Boost­ing cir­cu­la­tion

French Property News - - Expert Advice -

Paths, steps and drive­ways not only al­low you to get from A to B but can also help to di­vide the gar­den into smaller ar­eas, sep­a­rate. They can draw the eye to a view or a fo­cal point such a bench or a sculp­ture. Think of the prac­ti­cal­i­ties; a hard path to the bins or the wood­store in win­ter can make life eas­ier. You may want to make the cir­cu­la­tion of cars eas­ier by adding a turn­ing cir­cle or ex­tra park­ing spa­ces.

Paths and paving

The French are ex­perts at cob­bles and the fa­mous fan shape is a work of art. Most cob­bles ( pavés) are made from hard­wear­ing gran­ite, por­phery ( por­phyre) or sand­stone ( grès) in a range of sub­tle colours.

In old farm­yards you may be lucky to have a court­yard made of huge cob­bles, cubes of 20cm or more, de­signed to take the weight of heavy carts. Usu­ally, for a drive­way, a 5cm-thick pavé is rec­om­mended.

Cob­bles also will need a solid edge to re­tain them, par­tic­u­larly if you would like tra­di­tional joints in sand. Cob­bles laid in sand can be easily re­laid if you need to have work to any services run­ning un­der­ground in the fu­ture.

An­tique cob­bles are read­ily ac­ces­si­ble if you need to re­store an ex­ist­ing area and cost roughly the same as new cob­bles. They can be more ir­reg­u­lar in shape, but that is part of their rus­tic charm.

The French use paving stones less than the Bri­tish but you can still find them easily. Try to match the colour or type of stone used to the stonework used on your house or in walls for a har­mo­nious fin­ish.

Smooth but non-slip paving is im­por­tant around swim­ming pools. If pos­si­ble, use the same stone for the edge of the swim­ming pool and fac­tor this in if you are putting in a pool at the same time as cre­at­ing a ter­race area. The peo­ple in­stalling your pool can ad­vise you.

Other at­trac­tive ma­te­ri­als used for paving in­clude bricks, slate and ce­ramic tiles, all of which can be laid in a va­ri­ety of creative ways.

Walls and steps

Steep slopes in a gar­den can mean ar­eas are dif­fi­cult to cul­ti­vate. Build­ing re­tain­ing walls to cre­ate ter­races, with flights of steps be­tween, can re­claim this land for your gar­den and add an at­trac­tive fea­ture. Small down­lighters built into the walls of the steps can make them safer if they are likely to be used at night.

As with stone for paving, try to use the same stone as used in the build­ing. If there is a tra­di­tion of dry stone walls in your area, em­ploy lo­cal crafts­men to build sim­i­lar walls in your gar­den to help pre­serve this dis­ap­pear­ing skill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.