Have you got a bit of your garden that needs a little TLC and a new function in life? Fancy a seating area but can’t stretch to a full landscaping project? If you haven’t got the budget for a paved patio with foundations, which could set you back a couple of thousand pounds, this is a great compromise, an attractive way of turning a space into a neat seating area or a focus for container planting.
We recently completed this attractive outdoor space at a home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It turned a rather neglected side passage into a useful and attractive addition to the garden.
Step 1: Clear the Mess!
The first stage is to clear the area you’re going to transform, removing any rubbish and unwanted junk that might be cluttering it, giving you a clear space to work.
Step 2: Weeding
Now thoroughly weed the area, pulling up weeds by the roots wherever possible to discourage regrowth. You can also spray the area with a weed killer to stop the weeds returning.
Step 3 – Levelling
You should now level the surface of the area as much as possible – you can use a rake to do this, spreading the soil evenly.
Step 4 – Weed Control
Now lay a layer of weed control membrane over the area. This is very cheap to buy from a garden centre or DIY store and keeps the light off the soil so that weeds don’t poke through the gravel. One classic problem with many budget patios is that paving slabs are just laid on bare soil (as in the photo above), meaning that weeds soon sprout through the gaps, but the membrane avoids this issue. Be gentle as you lay the membrane and try to avoid holes – weeds will take advantage of the smallest chink of light!
Step 5- Gravelling and paving
The membrane will be held in place by the weight of the gravel as you lay it down, although you can also buy membrane stakes to hold down the edges. Spread the gravel a couple of inches deep. It’s a good idea to incorporate paving slabs as stepping stones, as we’ve done here, along the main walking route through the space, as this will minimise the disturbance of the gravel. Clear away an area of gravel to lay the stone, then arrange it tidily around it. You can reuse old slabs for this, and if necessary hold them in place with a wet mix of sand and cement.
To create a seating or planting area, add benches, a garden table and planting containers. Super-easy, super-affordable and super-fast – we were done in one day… just about!
Need some advice on transforming a neglected corner of your garden? Get in touch for a chat.