At this time of year, as the evenings stretch out and the plants come into full bloom, our thoughts often turn to improving our outdoor space. Whether that means a lick of paint for the fences, some new planters filled with fragrant flowers, or something as simple as a bird table, it’s always satisfying to see fresh life being breathed into our gardens.
For some, it may be time to implement a more dramatic change – one that happens right underfoot. Sprucing up your garden paving and patio can give the entire space a dramatic lift, redefining both the look of the place and how you use it. It’s also a great way to keep the neighbours on their toes! However, before carrying out your big paving plan, it’s important to consider what will work best for you. To do that, you should take some time to consider these three important questions:
What overall look do you want to achieve?
A patio is, in essence, an area from which you can feast your eyes on your garden so it’s a good idea to match the two in terms of their overall style. A rustic, free-form garden full of joyous wildflowers, gnarly cherry trees, winding pathways and old-fashioned fruit shrubs will work best with traditional cobbletstone setts. A more contemporary garden design may benefit from sleek marble paving or the cool, dark hue of quality slate. Of course, there’s also the question of pattern and colour to think about. Patterns include random course, stretcher bond and repeatable random. Careful geometric designs can be used to divvy up space into defined areas, while a mixture of Indian sandstone colours can add a sense of warmth and home comfort to a patio.
How will you use the space?
This is an extremely important consideration. Perhaps your household is a sociable one that’s often the place to be for parties and celebrations. Or, perhaps you’re one half of a couple who prefer to keep things peaceful and want to focus on creating a place of refuge and serenity in your garden. Think about whether you want a formal dining platform, a rockery in which to cultivate unusual seedlings, or a tiered area where oversized containers full of seasonal plants can be displayed.
What are the practical considerations?
As well as the aesthetics, when choosing your patio paving, there are practical issues to consider. If you live in an area with poorly draining soil, then selecting permeable paving may be the answer. Rather than water collecting and potentially causing problems for your patio, permeable paving will allow it to drain away.
Or, if you’ve experienced moss growth and staining in the past, you may want to think about choosing a vitrified paving product which, in addition to being very strong, absorbs very little moisture and so remains clear of both potentially damaging effects.
If you’re about to consult the experts, ensure you’re talking to recommended patio installers by using the Marshalls Register to find a local, accredited tradesman. Visit our patio and paving designs page to find out more.