Today I started a new project with garden paving slabs. There was a bare patch of soil, and it had been bothering me for a while. I had tried to grow just about everything there, but the soil is so bad and the lighting is not much better.

So I decided to go ahead and use these slabs that you would usually use on your patio or as stepping stones. They would just cover up the bare patches. However to find an element of design, I decided to plant groundcover in between. I know things like Alyssum as well as creeping Thyme are great here.

I sunk the pots low down into the soil, so they stay planted in good top soil and you can also take them out if you want to change it around. It’s a great way of being flexible like that. If you are going to do something like this, don’t have to be bothered too much about the rims of the pots showing because the flowers will grow over there and cover the bare patches of the soil.

So, you can use it as a design like this, adding in different textures like fine stone and wood or you can use it with a couple of stepping stones. Bear in mind that those designer gardens you see in magazines where the grass is framed around the slabs, may look good, but it requires some maintenance.

You should also think of the practicalities. So, things like mowing come to mind, but then you can always get the old edger out of the garage, which won’t take that much more work to get done. Decide on a theme beforehand as well.


So you might decide to go minimalistic, focusing on lines and staying away from clutter. This can be achieved with different kinds of paving and certain types of foliage. It is also easy to take care of. You may also have the rustic theme on your mind, which can also be appealing. Stepping stones work very well if they lead you somewhere that you can’t see yet. This creates kind of a story book feel of your entire garden.

So, for this, you just need a bend, leading the stones around the corner or around a flower bed. Add some really nice foliage on here. So, as you walking, you will be curious to find out what the next chapter in the book will be. If you are focusing on exotic ferns, then have a couple of varieties along the sides.

Maybe, you decide you want to stick with cacti. In this case, you could fit in the appropriate foliage for that as well as rock structure, which would set the scene. Think of things like pebbles or other types of stones which would be appropriate. If you are outside a lot at night, you may want to install a few solar lights, which can be done in a couple of different ways.

The type of paving you use will depend largely on what you want to do. For example, the rustic look can match up well with recycled paving that doesn’t have that much structure. Obviously, if you want designer features, then you have to be prepared to spend some money and look for classy terracotta, for example.

Ok - here are 10 more creative ideas

Design a circle – If you really want something special and you feel that design is important in your life, then get the landscapers to come over. You will have a central point and from there slabs will fit around in a circular motion.

Wooden texture stepping stones – these are very cheap to buy and they look great on a garden path. Dig them into the ground so they are easy to maintain or leave them protruding outwards.

Have a mix of different textures – some small pebbles, something shiny and you could also include your usual paving slab.

Gravel stones – these come in a variety of colors and are seen in France a lot. They look good and obviously easy to maintain. You may have to pull out the odd weed here and there.

Square slabs with greenery in between. Use something that is tough and hardy. You want something that is going to spread easily.

Create a couple of stairs – you can do this in a variety of ways, using a particular theme and converting this into a designer style area with special textures. You could also do something more rustic. Have interesting plants like ferns growing on the side with a couple of lamps for the evenings.