Traditionally, you think about a garden, you think grass. The mowing, the strimming, the treating… But that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

There are a variety of different alternatives to the traditional grass garden now, including using bark, slate or decking.


A relatively cheap and easy option, bark is especially useful if you have children as it provides a soft, safe-to-land-on surface.

To stop weeds from growing out from underneath the bark we would recommend laying it out over plastic woven weed matting. We would also recommend creating some edging to stop the bark from escaping out of the sides and spreading. Give us a call to find out how to create the perfect edging and how we can help.

As good as your edging is however, some will escape, so it is advisable to top up the bark every year.

To get a good 5cm of bark layering, you will need roughly 50 litres of bark chippings per meter squared. Get a quote today.

Photo credit:

Photo credit: Fairview


Another relatively cheap is slate gravel. It is fairly low maintenance and can be extremely eye-appealing if done correctly.

As with bark, you want to avoid weeds growing up through the gravel, so before you lay it down you should remove all weeds, grass and any other plants from the area and ensure it is level and smooth. You will also need to lay a sheet of weed-proof woven membrane underneath the area you want the slate gravel to go. To make sure it stays in place, go round the edges and peg down roughly very meter.

You should edge this area as well, to stop any bits of gravel from escaping and spreading.

To get a layer of approximately 2.5cm thick slate, you will need to use about 50kg per meter squared.

We agree that a completely gravelled garden might be a bit too much, so why not try mixing a few different aggregates?

Photo credit: Welsh Slate

Photo credit: Houzz


Most people are already aware of the benefits that can come from decking. With it coming in such a variety of colours, sizes and styles, it can make any garden stand out and has a softer, more relaxed feel than the previous two mentioned.

We recommend Trex composite decking if you are looking for something strong and durable that resists staining, scratching or moulding.  Find out more here.

We have a great guest blog piece about keeping your costs low for your new garden decking build, take a look at here.

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