How can I “pave” our garden using recycled things?

gardenAs I mentioned yesterday, and alluded to the other week when asking about how to make a recycling bin thing, John and I have decided to tidy up our garden. “Garden” is quite a grand word for it because it’s really just a small yard that we’ve tried growing things in – but been unsuccessful because it’s north-facing in a not exactly warm or sheltered part of the country.

Over the years, I’ve tried growing all sorts of bits of veg in the not even 2m by 3m soily bit but not had much success because of the north-facing-ness, the resulting slugs of doom and our horrible clay-y soil which even repeated emptyings of the compost bin hasn’t really helped. I’m going to keep growing shrubs and anything else I can keep alive in pots but we’ve decided to “pave” it over so we can use the area in different ways (more space for drying clothes, entertaining friends and having space to do large scale, messy craft/building projects) – at the moment it’s a good-for-little muddy mess.

For obvious reasons, we’re reluctant to use newly cut stone for the job and have been on the lookout for patio flags that other people are replacing – but I’m wondering if anyone has any fun suggestions for us to use instead.

We’ve got some flat-tish pieces of york stone that we salvaged a few of years ago (they’ve actually been used as edging on the soil bed – shown in the picture the day we put it in) which we can use as crazy paving, but we don’t think we’ve got enough for the full job. So any suggestions of things we can use to pad the paving out a bit? Or put between the cracks?

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13 Responses to “How can I “pave” our garden using recycled things?”

  1. Nicole says:

    Moss could fill in the cracks and it doesn’t really need sunlight.,,DIY_13865_5475654,00.html

  2. louisa says:

    Based on the last few years here, we’ll get moss whatever we do – so I like the idea of cultivating it for a bit of green.

    Thanks for the link :)

  3. Henry says:

    I believe in aking the experts advice in allo matters of gardening so why don’t you visit which excel in woodland and shade plants. Then clear your site, fill with white granite chippings, then use your choice of the website plants and grown on in tubs/plant pots.

  4. Kim says:

    Used bricks?? :) How about broken up sidewalks? Perhaps your local dump would have some you could haul away and use…that’s what I would look for first.

  5. Ben says:

    This blog is particularly about being environmentally friendly, but I don’t think paving is your green choice here./

    Get a ground cover. It will feel much nicer under your feet. Clover or something.

  6. louisa says:

    Hi Ben,

    I did think of that – my friend is getting rid of her lawn and we thought about transplanting it – but I think we need something a little firmer and less like to stay damp and soggy.

    I’m going to leave plenty of – mossy – cracks between the stones though so rain will be able to soak through rather than pouring off into the drainage system.


  7. Tamara says:

    all of these ideas are wonderful. thank you, louisa, for asking, and thank you all for answering…

  8. Tamara says:

    we just did serious raking… our landlord hasn’t done the “grass” and we thought we’d try. we found out we have no grass, either… we live under massive trees with very low light, and the soil here is very dense–like clay. this question has been major help…

  9. Emerald1 says:

    We had a similar problem, how to eke out a few Yorkstone flags left in the garden. In the end we laid a thick layer of gravel (not sure about the eco-friendliness of gravel but presume it is not an endangered species) and set the flags in that. It is low-maintenance, permeable and the contrast between the gravel and the flat stone looks great. We added a couple of largeish planters (small ones look skimpy and mean and dry out too quickly) but really the hard landscaping looks lovely on its own.

  10. cataway says:

    To get a good growth of moss between your pavers blend together a gallon of water, a litre of buttermilk and a couple good handfuls of moss (found wherever) in a blender and then pour the resulting slurry where you wish moss to grow (can be painted onto damp rocky surfaces for a green graffiti effect). Also to keep moss healthy use the water-buttermilk(no need to add moss to the mix this time) as plant food for the moss 2 to 3 times a year.

  11. Joe says:

    Have you thought about upturned wine bottles/jars/beer bottles etc.. I did a whole patio out of them (lot of fun collecting the bottles!) Andit looks really pretty, I tried growing creeping time between them but the chickens saw the end to that! The only issueis you have to did quite deep.

  12. Gulia says:

    Old rail road wood.

  13. Melinda says:

    Some people have used broken bits of concrete from demolition/ construction projects. The flat side is a plus. I’ve also seen thyme used nicely between paving stones on a walkway. Smells great!

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