Beautiful paving and planting scheme in Cookham Dean, Berkshire

Beautiful paving and planting scheme in Cookham Dean, Berkshire

This paving and planting scheme features new hard landscaping elements and a new planting scheme. Artscape was initially briefed to extend and enhance the patio in the garden of a lovely home in the village of Cookham Dean in Berkshire. Our clients wanted to increase the size of the paved area so they could use it more frequently for relaxing and dining in the sun during the day. As well as increasing its size and practicality, they wanted the terrace to look and feel more inviting. The existing site was a mixture of brick paving, which was slippery underfoot, and tired concrete crazy paving. The patio also had stone retaining walls surrounded by sloped lawns and a few poorly maintained and mismatched shrubs.

Redesigned and repaved area

We first created a new, larger layout with a series of wider steps closer to the house, making a more inviting and welcoming area. Our landscapers paved the area with coursed sandstone, renowned for its incredible strength and durability. The earthy tones and unique texture of the sandstone gives it a natural timeless look which blends sympathetically with the garden setting. The worn finish of the paving also makes the surface safer to walk on. The edge of the paving curves in line from the end of the house to visually link the areas.

Bullnosed edges enhance looks and safety

Bullnosing provides the garden step edges with a smooth, luxury appearance, which also enhance safety. Safety is an important factor to consider when renovating or building new steps and paved areas. Smooth, rounded bullnosed steps or edges means there won’t be any harshly cut, sharp edges to injure someone should they trip or fall. Our Artscape paving experts can advise on the best bespoke, professionally profiled bullnose edges to suit the needs of your garden project.

Replacing sloped lawns with plants

Our initial brief was to create a new planted border just around the paved area. However, after various discussions and designs, our clients decided to follow our recommendation to expand the planting, so it included the whole sloping bank. The planting design also included the addition of small trees to create vertical interest.

New nature-friendly planting

The planting features an easy-to-maintain mix of perennials, grasses, and shrubs. This adds softness to the seating area and brings an everchanging display of flowers, foliage, textures and colours to the garden. The plants will attract more birds and butterflies to the garden, and will be beneficial for insects too.

The lawn was doing very little to support a diversity of insects and birds. Replacing even a small section of lawn with perennial flowers, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, or groundcovers will benefit nature and wildlife. As well as supporting greater biodiversity, plants are more environmentally friendly than maintaining a lawn. Lawns are drought tolerant and will recover even if the grass has turned brown and patchy in a heatwave. But to keep the lawn looking lush, green, and beautiful in a hot, dry spell will require constant and wasteful watering.

The planting is informal and includes grasses, taking inspiration from the fields opposite. Ornamental grasses soften the scheme and bring movement to the garden as they shimmer in the slightest of breezes. Grasses are easy to grow and require little ongoing care. The main maintenance task is to cut the planting back in spring ready for the new growth to come through.

To keep the whole project within our client’s budget, we retained the existing walls, simply carrying out some small repairs and modifications where necessary. We were also able to add stunning new atmospheric lighting to the older existing lighting circuit to illuminate the area at night.

If you’ve been inspired to refresh your garden with new paving or planting, please get in touch with us at Artscape for an initial consultation.