Incredible Landscaping Materials For Your New Garden


One of the biggest projects facing people when they buy a new home is the garden. It is often left as a pile of rubble that the new owner must craft into something special. Now, mature, established gardens don’t appear overnight. There is much work to do and much patience will be required. If you are lucky enough to have a large plot of land, perhaps you managed the home build yourself, you are in a great position to let your imagination go and create a landscape that is worthy of Capability Brown.  But where to start?

You will find here, some suggestions for landscaping materials as well as techniques for using them. Your first steps in the project must be to draw a plan and mark the areas where these landscaping solutions will be applied.

Crazy Paving

Crazy paving went out of fashion after the 1980’s when it was used to create patios in the back gardens of new homes across the land. The method back then often used mixed coloured paving which was not sympathetic to nature at all, and looked awful to boot.

Crazy paving can look stylish in a garden whether it is new or established. The secret to a quality finish to crazy paving lies in the materials used. Most people use broken concrete paving slabs, but there is no reason stone or slate shouldn’t be used as a high quality alternative. Yes, the paved area will work out to be more expensive, but the superior finish makes the cost worthwhile.

Here is a common way to create a crazy paved area or pathway.

  1. Dig down to a depth of eight inches where the paving is to be set, and remove the soil.

  2. Place a layer of sand and hardcore in the bottom of the hole to a depth of four inches.

  3. Using a compactor, vibrate the sand and hardcore to remove air gaps and firm the ground. You will be amazed how well this works.

  4. Using a cement mixer, mix one part cement to six parts building sand to create the mortar.

  5. Begin setting the stone on a thick bed of mortar. The bed needs to be thick because the stones may be uneven, and it is easier to allow for this.

  6. Leave small gaps between the stone slabs and fill them neatly with mortar. Bring the mortar up to the top surface, so everything is level and rainwater can run off.

Crazy paving is a very therapeutic exercise. Laying the stone is not hard work but a lot of patience is required to finish to a high standard.

Reclaimed Railway Sleepers

Railway sleepers are a gardeners secret weapon when considering the landscape. They are very strong and are treated to last for many decades against rot. Great things can be achieved by using them to alter levels in the garden quickly. A typical sleeper will be about eight feet long, so it doesn’t take many to build retaining walls. These walls can be for raised beds or used to retain entire sections of the garden when it is raised to add an extra dimension to the design. Here is the method employed to build a retaining wall in the garden. The tools required are all available at and many other places online. Always look online for the best deals and advice if you are unsure what your requirements are.

  1. Dig a trench eighteen inches wide and six inches deep. Fill it with sand and hardcore. This will help with drainage so the bottom of the sleeper isn’t sitting on wet soil.

  2. Firm the sand and hardcore with a compactor.

  3. Lay the bottom row of sleepers.

  4. Lay the second row on top, making sure that the vertical joints are staggered.

  5. Drill holes through the to sleepers and fix them to the lower ones by using coach bolts driven in with a socket wrench.

  6. Continue building this way up to the level required. For a vertical wall, it is not recommended to go higher than five courses.

  7. Line the inside of the new wall with a water barrier and fill behind it to raise the ground.

Creating the new wall this way will take only a fraction of the time of a brick or block wall. The result is more natural looking too.

Gravel \ Stone Chippings

Sometimes it is necessary to cover a large area of garden quickly. Maybe it is only a temporary measure until the new crazy paved patio area can be built. Lots of people decide that gravel or stone chippings are an excellent solution for a patio in their own right. Putting gravel down may seem simple at first glance, but get it wrong and you could easily find dirt and weeds coming up through it. Once dirt is mixed in with the gravel it is very difficult to sort out.

Here is the technique for putting it down.

  1. Firm the ground with a roller or compactor.

  2. Treat the ground with a powerful weed killer.

  3. Roll out two layers of weed resistant membrane. The two layers should be at ninety degrees to each other.

  4. Knock plastic pegs into the ground to hold the barrier in place; the more, the better.

  5. Put down at least two inches of medium, preferably more, to create the finished surface.

This method is a great way to cover a large area with little effort.

Artificial Grass

If it is necessary to create an instant lawn, maybe for a housewarming party, artificial grass is a great solution. It is hard wearing and difficult to spot from the real thing thanks to modern production techniques. The grass is rolled out over a weed resistant membrane that is laid similar to the method above. The weed resistant membrane doesn’t need to be pegged, however, as the grass itself is pegged around the edges and will hold it in place. Many people are turning to artificial grass as a permanent solution in their gardens.

Once the landscaping is complete, the planting can begin. The garden is likely to look a little sparse for a few years, but stick to your plan and your vision and the results will be worth the wait. I hope you have found something here that is useful to you. They are tried and trusted methods used in gardens all over the world.

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About Dan Ashbach 792 Articles
Meet the Dan behind Dan330. He started a Pinterest account in December 2011 while off on a leave from his day job as a captain on an Airbus A330. While traveling the world, Dan practiced his longtime hobby of photography and developed his eye for natural beauty and appreciation of great photography. Continuing his love of exploration and great pictures, Dan added Pinterest to his daily routine; especially during the long Minnesota winters. His eye for great photography was recognized by the Pinterest community and in just under one year, Dan330 had attracted over one million followers. Dan and his wife Laurie have three children, seven grandchildren and two grand puppies. When not pinning, Dan loves to travel and participate in just about any outdoor activity. There are a few exceptions to this, but to find out what they are you have to go to the Dan330 board dedicated to “Things he won’t do”.