Ter­ra­cotta & tile

Gardening Australia - - EXPERT ADVICE -

The right shade of ter­ra­cotta suits a Mediter­raneanin­spired gar­den. It’s soft on the eye if used in muted tones, such as pale bis­cuit colours, which have lovely warm hues. Be­ware red and or­ange, which can be harsh. Pat­terned tiles can in­tro­duce tex­ture and colour to a dark area of the gar­den. Ter­ra­cotta can also de­fine an area close to the house.


Ei­ther left loose or laid in slurry to make an in­tri­cate pat­tern, peb­bles pro­duce dif­fer­ent and strik­ing ef­fects. When set in a pat­tern they are fine un­der­foot, but can be too un­even to use un­der gar­den fur­ni­ture. Loose peb­bles larger than about 10mm in di­am­e­ter can be un­com­fort­able un­der bare feet, and it's worth fac­tor­ing this into your de­ci­sion. I love not wear­ing shoes at home, and all my out­door sur­faces need to ac­com­mo­date that.

de­com­posed gran­ite

Made from crushed gran­ite, this ma­te­rial comes in dif­fer­ent-sized par­ti­cles, in­clud­ing fine granitic sand, and in a range of colours. If mixed with ce­ment and in­stalled wet, it dries into a solid but slightly por­ous sur­face. On drive­ways, this needs to be topped up every cou­ple of years. It looks gor­geous in Mediter­ranean and cot­tage gar­dens.


Tim­ber adds a rus­tic feel to the gar­den, and can be laid as deck­ing or in the ground as hard­wood sleep­ers, which are less prone to rot than other tim­bers. It's a lovely ma­te­rial to walk on, but gets slip­pery if laid in wet or shady ar­eas. Tim­ber mulch makes an at­trac­tive foot­path, but be aware that it holds mois­ture and breaks down over time.

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