The Patio

In today’s society we love our outdoor living spaces! An all-weather patio is essential to enjoy our outdoor get togethers or even just relaxing and enjoying the fresh air. You can decorate your patio with pots and tubs as well as wall and hanging baskets to create magnificent displays and bring the garden feel to you.

There are a few things you need to take in consideration when designing your patio. The patio surface must be well drained and firm, after all it will be one of the busiest areas in the garden. Also make sure that your patio complements your garden style. Visit gardening info for great garden style concepts.

Patio Flooring Options

You could use natural stones, they create an attractive yet informal area. They are uneven as such they make it a little difficult to use if you are planning on having furniture in your Patio area. It would be recommended to set them in concrete, which can also help to make them a little more level.

You could use lime stone slabs, especially for formal square and rectangle patios. They create an earthy feel, and brighten the place. They are porous however, as such you have to ensure that you seal them properly to minimise any stains.

Another option is to use concrete pavers. There are several shapes, sizes and colours you can buy in these. You can create attractive patterns and mix colours if you would like. They are hard wearing, and easy to lay and care for. You can also use these to link your patio to your garden path.

If you are more creative with a high budget, you can always lay a concrete foundation for your patio and use tiles. In some areas terracotta and limestone tiles are extremely popular. These require grouting once laid, and a special sealant, that also needs to be re-applied every so often.

These days decking is also an extremely popular option. Especially if your property is positioned on sloping land, decking can help you create an even surface around the house.

When designing your patio, doesn’t matter which option you choose you can consider different patterns, colours, material and shape combinations and even split levels in the patio!

Design Considerations

When designing your patio you can consider the use of awnings, especially if you get strong, direct sunlight. A large rectangle awning can help you create shade.

If your garden is either higher or lower than your patio you could put in some steps linking the garden with the patio to create a smooth flow and easy access.

You also need to consider retaining around the patio if your garden is at a different level. It is best to check with local authorities as to what their regulations are relating to this as some require retaining for as little difference between levels as 30 cm.

Preparing the Site

You firstly have to decide on the shape and size of your patio. Generally if possible it is nice to make the patio the same length as the house. If this is not possible for some reason, aim to at least have a big enough patio to allow for some outdoor furniture to be set up. The width of your patio needs to harmonise with the building and the length of your patio.

Remove enough top soil to allow room for the chosen material for your patio floor are below the damp-proof course of the house. You have to ensure that the patio is sufficiently sloped away from the house to allow for good drainage, but not too steep that the patio becomes unusable.

A strong, firm foundation is essential. Ensure that you compact the ground first before you lay anything.

 Patio Features

If you have enough room you can create planting pockets in your patio, either by plants in pots or containers, or by leaving some slabs left out where you can plant conifers, and small shrubs. You can even create raised garden beds on the edges of the patio.

Apart from garden beds you can use wall features and simple sculptures. Walls alongside the patio can create great wind breakers and make great backdrops if utilised correctly.

Patios are a great place to socialise, relax, and enjoy your beautiful garden. If designed well, patios can become a great and functional feature of any garden.

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