How to Make Your Garden Glow in the Winter Using Paving
Winter is dark, dreary, and often very wet for us here in the UK. It feels like a very uninspiring time of the year. You just want to sit curled up inside and shut away the rest of the world.
Usually, we encourage everyone to get outside and spend time outside even in the darkest times of the year as it still has great mood-boosting benefits. Often gardens are only thought of as spring and summer enjoyment, and while these seasons are the best times of the year, the winter can be just as lovely with the right design and the right landscaping materials.
Seasonal Change in Hard Landscaping
Just as plants change through the seasons, your landscaping materials, such as your choice of paving can look very different too.
As the seasons change, the sun is lower in the sky, the ground is often wetter. Both elements highlight the paving textures and colours you might not have appreciated as much in the summer when the sunshine generally bleaches these features and dry stone isn’t as colourful.
When the garden is not at its peak through the colder months, the colours and textures in your paving are crucial in adding interest to the space, especially since planting is not as prominent as it was in the winter.
The lower sun may also cause darker, more shady areas in your garden which you don’t experience in the summer. With darker paving choices these areas may appear even darker as they absorb all the light. In darker areas around the home, darker choices of paving can make the inside of your home also feel darker.
Wet winter weather brings out colours in natural paving. Sandstone has stunning ribbons of colour veining through the stone, which is best showcased when wet, adding much needed interest to the space.
This natural stone however is very porous and if your garden is particularly wet, holds a lot of debris or doesn’t get much light during the winter you may struggle with algae and lichen build up as the stone absorbs more water. This can look natural, perfect for traditional, cottagey gardens, but left too long this can become slippery and dangerous. An annual jet wash will help ease detritus and increase the longevity of the natural stone for longer.
Porcelain paving is a great option for modern gardens, and its smooth, gloss-like sheen looks stunning in the summer months. However, be prepared for leaves and other debris gathering during autumn and winter months. When wet, its smooth, glossy surface helps leaves ‘stick,’ although this is nothing a quick jet wash or hose can’t remove.
Despite its glossy look when wet, modern porcelain has good grip now and so many aren’t as slippery as they look. The glassy wet finish can also help with light levels in a dark winter garden, reflecting the light and bouncing it into the house and around the garden.
Buff tones are perfect for any time of the year. Fresh and light enough to bring light to the space during the winter, but not too light that it becomes bleached out in the high summer sun.
Almost white is a popular choice but be mindful of how it looks in the summer. Perfect for winter as its light but in summer if your garden is very sunny, the light might reflect too much as the garden is too bright to be able to see.
Grey paving looks great in the summer in modern gardens, but be mindful in the winter garden, that blue toned greys can look a little gloomy.
When selecting paving there are lots to think about. Paving type, colour choice, surface texture all looks different in the summer and winter or when wet and dry.
When you work with us, we think about of these elements for you, considering how the garden will look and how it will be used all year round to create your ultimate outdoor space.
We even think about how your garden will look from inside your home, so you can enjoy your entire home space, the garden included, 365 days of the year. Give us a call on 0116 210 0760 today to discuss our design packages.