Most gardeners will, at some point in their lives, have used them; decorative landscape designers will have used them too but in quantities so huge you’d need several dumper trucks to move them and anyone who has ever visited a garden centre will have seen them stacked in sacks in the outdoor section – that’s right, we’re talking about slate chippings.
But actually, how many of us really understand where this miracle decorative garden mulch comes from. Indeed, many of us may never have given it a second thought. Slate chippings can be found in so many private gardens, public spaces and corporate landscaping situations for people to appreciate and enjoy, but we get used to them being there, having little knowledge of their origins.
Slate Chippings & Natural Forces
Slate is a form of metamorphic rock which has been formed originally from sedimentary rock. Over time, the sedimentary rock will have been subject to huge forces of nature and temperatures, turning the clay and minerals present in the shale into their composite states, the resultant rock being slate.
Slate chippings are created as a result of human activity. Slate has been mined for hundreds of years to provide a building material that is suitable for house roof tiles, flooring and for some other decorative domestic applications. Its hard wearing qualities make slate perfect for roof tiles, providing superb long term protection against inclement weather with superb waterproofing qualities. Slate has long been a favourite of traditional snooker table manufacturers because of its incredibly smooth, hard and blemish free attributes which make for free, unhindered running of the balls.
Across the world, different rock formations cause different types of slate to be produced. This is why slate chippings used decoratively in gardening and landscaping can possess different colouring, adding to their qualities as a decorative gardening product. Blue slate chippings and plum slate chippings can be readily purchased for the purposes of gardening.