Functional. Natural. Beautiful.
Enhance your landscape with crushed shell
By Jillian Chandler
Born and raised in the beautiful seaside destination of Cape Town, South Africa, Mark Soboil recalls the beauty of nature being an extension of his family home. After moving to the U.S. and attending graduate school for marine science in New England, where he met his wife, Mark was drawn to the classic Cape Cod look of crushed seashell used on driveways and walkways. “When we moved to the Pacific Northwest, we wanted to install something similar on our property that complements the aesthetic landscape designs of the Pacific Northwest but could not source any shell locally,” he says.
Mark’s wife, Julie, encouraged him to use his knowledge in marine biology to find a way in which he could bring the classic Cap Code look of crushed seashell to the Pacific Northwest. His vision came to fruition in the summer of 2020 with the launch of his company Shellscapes, which supplies locally sourced, sustainable crushed shell for landscaping projects.
In partnership with local oyster farms, whose families have been farming in the region since the mid-1800s , Mark decided to reduce, recycle and reuse the discarded shell and develop a locally sourced product that can be utilized on paths, patios, courtyards and driveways. Their products are locally sourced and environmentally friendly.
Sustainable crushed oyster shell is a great alternative to gravel and can be used on pathways, driveways and many other hardscaping projects. It is natural, functional—and not just for seaside landscapes. At Shellscapes, they believe it should be on your shortlist for decorating your paths and driveways.
There is nothing like the dramatic contrast that seashells can provide against the lush Pacific Northwest landscape.
Unlike gravel or crushed stone, these crushed shells break into smaller pieces as they are walked on or driven over, and disperse evenly, creating a stable surface. This prevents ruts and holes while also providing excellent drainage for rainwater. Ideal for commercial and residential use, crushed shell has become one of the most sought-after landscaping materials. In addition to being functional, beneficial for the environment and aesthetically beautiful, crushed shell is a natural deterrent for many garden pests including moles and slugs.
Mark is proud of the business he has created and the product he provides, and finds the final result rewarding, each and every time. “Once the shell has been installed, we love sharing the excitement and delight of the beautiful landscapes with our clients knowing that it is a natural product that is supplied from a sustainable source,” he smiles.
If you are looking to revamp your landscape or hardscape, and function, sustainability and aesthetics are equally important, Mark invites you to reach out today to start discussing your shell-scaping goals.