Making paving special
When you're planning the hard landscaping in your garden, don't be afraid to get imaginative. You don't have to stick to just one material, and you don't have to use stone or brick: there are dozens of ways to make your paving unique to you, and yourSt Albans garden will be far more personal as a result.
In our garden centre you'll find all sorts of materials to mix and match your paths for that hand-finished effect, from regular paviours and stone slabs to cobbles, pebbles, setts and tiles for mosaics. Get creative and try a few of these more unconventional approaches to paving:
- Grow plants between your paving slabs: Instead of filling with mortar, use compost and plant ribbons of low-growing thyme, chamomile or cushiony mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii) between your paving slabs. The wider the ribbon, the more marked the effect: at its most extreme you end up with stepping stones in a sea of green.
- Insert contrasting circles: you can buy easy-to-install circular mini-patios in our garden centre which slot together in ever-widening rings. Sit one of these within a conventional square patio, preferably in a contrasting colour, for an eyecatching focal point.
- Cut a ribbon of water through: rills are an elegant way to bring water into the garden when you don't have space for a pond: running through a channel cut into a stone patio really brings your paving to life. If you're feeling really ambitious, try twin rills or a spiral rill leading into a central pool or bubble fountain.
- Design a mosaic picture: Leave an area of your patio empty so you can create a picture out of coloured pebbles. It can be as simple as a star or a flower; or as complicated as the one at Great Dixter in East Sussex, which depicts owner Christopher Lloyd's pet dogs. Lay out your design before you do it, then put down a screed of mortar and press the stones into it, making sure they're level.
Please ask the staff in our St Albans garden centre for more information and advice about making paving unique to you.