Style and materials
It is always helpful to look at garden design magazines or images on the internet to get an idea of the look you are aiming for. The style of your house can be a source of inspiration; using the same materials in the garden as in the buildings will help it sit well in the landscape. You can also look at the local traditional building materials and construction styles of your area for inspiration.
Gravel is a cheap and attractive surface that can be used for driveways or paths. It should be laid on a base of hardcore, with a thicker layer required if it is to be driven over. Add a solid edging or kerb ( volige ou bordure) to contain the stones and stop them spreading onto lawns or flowerbeds.
Self-binding gravier stabilisé, is a mix of gravel and clay that binds together when compacted and is another inexpensive and attractive surface for drives or paths. Both kinds will need topping up every few years.
Functional lighting allows you to stay out on your terrace on balmy summer nights or welcome visitors to the front door. Ambient lighting can be used to highlight garden features or sculpture at night. However, remember that both kinds can disturb wildlife so don’t overdo it.
Using local materials and artisans means you are supporting the local community and in some cases preserving local skills and heritage