Paving the way to a perfect garden

PUBLISHED: 12:19 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:49 20 February 2013

Patrick Meehan has some sound advice on paving and hard landscaping in a courtyard garden

Patrick Meehan has some sound advice on paving and hard landscaping in a courtyard garden

Courtyard gardens have been constructed for many thousands of years. From China, to Arabia, to Rome - high stone walls would provide respite from the relentless sun. Marble paving would reflect the cooling effect of a fountain, and a central acacia tree, and climbing vines would offer generous shade to the weary.
In modern times the principle is still the same. The courtyard garden truly is an extension to the urban, suburban or rural house.
A walled outdoor 'room', open to the sky, it can be designed to meet the specific requirements of the individual. A courtyard looks most natural when the style, and colour finishes are in tune with the homes architecture. This, however, can be achieved by choosing from a wide spectrum of natural materials and imaginative design to suit all tastes.

First, the hard landscaping. Work out what corners the sun will reach, then decide where you want to sit - in shade or sun, and make this your first piece of hard standing in your design.
From then on you can continue with your natural stone paving throughout, minimalist and easy maintained. The more green fingered may want to add raised beds in matching stone walling. Curved or irregular patterns will soften the 'boxed' feel of a courtyard. A trellis or pergola for climbers, pots for herbs and flowers, hanging baskets and, if room allowed, maybe a small rooted tree - deciduous, for summer shade and winter light. All planting must be carefully thought through for best results in the limited sunlight.
Sprinkle into your designs personal touches like; raised ponds or water features, rockeries, wildlife habitats, mirrored walls - to accentuate space, lighting for night time entertaining, shade cloths, chimineas or split level paving.
Whatever you choose, make it yours.

Drimalost Paving and Hardlandscaping, The Hall, Marlesford, Woodbridge.

Call 01728 747835 or mobile 07919 156150.

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