So you’ve finished laying the main area of your paving. You can put your feet up and relax on your new stylish patio, admiring the wonderful job you’ve done so far. There is a way, however, to make your paving even more striking and eye catching, and this is through your finishing touches.

The following article looks at those little touches that not only keep your garden looking attractive and well-kept, but also add that extra bit of flair. Why not incorporate some edging, stepping stones or pebbles and gravel into your design, to create an extra impact in your garden, and help it stand out from the crowd of boring humdrum patios.

1. Edging

patio-edgingEdging can be used as an attractive border to add some pizzazz to your paving project. Kerbs and edging are an elegant way to create distinct zones and define areas between flower beds, walkways, paving, lawns, or driveways. Different styles of edging can be used to complement your garden design – whether your garden is rustic and traditional, or modern and minimal, edging can perfectly help your paving stand out and enhance your outside space.

Edging needs to be fixed into the ground to increase stability and longevity of the edging to ensure that it is securely fitted to withstand the elements and stand the test of time. Firstly, dig a trench approx. 100mm deep and 150mm wide. Next, lay concrete foundations using 6 parts ballast & 1 part cement. Make a mortar bed with 4 parts building sand and 1 part cement. Bed the edging into it by tapping it with a rubber mallet until it is level. Apply a mortar mix to the back of the edging with a 45 degree wedge of mortar, making sure that it is concealed by the finished surface.

2. Pebbles & Gravel

patio-pebbles-gravelPebbles or gravel can create a distinct or separate area and can nicely contrast with vegetation or paving slabs. Add some stones, cobbles, pebbles or rockery stones to add some variety and excitement to the patio area. There are a range of colours and materials available to suit all types of location and garden. Pebbles and gravel can be a cost-effective solution for large areas that need covering. It is low maintenance and can be used to decorate and add interest to borders, paved areas, driveways, water features, and spaces between paving stones.

Pebbles and gravel can be installed into your garden by using a simple method. Simply, remove any material and vegetation in your chosen area. Lay a semi-permeable membrane over the whole area with a minimum 50mm overlap between sheets to minimise weed growth. Lay your aggregate onto the membrane to the required depth, and rake the area to the required surface level.

3.Stepping Stones

Stepping stones can add that eye-catching finishing touch that your paving needs. From a rustic weathered stone look to a more quirky and unique stone, there are a range of colours, shades and styles to suit you. There are many options when incorporating stepping stones into your design. You could set them in lawns, gravel, borders, planting, or even into a pond, either equidistant apart or interspersed more randomly to create a distinctive feature. What’s more, if your lawns or beds are showing signs of wear from frequent use, stepping stones are a fantastic way to keep grass and plants safe from damage, and also works as a striking pathway.patio-stepping-stones

Fitting stepping stones can be done in four simple steps. Firstly, lay the stepping stones across your chosen area. Then, using the stone as a template, cut away and remove the turf and soil to approximately 75mm. Backfill this 30-35mm in depth with a mix of 5 parts grit sant to 1 part cement. Place the stepping stone into the desired position and tap with a rubber mallet until it sits just below the level of the surface.

It really is the little details that make a big difference in the garden. By simply adding some edging, stepping stones, or pebbles and gravel, you can take your landscaping project that little bit further, and create a big impact. You could even combine these touches, perhaps having stepping stones on top of a gravelled area which is bordered by edging. Take time selecting the decorative aggregates which will add the perfect finishing touch to your design, and make your project stand out from the crowd.

Author Bio: This post was written by Simply Paving, a leading online paving supplier with expertise in gardening, paving, DIY and design.

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