garden design

Guide To Paving & Patio Design

Most of us have not had a lot of sunny weather yet this Summer however lots of people are still getting their gardens ready to host parties and BBQ’s for when the sunshine does finally arrive. Of course, no garden party is complete without some beautiful paving and a patio to hold the gathering on! To some people, designing outdoor spaces can seem pretty overwhelming but by following our helpful tips below, anyone can create the perfect area to hold their Summer soiree!

 1.       Keep your purpose in mind.
It’s important to never lose sight of the reason you want to build this space. Whether it’s to host big family gatherings or just a quiet space to relax and read a book, always plan for the intended purpose. It is so easy to get swept up in all the amazing design options available.

2.       Picking the perfect place.
You might be restricted to just one place to have a patio or you may have several options, either way, making sure that you get the right patio and paving position will impact on the overall design. Think about what you will most likely use the patio for and whether you want to take advantage of catching the sun, creating a private area, somewhere you can enjoy the views or a combination!

3.       Go large or go small?
Whether you are planning an intimate outdoor retreat or an area for large scale entertaining, the size of your space is key. Make sure there is plenty of room to move around especially if you are adding furniture later.

4.       Create different spaces.
Patios and paving don’t have to create just one space on one level. With a bit of imagination, you can create different zones with split levels and stepped areas and combine them using complimentary elements in each.

5.       Play with shapes.
Traditionally, many patios have been simple square or rectangle areas but sometimes that just doesn’t feel right! Try playing with circles, different angles and odd shapes to create a unique feature.

6.       Go with the flow.
Making sure that people can easily walk around, to and from the area is key to ensuring you will get the most from your patio area. Matching paving is a great way of leading people to your patio and creating a sense of flow and easy circulation.

7.       Think materials.
Like a lot of home improvements, paving and patio is something you will want to get long term use from. So whilst ensuring you have a design you will be happy with for years to come is important, it’s even more important to find a material that you are aesthetically pleased with that will also last the test of time.

8.       Plan, plan and plan some more.
Every tip so far has included some form of planning and we really can’t emphasise this enough. Look and try out every patio position, every paving layout and do your research on your chosen materials. Don’t forget to plan around your intended plantings, furniture and any extras you may want.

9.       Decide on any special details.
Would you like to add a fire feature, some particular furniture or even some built-in planters? Keep your options open but remember to think about the size of space you are building and how much you can fit in.

10.   Keep it practical and set a budget.
Some designs, layouts and materials may look great at first but do they need a lot of maintenance to keep them like that and are you able to put in the extra time? And although keeping in or below budget is always preferred, the initially cheaper options may end up needing replaced sooner than the initially more expensive option leading to the patio having a higher life cost. It is also worth thinking about size of paving as extra wastage means extra cost as does bespoke sizes.

Lots to think about and consider but these tips should keep you on track to creating your ideal space whatever the purpose may be! Some of the reasons our Caithness flagstone is so popular is because it ticks many of these boxes. It is incredibly durable leading to longer life span, it can be cut to any size but we also have stock sizes to suit differing budgets, maintenance is minimal as it is so hard wearing and its natural charm means it is suited to various spaces and styles. If you would like help designing your Caithness flagstone patio and paving, get in touch with our team today!

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

There has been so much going on behind the scenes at Norse Stone but one of the most exciting projects we have been working on is the Facebook sponsored garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower show.

The ‘Beyond the Screen’ garden was designed by award winning landscaper Joe Perkins and celebrates the positive and meaningful impact that social media can have on our lives. The garden has been designed around a coastal theme with the water representing what connects us all globally. Plants have been sourced from around the world to emphasise this idea and in still the connections we all have both on and offline whilst our very own Caithness flagstone has been used to create paving and rock outcrops inspired by Joe’s family holidays on the coast of Spain.

Joe Perkins Design RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

We were lucky enough to have Joe and CED Stone Groups MD, Giles Heap, come up to visit our Lieurary Quarry to meet the team and see our stone up close. Joe and Giles, spent time in our quarry with some of the Norse Stone team hand picking pieces of stone which would meet Joe’s design vision.

I was blown away by the Caithness stone. It has beautiful colours and textures and is very strong meaning we could use it in huge sizes to get the drama needed in the garden.
— Joe Perkins
Norse Stone CED Stone Group Joe Perkins Design RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Once, the pieces were chosen, the Norse Stone team put the rest of Joe’s order together and we sent it down to CED’s Scotland depot in Castlecary where members of The Outdoor Room team joined them to check out the huge slabs of stone. The Outdoor Room are in charge of making Joe’s vision a reality and we can’t wait to see it all finally finished.

As many of you may know, we love our Caithness flagstone but we are also big fans of Lego so some of our team had a go at a mini garden design featuring, of course, Caithness flagstone paving and walls around the water feature. But we think it’s safe to say, we should probably leave the garden designing to the professionals!

rhs chelsea flower show 2019  norse stone lego

The ‘Beyond the Screen’ garden has been a collaborative effort by a number of different businesses and groups and we have been delighted to have played a part in it all. Others who have been involved include Groundwork UK, Bamber Wallis Designs, Deepdale Trees Ltd, Kelways Plants and the Landscaping Consultants to name a few! The garden is now completed and ready for showing to the public from the 21st – 25th of May at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Keep checking back on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photo’s of the actual garden when we attend later this week.

**UPDATE** - 21/05/2019

They have only gone and awarded Joe Perkins a gold medal for his amazing RHS Chelsea Show garden as well as awarding the Outdoor Room best construction. Well done!!