Natural Stone and Timber

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5 Ways to Make the Most of a Layered Outdoor Area

Rob Byrne - Friday, December 28, 2012

The winter will be over before you know it, and for lucky folks like our outdoor flooring customers, that means getting back into the outdoor spaces they avoided through the chilly winter! Something we come across a great deal in our business is people looking to make the most of unusual spaces like very large, sloped gardens, period feature yards and so on.

Here are five tips from our experts to help those of you with multilayered gardens and yards to make the most of the space without calling in the landscapers!

1. Use defined areas for set activities

A layered garden is a great chance for you to use already defined areas for very specific purposes. For example, a vegetable patch, decking area, barbecue, seasonal planting, sandpit for the kids etc. You could even separate an area just for the family dogs to do their business! Every household is unique, so take the time to plan a concept that really matches the needs of your family, whether that's a sand-covered yoga area, chicken run or afternoon tea sun trap!

2. Divide your planting

Perhaps the simplest thing to do with small layered garden or yard levels is to create a custom planting concept. This can be great for seasonal blooms and for spreading your planting to make sure there's always a few patches of great growth throughout the year.

3. Install hard flooring

Installing decking boards or Indian sandstone paving to even up an area is a great way to enhance the layered layout of an outdoor area without too much in the way of landscaping. An area of garden decking adjacent to the house could provide a safe, level area to enjoy. You could even fence the hard floor area if you're worried about the kids tripping etc. This way you get the best of both worlds - a level area to enjoy and an interesting layered area.

4. Make a bold statement

Layers are a superb canvas on which to build some great garden statements. Why not use an area to build a sculptured planting bed? With the levels already in place, you can really have fun creating interesting, unique pieces. Why not use something like Scottish pebbles to decorate bedding areas and build on custom planting over time?

5. Use fence panels and screens to create custom/safe areas

One of the potential cons of a layered outdoor area is safety. Young children could trip and even older folks can be a little unsteady on their feet. Using fences and panels to define layered areas, especially in a very large or steep layered garden, can be a great way to create smaller, safer, usable spaces.

Making the most of outdoor spaces needn't always be about spending heaps of cash on custom landscaping. With a little creativity and elbow grease, you could turn your layered garden into a safe, practical, interesting outdoor area for the entire household to enjoy.