If you’ve ever walked down a mossy brick path winding its way through a garden, you know how evocative outdoor paving can be. A well-chosen paving material can enhance both your home’s architecture and your garden’s ambience.
|Scored and colored concrete—simple,|
• Concrete has been the standard for patios and paths for many years. Yet the great creative opportunities inherent in concrete are seldom exploited. Because it’s a plastic material, patterns and textures are limited only by your imagination.
One neat trick is simply to score a pattern into the wet concrete, a technique widely used prior to World War II but seldom seen today. When combined with coloring, scoring can produce a very elegant effect at relatively low cost.
|Impressed concrete systems, such as|
Bomanite, can be a dead ringer
for actual stone paving.
• Exposed aggregate, in which the fine cement on the surface of the concrete is stripped off to reveal the aggregate beneath, has overcome its shopping-center reputation of the Sixties and is quite popular again. You needn’t use sparkly white rocks for this effect, either; any color or size of aggregate will do.
• For a subtler textured effect, coarse rock salt can be embedded into fresh concrete before troweling. The salt dissolves after a few weeks, leaving a very interesting rye-cracker sort of texture.
|Classic brick paving can roll with|
the punches. This is a herringbone
pattern with soldier course borders.
• Brick paving provides almost limitless design possibilities, weathers beautifully, and is reasonably affordable if you provide your own labor. Borders and curbs are easily accomplished in brick. And of course, varying shades of brick can be laid in patterns to create highly artistic installations.
It’s not necessary to set bricks in mortar, either. They can simply be laid dry on a sand bed, which allows the paving to accommodate soil settlement and encourages the growth of mosses and lichen between the bricks. Running bond, herringbone and basketweave are just a few of the most common brick paving patterns.
|Interlocking pavers have a sharper, more precise look,|
and are less likely to settle.