It’s true that plants are usually the eye catching element of a garden, especially in spring and summer.
They sing out and grab attention, whilst the less glamerous parts like the paving, can easily be overlooked.
However, paving, or whetever you choose to put on your garden floor, can be expensive both in time and money, so it makes sense to give it some thought and get it right.
Some useful tips:
- Decide what your budget is, this will narrow down your choices and you won’t feel completely overwhelmed.
- What style of garden are you aiming for? For instance, bricks or random sized stone paving look best with a rustic, country style, whilst using slabs that are all the same size, in a uniform pattern suits a new house.
- Grass and shingle are cheaper than paving, but need some maintenance.
Incorporating herbs like camomile or thyme into random-style paving is a lovely idea if you’re looking for a relaxed style, note that herbs prefer a sunny spot.
Decking is good value and perfect for uneven or sloping areas, I designed this garden for The Hampton Court Flower Show using reclaimed scaffold boards. Wood does become slippery in shady areas so keep this for the sunny part of the garden and choose paving for the shade.
Shingle is a great surface for a nice, flat area and one of the cheapest to buy and put down.
I love the concrete shapes that form this path, they’re perfect for a contemporary garden.
It’s also good to play around combining different materials and making interesting shapes, like this shingle circle with a central star-burst in stones.
Grass is one of best surfaces, it’s cheap, great for children to play on and we all like a nice lawn to lie-on.
One last tip, a generous sized patio is best for the table and chairs. It’s surprising how much space you need for pulling chairs back from a table, teetering on the edge of flower beds is never a good look.
If you haven’t got a lot of space, have a look at this earlier post about small gardens, you’ll also see a picture of me in the completed Hampton Court garden.
Laying paving is a skilled job, have a look at the BALI website to find a professional Landscaper.
All images: Jill Anderson