Garden Pavers – Add Beauty and Functionality

Of the many possible applications for paving stones, garden pavers are among the most interesting, due to the potential stylistic and thematic connections between the many paver sizes, shapes, colors, and designs of paving stones and the garden’s inhabitants and style that you’ve already set up. Garden paving stones can complement many gardens in aesthetic design while also increasing the functionality of the garden, either by providing walking spaces or by protecting the valuable plants inside it.

Garden paving slabs and stone are essentially equivalent to that used for other projects – driveways, walkways, pool decks, and the like. The only difference is in its functionality in the garden itself. The walkway, patio, or garden edging pavers both contribute to and are affected by the design of the garden. Using outdoor pavers not only can protect and beautify the fruits of your hobby, but they can also increase your enjoyment of the home itself, as well as represent a financial investment since the brick, if installed correctly, can increase the property value of your home.

Reasons to Use Garden Paving Stones

Note that there are many kinds of garden paving stones available; each has its own pros and cons. The three main categories of pavers include brick, concrete, and natural stone; a comparison of these materials has been made elsewhere on this site, in particular in the comparison of stamped concrete vs pavers and other paving materials. The major difference you’ll see, aside from looks, is price – landscaping with stone, like cobblestone for instance, will be much more expensive than using manufactured options like concrete.

Pavers, as discussed elsewhere, are strong and durable. You won’t have to reinstall them for many decades as long as they are properly installed. They will stand up to the rigors of their environment, especially if this includes close contact to soil and gardening chemicals.

One advantage of pavers that is important for garden applications  is the balance they strike between smoothness and roughness. They are not too rough as to be uncomfortable if one walks on them with bare feet but they are also not too rough as to be worn down by the elements. Their roughness also makes them less slippery when wet – an important feature if they are installed around pools or gardens. On the other hand, many concrete paver brands retain their smooth finish over time, keeping them beautiful and new looking for many years.

Another good reason to install these pavers is if you park your car, machine, or other equipment in the garden area. Driving and parking over grass and dirt will eventually create a messy area, one that could clash with the beauty of your garden. There are many dedicated grass pavers that are subtle, environmentally friendly, permeable to water, and durable to stand up against any kind of traffic. If you have a high traffic garden (in terms of feet or wheels) you may benefit from installing these kinds of pavers in addition to the typical walkways, borders, and the like.

Garden Design Ideas with Paving Stones

Image labeled for reuse - found on http://www.wickedlocal.com/franklin/fun/gardening/x1194167052/Home-Help-Add-curb-appeal-to-your-home?img=2 through Google image search.As stated above, garden pavers can be used for many applications in your hardscape and landscape. One potential application for these pavers, and perhaps the simplest, is their use as garden edging. These borders made from landscape pavers can  delineate and protect the boundaries of your garden. This will prevent people (or animals) from walking through fresh planted gardens. In addition, the pavers can be used to mark off particular sections of the garden – and the color and style you choose for each section can nicely complement each section as you see fit. Functionally, the garden edging  can prevent dirt and mud from escaping from the flower bed and mucking up your patio or walkway (or your yard or garden itself).

Aside from simple edging, you can mark off the boundaries of your garden by installing  walkways to mark off the garden and provide a place for visitors to walk; another strategy is to install walls or retaining walls if a more heavy duty solution is needed, or if a wall would fit better with the theme you are trying to create in your yard. You can thus use these walls as part of your garden fencing ideas – if you need to keep people or critters out of your garden, you can use beautiful and regal walls instead of or in addition to the normal fences you might use. You can use the same garden brick for flat projects (walkways and patios) as you can for walls, so you won’t have to worry about mixing and matching brands.

Of course, your garden edging ideas don’t simply have to be purely functional – don’t forget about the aesthetics of your garden as well as the experiences it can provide to you and your guests. If you have a large garden, installing a walkway or patio can help you create a special garden space, through which you, your friends, and family can travel or simply relax. Your garden can thus be more than functional, but also aesthetic – you can create a space for contemplation, relaxation, or conversation with the judicious use of a garden pavers walkway or patio. You could also create a central space in your garden to hold parties or bar-b-ques. The only limit is your imagination.

Don’t forget that there are other paving options at your disposal besides pavers. You can also use stepping stones to fulfill many of these functions; garden stones are cheap and easy to install, so they make a great DIY project if you want to lay down a hardscape quickly. You may also find rubber pavers that may be of benefit to certain garden applications.

Note that all decisions should be made in concert with professional landscapers and gardeners who may be able to give you additional backyard landscaping ideas in addition to those you’ve read here or thought of yourself. The more eyes and ideas that come into a project, the better the project will turn out – as long as you have the funds to pay for these services, of course.

Laying Garden Pavers  – DIY or Contractors

Overall, installing pavers, either in a small or large project, may be a great addition to your home and garden. If you are installing the concrete pavers yourself, make sure you follow the directions, and pay special attention to the problems of grading, as you want to make sure water leaves the garden area in the right ways – you don’t want any flooding to wash away all your hard work. If you’re having a contractor install them, make sure he or she knows the specific needs for garden pavers installation, and that they have experience in that particular application. Note that the cost for installing these paving stones will be similar to what you’d pay for any hardscape project, like walkways, driveways, and the like, though you may have to pay more if you need to protect your delicate creations during the process, as this will require more effort and time. You can also lower the overall price you’ll pay for the installation if you lay the material yourself; you can also save money if you find cheap pavers for sale, a subject that is discussed in that link.

Landscape Pavers: What You Need to Know

When we think about improving our landscape, we rarely think about how improving our hardscape could improve the landscape as well. This means installing new walkways, driveways, patios, and other projects around the landscape to heighten, protect, and beautify your landscape and your yard. This article will give you the basics of paver landscaping to help you design and construct your next project – or at least give you the information you need to feel comfortable dealing with a paver contractor or designer.

Benefits of Landscape Pavers

As described elsewhere on this site, concrete pavers offer the homeowner many benefits that make up for its relatively high price of installation. Note that much of this also applies to pavers made from other materials, such as brick pavers and natural stone pavers (like flagstone pavers, bluestone pavers, sandstone pavers, etc.).

One of the benefits of landscaping with pavers is that your installations will hold up over time, regardless of any weather or other stressors. The flexible aggregate base underneath will buckle and bend with freezing and thawing of water, as will the landscape paver installation itself (due to the joints between paving stones). The patio, walkway, etc. will thus not crack as would concrete or asphalt. This is especially useful when your pavers have an aesthetic quality to them – i.e. they are there primarily to look nice. Having them crack and fall apart would mar your otherwise beautiful project.

In addition, building walkways and patios and borders around and in your landscaping can help protect your meticulously created landscape. Landscaping edging pavers are a great way to both separate different sections of your yard while also protecting that which must not be stepped on or disturbed.

These landscape pavers, regardless of how you use them, will not clash or not fit together – they are no different than any other concrete paver used for driveways, patios, or walkways. Thus, you can use the same materials throughout your yard, ensuring continuity and integration of your design. What is especailly useful about using landscaping pavers versus other options like concrete to decorate and separate other landscaping features is the design options possible. Paving stones come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, offering many options for the homeowner or contractor to complement other features of the landscape or home. The different blends of colors available can bring match or complement any color palette. In the next section, we will discuss the various design options at your disposal, as well as some of the more interesting projects that you can add to your yard to enhance your landscaping.

Designing Landscaping With Pavers

Should you create your landscape or your hardscape first? In a perfect world, the answer is ‘both.’ What you do with your hardscape should affect your landscape design and vice versa.

When designing your pavers landscaping project, try to plan other paver installations at the same time. Not only is this more cost efficient than doing single projects, but you can also streamline designs across different projects. Your options to highlight and frame your landscaping are many; they include walkways, garden pavers, patios, pool decks, and retaining walls, among others.

Note when designing your projects that you can use straight and curved lines throughout your design. Straight lines are more ‘formal’ and rigid, but are much easier to install. Curving lines are more informal and perhaps more interesting, but overall cost more money. Balancing out cost and features, depending on your budget, is a priority before you begin any project or contact a contractor.

Here are some of the best landscaping paver ideas that you can implement in your yard today. Building a walkway or patio in your yard is a nice way for you to complement your landscaping while also creating a space for you and your family and friends to relax and enjoy each others’ company. Patio pavers are especially nice, especially when they are framed by fresh flowerbeds or other landscaping installations.

One great way to highlight (literally!) your landscaping pavers is to install paver lights around your walkway or patio. These can increase night time safety while also boosting the beauty of your home at night.

Another way to highlight your landscaping is to put them at varying heights, not merely at ground level. This will often require you to build a retaining wall…which you can do with retaining wall pavers! You can thus use the same material – style, color, design – for your walls as you do for your flatwork. Building a paver retaining wall can serve a dual function – first, it can certainly raise the beauty and style of your entire landscape. But perhaps more importantly, it can protect your hard work from water and mud damage, especially if there are any steep slopes near your home. Retaining walls can keep back mud or dirt from sliding down a hill onto you beautiful lawn, patio, or other project. In addition, they can help properly drain water to avoid flooding – an important aspect of keeping your landscaping fresh and new.

Note as well the benefits of installing pool pavers. The combination of your landscaping, paving stones, and the bright blue of the pool can make for a stunning look for any home and yard.

If you need something more functional, consider adding grass pavers to your yard. This is a great way to keep your grass/lawn intact while making sure it is protected from the elements and vehicular traffic.

Once you decide the basic elements of your landscaping paver project, sketch out a design and the dimensions of the parts. You will need this information to tell the contractor or, if you are doing the installation yourself, when ordering materials.

How to Install Landscape Pavers

Installing landscape pavers are in principle no different than installing concrete pavers in other contexts – it is merely the design and use of the pavers that may differ a bit. Thus, those interested in knowing how to do this should check out this page on how to lay pavers.