Forum home Garden design

Surface to use in humid conditions

I currently live in the dry east of the country where high humidity is not a problem. However, I’ve bought a house in France and the winters can be twice as wet as where I am now. Part of the garden is a courtyard area currently covered in some sort of shingle that is so overgrown with moss and algae that it’s impossible to view properly. I would like to be able to put a sitting/dining area in the courtyard, and have been thinking of hard landscaping it. But I am worried that paving stones would have to be pressure cleaned all the time because of the algae. People who live in more humid areas of this country, what advice can you offer me? I’m open to any kind of surface (that is not plastic or concrete). It needs to be reasonably level for the table and chairs. Hoggin? Replacement gravel? What works well?


  • TheVanguardTheVanguard Posts: 134
    Try a quick google of vitrified paving..that might give you a few ideas :) 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    It can get wet and humid here sometimes. If you have very free-draining soil, loose materials are not usually problematic. I have heavy clay on rock, so drainage is most definitely a problem!

    My patio is a mix of smoothly honed sandstone tiles interspersed with rougher granite sets in a grid pattern. The rougher granite provides purchase underfoot when it’s slippy and never goes mouldy or attracts algae. The sandstone occasionally goes a bit green around the edges. The more porous the material the worse it is in damp conditions, so granite, being one of the hardest and most impermeable, is better suited. Pretty difficult to ruin it by over-enthusiastic power washing too.

    If you lay a solid concrete base then use the correct flexible tile adhesive and grout, you will avoid general movement and the mortar cracking. The latter is the main problem with paving, once it startes cracking, water will penetrate, freeze and cause more cracking and heaving. The other advantage of paving, as opposed to loose material, is that you can create a permanent fall and run off zone to ensure you don’t have standing water there. The longer water sits on the surface of course, the more unwanted greenery will flourish.

    On the other hand, you could simply embrace the rustic look and lay porous brick pavers in sand and grow things in the cracks!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
Sign In or Register to comment.