Forum home Problem solving


I have a very ugly concrete patio that puts you off going in the garden. I have been lucky and have two pensioners fixng it up for me. I am shocked at how much and how hard they have worked. The main man age 70 and the other 72 don't stop working even in the rain. They are trying to make my garden easy to look after. I have listened to them and love what they have done so far. They have suggested ; gravel ,stones or chippings to go over the top, I am unsure of the best type , I would like to have garden furniture outside and for it to be comfortable, I don't have pets or children so that makes it easier..... They have said if I don't like gravel all over I can move it and put something different in the middle and still have the gravel or stones surrounding the area. My question is what would be the best choice of stone or gravel or slate in the interim. There are boarders made from sleepers as you will see in the photographer.......... What would be the best option ? I think I could pave over the concrete at a later date.....I would appreciate any advice.


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    As long as you pick your patio furniture with care, gravel will be fine. ie choose chairs with sturdy(wide) legs, benches would be great etc. Table legs can be sat directly on the concrete for stability. Don't buy these metal chair with spindly legs as they would not be stable at all on gravel. Or you can pave the bit where your table and chairs will be and gravel the rest. The choice is really yours and your budget.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks Hogweed, I've just been looking at indian sand stone, I'm thinking of having a nice area of be honest not completely sold on it being entirely gravel /stones 😁.....I'm thinking of placing a large patch outside patio doors but not keen on digging up concrete I'm hoping to place over the concrete.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
    Hello, have a look at the post titled First timer: Replacing patio for advice on laying Indian sandstone. I am a bit of a bore on this as I have seen far too many cracked floors and patios through not laying it correctly!

    Personally, I find gravel a pain as a patio surface as it’s too easily scuffed up with moving chairs etc., so I think you are right to consider a hard surface under your dining area. I would also reconsider putting gravel directly outside your patio doors for the same reason, it can be a trip hazard.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thanks , Nollie the last thing I want is for it to crack , if been looking at concrete cracks for 14 years. So far I have been really lucky with the pensioners doing my garden so far. I will look at the link you suggested.

    To be honest when I got this house I thought I would have a beautiful garden in a few years how wrong was I , I've been sorting out the problems inside from day dot. I planted things in the wrong places etc . I have felt bad pulling them out but I am starting again with lots of plant research. This site is amazing glad I have found it .🏡
  • Nollie I have just looked at the replacing patio discussion thanks for that. I want do do this right so all advice helps. Besides sandstone what else do you think would be a good choice ? 😀
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
    Your pensioners sound amazing - lucky you! Don’t worry about making mistakes, I am pretty new to the plant side of gardening and have made loads and I am sure everyone else has too. Fortunately most plants seem very forgiving of being moved so long a small you do it in the dormant season. The folks on this forum are really helpful and never seem to tire of answering questions I am sure they have answered lots of times already.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
    Nollie I have just looked at the replacing patio discussion thanks for that. I want do do this right so all advice helps. Besides sandstone what else do you think would be a good choice ? 😀

    Goodness that’s a tricky one, there is so much choice and is largely governed by your taste and budget. Also whether you like the natural, aged effect of stone or would prefer something a bit slicker and modern. Anti-slip is important too and a flamed or textured effect would be less hazardous in the rain. A bit technical but if you go for natural stone, try to find out its hardness on the moh scale as this affects hardness and longevity. My local sandstone flags are honed, which is quite smooth and not a natural choice for a patio but I happened to have a lot spare to hand. For this reason I designed it with the border of little tumbled, rough textured marble setts which give better grip underfoot.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Nollie , so much to think about....I'm struggling to use the site I've not mastered how to "quote" yet 😉 looks like I will have to do loads of research . I'm wondering if there is such a thing as country modern.....I have some very tall trees shadowing my garden they have grown about 20 feet or more over the I have to also find good plants to cope with the reducing light in the garden. As for slipping really worth getting something to reduce that potential Hazzard 😁 Thank you again....
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
    Hi again, 

    I think the best idea to get a sense of the desired look or theme, apart from looking at your own interiors that reflect your taste, is lots of browsing of gardening/lifestyle magazines and keeping a scrapbook of ideas (or the internet equivalent by taking screen grabs and creating a garden folder). For flooring a few visits to tiling and stone suppliers might help your choose - they often provide samples you can try in your shady conditions, which will be different to under shop lights.

    As for plants for shade, why not post a new discussion on this forum asking for advice from those knowledgeable about shade gardening? Give some info about your soil (do a soil ph test with a cheap kit), is it heavy clay, sandy, lovely rich loam, is it dry shade or damp, which way does the garden face etc. With the help of suggestions from forum members, make a list of plants that suit your conditions, then you have a starting point. 

    Good luck!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
Sign In or Register to comment.