Entertaining Gardens: Pavers for Parties
As spring gets fully underway, landscape gardeners begin to see their order books increase substantially. A good deal of these new tasks are related to making a garden look presentable for summertime – and in many cases to transform it into an area to eat, drink and socialise with family and friends.
Pavers can, of course, play a key role in creating a space that engenders a sense of relaxation and playfulness. But when laying a patio for a dining table and chairs, practicality should be a first consideration. While rougher, more traditional pavers may desirable in a more classic garden, they can be less suitable as a surface for furniture – leading to wobbly tables and uneven chairs.
A smoother paver, such as Global Stone's Travertine Antiqued Paving, offers a smooth, level surface, while helping to underpin a more traditional garden aesthetic. For a more contemporary outdoor space, the versatile Mirage Linear offers a sleek and stylish surface that makes entertaining outside a cinch.
Bringing the indoors out
The beauty of some of the smoother paving products is that they lend themselves to both indoors and outdoors – creating an almost seamless transition. This is ideal for a homeowner who want the ability to move a summer party from inside out into the garden – and back again if the weather turns ‘anti-social’, while maintaining an aesthetic continuity.
It's important to give some thought to where a dining patio is built in relation to the kitchen. Placing it too far from the food preparation area reduces convenience and could result in some spillages.
Ensuring an outside social area is well lit is crucial – otherwise successful parties may be cut short. There are a plethora of lighting options available, from solar walkway lights to automated dusk-to-dawn lights.
Despite the UK's unpredictable weather, the outdoor barbeque has become an increasingly common feature of the British summer. While free standing barbecues are popular, many landscapers are asked about the possibility of having a brick or stone barbecue built in a garden.
Given the messy nature of outdoor cooking, it’s a good idea to build a barbecue on a paved area visually different from the main patio; this makes a feature of the barbecue and identifies it as a 'working area’. Once again, since someone will be standing on and moving around this area a good deal while preparing food, it’s prudent to choose a level paver type – yet one that provides sufficient grip.
If a garden is large enough or the layout permits it, the construction of pathways in 'social gardens' can add a sense of drama to outdoor gatherings – especially when linking a patio which is separate from the main property. A pathway can be used as a practical way to get from A to B, and to showcase – en route to the patio – particular plants or features the owner is proud of.
Years of pleasure
When given some thought, paver selection and layout can help create a social patio that makes for some memorable outdoor gatherings this summer – and for many summers to come.
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