The garden surface area, its shape and how it is divided, the buildings, ornaments and features that decorate it.
HARD LANDSCAPED AREAS
Paths and Driveways
- Easy access to the garden for pedestrians and vehicles is essential. Paths and driveways can be used to enhance a garden, creating a pattern on the garden surface area that can be ornamental in its own right. However, a badly placed path or driveway, or one of incorrect size, can spoil a garden.
There may not be a great deal of choice in positioning pathways in small gardens but a large garden will usually have some leeway in the positioning of the drive, at least how it curves within the confines of the garden. Even a small adjustment in siting can greatly help to link the driveway to the garden
- Except in a formal garden, a path, or driveway, should not run in a straight line from entrance to the front door. It is much too dominant in such a position. Make paths and driveway cross the garden to reduce the amount of surface that is visible from the road and the house. However, this may not be possible in the modern housing estates where it is necessary to have parking for two cars off of the road.
Trees, shrubs, borders or beds planted along the length of the path or driveway serve only to emphasise it. Such planting reinforces the line of the driveway rather than disguising it. One or two plants near the drive confuse the eye; heavier planting at a small distance draws attention away.
- Apart from the access path or drive, most gardens have other paths as well. There will usually be a service path in the back garden and the same points about the position apply. For example, a straight path will divide and dominate a long narrow garden, emphasizing its length and narrowness. Curving the path, or having it pass behind plants, helps to fit it in.
- Large gardens may have winding paths to bring the stroller around the garden, continuously presenting new vistas.
It should not pass by a compost area or other service area.
In any garden, even a small one, a dead-end path leading to a false exit, even just turning the corner of a large shrub but going nowhere, gives the viewer an impression of a greater space.
Patio, deck and paved areas
- Every garden should have part of its surface area paved with hard material. Hard areas allow more comfortable access to the garden, especially during periods when lawns might be wet and unpassable.
Paving is visually attractive in its own right; it creates a pattern on the ground. Its colour and texture also add to the garden picture. The level surface makes a perfect foil for the shape and texture of plants. Because paving is of hard material like the house, it provides a link between the house and the garden
- Paved areas are usually placed on the sunny side of the house where they will be most useful. Even if the back of the house faces north and gets little sun, a small paved area is worthwhile because of the need for access, and the way it links the house and garden. The sun patio may be elsewhere, and there is no reason why a garden cannot have a number of paved or decked areas. If a paved area is located away from the house, screening for privacy is essential.
These days we have a very large selection of material to choose from. I firmly advise that you choose carefully. This is a sample of the selection of materials.
Natural stone paving of many colours, concrete paving, concrete print, brick paving, coloured gravel, natural stone and tiles. Hardwood decking and composite decking