Notions of old English farmhouses and rustic cottages with meandering pathways are indeed alluring. But for those who own a more modern property, achieving such an old-world look can be tricky.
Pathways and paved areas are key to rustic-look gardens. By choosing the right pavers and putting a little creativity into the spaces in between and around these stones, you can create your own charmingly antiquated garden.
The first step in creating a rustic courtyard or terrace is to choose the right pavers or stones. Older gardens tend to be less regimented than more contemporary ones, so pick a paver that lends itself to an irregular pattern. Global Stone Paving’s Old Rectory Collection is ideal for creating irregular layouts, comprised of pavers of varying sizes. The non-uniform colour range also contributes to a more traditional aesthetic.
The construction of walls and copings can also add to a sense of antiquity. Global Stone Paving’s Old Rectory range of copings and walling stones are ideal for promoting a rustic look, offering a mature, weathered appearance.
Pathways also present a powerful way to boost the classic look of your garden. Global Stone’s sandstone pavers are a great choice, riven in texture and naturally varying in tone. Arrange these in a curving or winding line to form your pathway, then pick an aggregate with pieces of varying sizes and shades.
But however rustic or old-world your pavers, walls, copings and stepping stones, they can be made to look even more traditional by combining them with the right plants.
Consider ‘mind-your-own-business’ (Soleirolia soleirolii) for composted gaps between pavers and stepping stones. This verdant plant creeps along the ground and forms a mat over soil, but leaves pavers clear. It is fast-growing and, while it is often bought as a house plant, can survive outside in the UK with relative ease.
You can also stimulate your olfactory senses by planting herbs and tiny flowers in the gaps between stones. These release scents when crushed underfoot which waft into the air. Consider Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) – especially good in shaded, damp areas.
For the more exposed parts of your garden, you might plant for colour: white Snowdrift and pink Bressingham Pink combine in an alluring fashion and look great along the cracks of your pavers.
While it takes some years for a garden to look truly ‘rustic’, you can ramp up the traditional look by visiting your local car boot sale and picking up a few old garden tools, or perhaps an antiquated wheelbarrow. These features, combined with the right pavers, stepping stones and plants, will make for a beautiful garden that transports you back in time.