Some golden rules when choosing your paving

0 Written by Lisa on 25th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

I went to Southampton for a meeting about RHS Cardiff yesterday and one of the main things to decide were the hard landscaping materials.  It’s so important when you’re choosing your materials that you check they work well together, and are in keeping with whatever materials are already on site otherwise you could be looking out onto a garden that makes you cringe!

New terrace East Horsley Garden Design Lisa Cox

Now that spring is just around the corner and you’ll probably be waking up to the prospect of doing something with your garden, I thought it might be good to give you a quick reminder of the golden rules when you’re choosing which hard landscaping materials to use in your garden.

Colour & texture

Shady paving at Glyndebourne Lisa Cox Garden Designs - Copy

Only you can decide whether you want a modern or traditional feel to your garden, but the materials you choose will make an impact on the overall look.  If you prefer a modern contemporary style then you’ll probably want a sawn stone or concrete product which generally are more uniform in colour. For more gardens with a cottage garden feel, you may want to look at a reclaimed material to bring extra character and to tone in with the brick on the house, for example.

Front step & paving Sutton garden Lisa Cox Designs

3 is enough!

The golden rule is that you shouldn’t have more than three different materials in the garden, otherwise it becomes rather “busy”.  Timber is the only thing not included within the three as it tends to blend in with everything.

Wet and dry

When you’re choosing your materials, make sure you look at them in the wet too.  Often water can bring out the yellows and reds in materials which makes them rather garish when it rains.  Make sure you like them, whatever the weather.

Get samples

Samples of natural stone paving

Gather samples of the materials you like and take them back to your garden so that you can see them next to any existing materials.  This is especially important if you’re matching in with bricks or stone as what you feel looks great when you’re out at a display area, will not necessarily be the same when you’re back at home.

Cost

Leatherhead front garden Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Whether we like it or not, budget always impacts our choices.  If you have a large area of paving, for example, this can cost in the region on £100 m2 just for the materials, depending on what you choose.  So you may want to think about using the best stone for the most crucial areas and finding a different, less expensive material for secondary paths, say.  But there are some great products on the market now, sawn sandstone for example, which look great and don’t have to cost the earth.

Ornate drain in cobbled paving The Roman Forum Lisa Cox

North or South

If your garden faces north then you’ll need to take this into consideration as some porous stones such as slate and sandstone can become really slippery if you don’t maintain them regularly.  It doesn’t mean you can’t use them, you just need to be aware that you’ll need to pressure wash or clean the paving a couple of times a year.  But then, as I always say, you wouldn’t go a whole year without vacuuming your house so perhaps it’s not such a hardship to clean your paving every now and again!

The big Reveal…my design for RHS Cardiff Flower Show 2015

1 Written by Lisa on 19th Feb 2015 in From the drawing board

RHS Cardiff Flower Show 2015 - Victoria Park Mazda A Front Garden by Lisa Cox Designs

I’m very excited to be able to share with you the plans for my show garden at RHS Cardiff this year. I’ve been alluding to it for some time so it’s great to finally be able to show you the design and tell you more about it. Read more

Looking beyond your boundaries

0 Written by Lisa on 16th Feb 2015 in Design Tips

Majestic oak tree in Surrey hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Borrowing the landscape is a garden design trick of old.  Even if you’re not lucky enough to have a great view, it doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow some of the features from the neighbouring landscape. Read more

A visit to New Wood Trees in Devon

2 Written by Lisa on 9th Feb 2015 in Inspiration, Plants

New Wood Trees Devon Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I went to visit New Wood Trees on Wednesday, a fabulous nursery in Devon specialising in multi-stem trees.  I’ve sourced a few trees from them in the past, but it was great to finally make a trip there to see the extent of their stock and to meet the owner, Philip Nieuwoudt. Read more

Do you really know your garden?

2 Written by Lisa on 27th Jan 2015 in Design Tips

Snowdrops Lisa Cox Garden Designs

We ventured out into the garden yesterday to do a bit of clearing up. The house had been empty for almost a year before we moved in and before that was rented out for a few years so the garden has really been left to its own devices. Read more

Some misty pictures from the Welsh Hills

6 Written by Lisa on 19th Jan 2015 in From the drawing board

Misty morning in the Welsh Hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

We’ve been in Wales for almost 2 weeks now and every morning we wake up to the Welsh Hills and it makes my heart sing. Read more

A week in Wales

0 Written by Lisa on 15th Jan 2015 in From the drawing board

View from garden at back Lisa Cox Designs

We’ve been in Wales for a week now and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to wake up to the view over the Welsh Hills.  It never seems to look the same – we’re had all weather’s thrown at us including snow and hail, but we haven’t looked back once. Read more

Exciting new beginnings…

8 Written by Lisa on 2nd Jan 2015 in From the drawing board

View from front garden Lisa Cox Designs

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Read more

Happy Christmas!

0 Written by Lisa on 23rd Dec 2014 in From the drawing board

Rose hips in December Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

All good wishes

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From the drawing board: A new garden for a client near Redhill

0 Written by Lisa on 18th Dec 2014 in From the drawing board

Redhill garden before redesign Lisa Cox Designs

Last weekend I presented the final designs to a client in South Nutfield, near Redhill.  It’s a complicated site with steep levels which always makes for some head scratching but at the same time, gives such scope for a more interesting garden. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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