In most landscaping designs, landscapers will include certain elements and features which are the most common, and one of those features which many clients want is paving. Paving provides a solid surface upon which to walk or park the car, and often this is as much for safety and convenience purposes, such as when the client is elderly, as it is for aesthetics.
One of the biggest advantages of paving is that it can provide as many benefits in relation to practical considerations as it does when thinking about the visuals of a landscaped garden. Of course, to maximise those benefits requires careful consideration of the paving that is to be laid, and below we have outlined how you can make the best possible paving choices.
Choosing Paving Types
For most landscaped garden designs you have two main choices as to the type of paving you use, namely composite materials and quarried stone. Both have pros, cons, and different characteristics, so careful consideration has to be given to each.
Quarried stone provides the natural option, and for many, it is the beauty of granite or slate, the two main types, which outweighs any other consideration. They are strong, stable, and offer timeless beauty.
Composite materials, which include precast concrete and brick, are also extremely durable, plus they have fewer maintenance requirements. Whilst they might not have the natural aesthetic beauty of quarried stone, they do provide a much cheaper option for those with budget constraints.
Choosing Paving Shapes And Patterns
The three main shapes you have are rectangular, round and square, although with some quarried stone these may not be exact. Your choice will be dictated mainly by what the paving is used for i.e. foot traffic or a driveway. A rule of thumb is that rectangular shapes are best for large areas and contemporary landscaped designs. Square shapes look more traditional and thus best for small areas. Another option is ‘crazy paving’ which uses random shapes.
Choosing Paving Colours
Some homeowners often underestimate the influence that paving colours can have on the entire aesthetics of a garden. So, you must take the surroundings into account when choosing your paving colours. The colours do not have to be an exact match, but they should at least compliment the features and plants within the garden. Remember, dark colours tend to make areas look smaller, but are the more contemporary option. Light colours are the converse of these.
Assuming you want your landscape garden to be around for years you must consider how many times your paving is going to be walked on or driven on over all that time. In addition, there are the elements to take into account and the effect of hour upon hour of hot sunshine or pouring rain over the years. As such, you want paving that can withstand all of this plus is capable of being maintained or easily restored/repaired if necessary.
Paving Laying Options
A common means of laying and enhancing the long-term durability of your paving is to have a concrete base. Not only does this give paving a rigid base, but it also prevents weeds from growing through the gaps in the paving. This may increase the initial cost, but that is returned by you having less maintenance and repair costs in the future. As for laying patterns, there are multiple choices including Herringbone, Circular, Border, Ashlar, and Basket Weaving, to name but a few.