Choosing the right paving is one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you’re renovating your garden or planning a new one. It’s probably the biggest investment you’ll make in terms of cost – not just the cost of buying your paving but of laying it correctly too. Natural flagstone paving and brick or block paving all have their place – but the suggestion I’m making increasingly often to my clients recently is to consider outdoor porcelain paving.
There are a number of reasons why I think it’s a great solution. The lovely grey paving in the photo, available from Galway Stone, comes in a mid-grey that complements many other shades you might already have in the garden – stone walls or stone facing on the house façade, for instance. Unlike natural stone, which appears darker when wet, it retains its light grey colour even on the wettest, gloomiest winter day – an important consideration in the Irish climate. It’s also available in cream or dark grey if that’s more your thing. In warm weather, it absorbs and reflects the heat, and its smooth surface is lovely to walk on barefoot.
With the patio most often sited just outside the kitchen, it makes sense to keep the indoor and outdoor flooring similar in appearance. Porcelain paving can be used indoors as well as outdoors, maintaining a lovely sense of flow between the two spaces.
And last – but by no means least – I have found that this paving sets off very different kinds of planting to perfection. It works with a restrained, contemporary palette of calm, cool greens just as well as with a more vibrant mix of colourful flowering plants. Like the perfect pair of jeans or classic white shirt, it works with almost everything!
Anne’s Tip of the Week: Before you make your final decision on paving, ask your supplier to give you a sample to bring home so that you can see how it works in your own garden in different light and weather conditions – then leave it for a day or two and you’ll know if it ‘feels’ right.
Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens