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Would anybody care to talk front gardens/patios?

(19 Posts)
NotAnotherNewNappy Sat 06-Oct-12 21:21:03

Our house was built in 1914 but in the style of a traditional English terraced cottage (brick step, white render, black painted edging, high gable - quite plain really). The front garden is approx 20m square. We have a nice wooden fence and an established hedge.

In he middle is a broken concrete/pebble path and a rectangle of council type slabs with a weed flower bed in the middle. I want to replace this with something that is easy to keep neat and tidy, looks cottagey and diesn't cost the earth. Any ideas?

Is slate paving ridiculous expensive? I had a quote for Indian sandstone but it seems costly and I'm not sure I really like it.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 06-Oct-12 21:45:11

Garden hard landscaping materials (ie paving stones) should match the building materials of the property and the local area. So slate is fine in Wales where slate is the local stone. It can look very naff elsewhere.

As you have a brick step, you could go for a brick path, which would also be right for the period the house was built. Reclaimed bricks would look best. Have a look around your local area at other traditional building materials for other ideas.

Pannacotta Sat 06-Oct-12 22:14:43

How about pea shingle with weed suppressing membrane underneath?
This looks cottagey, is easy to maintain and woudl be much cheaper than laying paving or bricks, though I do agree reclaimed bricks would look great too.

NotAnotherNewNappy Sat 06-Oct-12 22:26:32

I wondered about brick Rhubarb, which is why I mentioned the step. However, I've only ever seen driveways with brand new smooth bright red brick - whereas ours is very old brown/black. Is brickwork expensive compared to paving?? Old you have the same all over? Or arranged in some kind of pattern to mark out the path (which is on the side)?

Sorry Pannacotts, i forgot to mention, we want to put a bike shed on it so I suspect crunching over the shingle would drive me nuts.

LadyPlainJane Sat 06-Oct-12 22:41:06

I don't like pea shingle myself. sad

What about mainly grey/green granite or slate chipping (granite if you are parking cars on it) along with areas or pathway in slate or granite slabs ( there are great man made versions available too).... And then a couple of areas of greenery. You can plant through the chippings or could make a small border with railway sleepers or equivilant.

Ie a mixture of chipping and slabs.

NotAnotherNewNappy Sat 06-Oct-12 23:37:28

What do you think of a mixture of grey flagstone and brick, like this?

DH said it was twee...

Lady - I will be sparing the hedge and a planted area with some lovely bright fuchsia bushes next to the path, plus plan to have lots of pots on the paving. Not sure we can afford granite, sounds pricey?

PigletJohn Sun 07-Oct-12 00:24:44

I like gravel

A proper gravel drive is made with hoggin, a mixture of sand and stones with clay, which binds it. Pea shingle goes into ruts and tramples into the house and is not at all as good. A couple of years ago I had to trench a hoggin drive to lay a new water pipe, and it was in fine flat condition after over 100 years. You do have to roll it or trample it flat when new.

A modern alternative is bonded gravel, which is basically small stones mixed with glue. You spread and roll it, then it sets, rather like tarmac but looks much better, and you can actually sweep it. It needs a well-consolidated base. It is slightly flexible so it will not crack like concrete.

PigletJohn Sun 07-Oct-12 00:28:29


if you want bricks, you have to use paviers, which are a very hard, dense, strong brick, rather like you might see on the corners of Victorial railway bridges. Ordinary or secondhand bricks will absorb water, and crumble when it freezes, and will be useless after a couple of winters. You can also get dense concrete paving bricks in various colours but you might not consider them to look right.

poppyboo Sun 07-Oct-12 08:51:08

Reclaimed bricks layed down would look lovely. Our plans for the future for a cottage garden: a small white washed walled garden with a small boarder around the edge for cottage type flowers and then more flowers in containers. I'll be using old containers like an old tin baths which I will drill holes into the bottom of for drainage...a vintage coloured enamel water can...old sink etc...all filled with flowers. I also hope to put in rambling roses (I've heard they're easier to look after than climbing roses...)

poppyboo Sun 07-Oct-12 08:57:37

Like this...

poppyboo Sun 07-Oct-12 08:58:48

Or more like this:

poppyboo Sun 07-Oct-12 08:59:44

Sorry first link didn't work, here it is:

NotAnotherNewNappy Sun 07-Oct-12 09:31:50

Those links are lovely poppyboo, thank you. I hunk that sort f look would work really well in our garden, but I just can't imagine how the brick would look all over.

Pigletjohn - I don't fancy gravel, as it's definitely a it's definitely a garden not a drive. Thanks for the tip about using the pavier.

NotAnotherNewNappy Sun 07-Oct-12 09:32:59

I think that sort of look.. Bloody iPad!

Does anybody know how the cost of brickwork compares to slabs?

Pannacotta Sun 07-Oct-12 09:45:24

Brickwork costs more than slabs not for the materials but for labour as it takes longer to lay, also depends on the pattern and how much cutting woudl be involved.
I think PigletJohn's idea of bonded gravel is great, Neighbours of ours have this and it looks immaculate and doesnt roll around or make load noises when you walk on in. Costs more than plain gravel but worth it.

IvanaHumpalot Sun 07-Oct-12 09:51:14

Don't use loose pea shingle - your front garden will be the local cat toilet.

poppyboo Sun 07-Oct-12 10:46:08

You're welcome Not

Broken up slabs look nice here:

I have no clue what's layed down here:

Maybe you could grow this on your fence:

Again, broken slabs here:

Old bricks again:

I just love cottage gardens!

tricot39 Sun 07-Oct-12 13:32:46

I agree with rhubarb about slate and am not a fan of granite. Bricks look great. Maybe have a look at marshalls paving. I seem to remember that they have a heritage range.there is also salvage look at chocolate block and stable paviors in dark slate blue. Stone would be nice too..... If £££. Quarry tile paths were the paths put in with our area of edwardian houses. Mainly red with a dark blue tile border set off with blue choc block border and blue rope top edging.

I have just researched resin bound and resin bonded gravel for our front path where a previous owner had broken out the tiles and left plain concrete. There are quite a few firms doing it. I would avoid bonded as i think it would be difficult to deal with at the end of its life (basically resin with fine gravel brushed on top). But resin bound is more like a tarmac but with a clear binder to let the colour or the aggregate to be seen. The materials are not too expensive but the labour really adds up so small areas are uneconomic.

Lastly i would suggest googling permeable paving and drought resistant planting for easy to care for planting and environmentally friendly too.

PigletJohn Sun 07-Oct-12 13:39:40

ooh yes, stable blocks are nice. Round here they're always Staffordshire Blues but you can probably get red ones too. It can be difficult to get the dirt and mud out of them. If you're going to hose or power wash them, they need to be set and grouted in mortar, as sand will wash away, and to have a good fall.

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