Our clients wanted a natural stone patio here to take advantage of the glorious view. When landscaping a rural setting like this it is best is to choose natural, weathered materials and to retain any original features rather than try to rebuild. Reclaimed slate slabs were the obvious choice, and we decided to clear and repair the existing old stone wall.
Heavy slate slabs need solid foundations, particularly when the ground is wet, as it is here. We dug down to the shale and used a thick layer of compacted sub-base.
It takes patience and a good eye to lay slabs of random size and thickness. Strong muscles help, too!
The beauty of the natural slate is complemented by cottage-garden planting in Welsh larch beds. The restored hedgebank is planted with a mix of native wildflowers and plants to attract wildlife such as verbena, dianthus and lavender. The new patio looks as if it has always been here.
Access from the house is across the new lawn and wildflower meadow. The patio provides the perfect place for the family to relax and enjoy the warmth of the old slate slabs on their skin.