes at a 45˚ angle, this formula reduces to:

Using this formula in reverse to work out the **minimum** diameter of the structure we are going to make:

where V is the volume of the pile we calculated.

For example, I worked out I had 1.2 cubic metres of gravel. This works out to a minimum diameter of 2.1 m.

Now we know the diameter of our structure, let's start making it! Make sure there is enough level space to put it - I made some by __using some of the soil up__.

We will need a piece of shadecloth with the minimum dimension larger than the diameter we calculated. In my case I had two pieces, so I sewed them together with fishing line.

Lay the shadecloth flat.

Next, we will make a loop of edging. The minimum length L we need is

L = π x D + 200 mm

I.e. 200 mm of overlap for joining.

Mark 200 mm from the end (or the required length if you have a longer piece), loop it on itself and drive two nails or tacks through - about 20 mm from each edge. You may need two bricks to hold the edging while driving the nails through.

Place the loop.

Make sure there is easy access for tipping, I used blocks of reconstituted limestone.

Next, let's start filling with gravel. I made a ramp for easy transport with the wheelbarrow.

Consider sieving the gravel if contaminated with sand, especially if it's dry. If wet consider letting it dry out. Wear a dust mask. Use the shovel to sieve, or your gloves (or hands!) will get damaged.

Tip in the gravel progressively, moving to the sides away from the tipping point with a strong steel rake.

Once filled **flush**, make another loop. Make sure its diameter is 2 x W less than the previous loop, where W is the width of the edging. So in my case, 300 mm less.

Repeat until you have used up the gravel. Mine has three rings.

Finally, cover with shadecloth. Done! 😃

Nice to see the Centre developing 👷