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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire
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Cottages gardens have historically been places to provide recreation and necessity for the home.
Traditional cottage dwellings were initially built for farming families who had historically worked the land. Workers were busy and utilised gardens for recreation and to grow extra vegetables for the kitchen
Consequently, it is no surprise that cottage garden paths were built with what was to hand. For example in Wales, local slate rocks were cobbled together to form pathways. Most of the time paths were created with contextual or recycled materials.
Here I list and summarise 7 of the best materials to build authentic looking cottage garden paths. I feel these are most in keeping with the traditional, cottage garden aesthetic.
Brick have always been a rather quirky but resourceful way to create cottage garden paths. Utilising recycled bricks can be extremely cost effective for building new pathways.
By gently tweaking the joints you can easily create gently meandering curves. For a more pristine look you could also consider laying a path with clay pavers.
Rustic block paving
Those landscaping a traditional cottage may be appalled at the idea of using block paving. However, there is now more traditional looking and rustic style block pavers on the market.
Block paving such as Slimsett or Tegula have a much more sympathetic aesthetic to the cottage garden style. These blocks have a ‘cobble look’ making them very desirable for traditional paving themes.
Gravel pathways have always been a typical surfacing material for cottage garden paths. Gravel, a product of stone quarries comes in a wide variety of materials, textures and colours.
Traditionally gravel was used to create cottage garden seating areas and pathways. There is a huge range of gravels on the market to suit any landscaping design or theme.
Self binding gravel
Self binding gravel is a less well know surfacing material but is growing in popularity.
This gravel is a combination of crushed rock, clay and sand which binds together forming a hard surface. Self binding looks effective, comes in a wide range of colours and is very fast to lay.
This gravel is popular in private estates and show gardens making it very suitable for cottage garden paths.
Setts have been a material continuously used through the ages to provide robust surfacing.
These cubes of natural stone have always provided a hard wearing surface for roads and streetscapes. The most common of these have always been granite which is extremely durable.
However, there are many different sett products now on the market created from various types of natural stone. All of these can be very effective for cottage garden path construction.
There are many different materials which are expectable for building cottage garden pathways.
However, when it comes to paving I feel sandstone is always the best for a few reasons. Firstly, sandstone has always been a naturally occurring and quarried rock England.
This means many cottages were paved with some sort of sandstone historically. There are also many sandstone products on the market today which are reasonably priced and versatile.
Victorian tiled paths were never traditionally used for cottage garden paths.
However, many Victorians had a love for the cottage garden style. This led to many examples of a combination of the two garden styles.
A number of cottage gardens had Victorian tiled paths laid which worked well in many garden designs. Consequently I have included Victorian tiles as the last cottage garden path surfacing solution.
Thank you for reading our article on the best materials for cottage garden paths. If you require paving or landscaping for cottage gardens do not hesitate to contact us.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire