Choosing the Right Hard Landscaping: A Comprehensive Guide

The Art of Creative Hard Landscaping

The combination of materials is as important as the individual materials themselves, and getting the desired ‘feel’ to a garden is achieved through a subtle combination of textures and colours in the hard and soft landscaping materials. The CG design team have many years’ experience of sourcing materials for external use. Natural or traditional materials may be the starting point, but man-made and composite alternatives are also useful, and combining these effectively is part of the art. Many natural products add a unique tone and feel to a space, with variations in colour and texture less predictable than man-made alternatives. Fabricated materials may demonstrate better consistency or longevity, as well as a wider range of colours.

Linking to the interior of the house can be a primary design requirement, particularly where an ‘indoor- outdoor’ feel is desired.


Natural Stone

Natural stone is often a great option for external paving – we will help you to choose from an almost limitless selection. Different materials and finishes, sizes and laying patterns all contribute to the feel and functionality of the space. We love to design with natural stone and have a wealth of excellent suppliers to help with the selection.


Bricks & Setts

Often the key to a great scheme is in the details – edging and insets with another material, or the same material in a different colour or size make all the difference. Clay pavoirs, bricks and setts come in a huge range of colours, sizes and textures and our design team can advise and show samples.



Decking can be a wonderful material if well chosen – whether a composite deck for low maintenance and great colour options, or a natural wood product such as sustainable oak or bamboo. Detailing is key – the line of the fixings, (or hidden fixings) the direction of the wood and the edgings are all important.


Ceramic Tiles

With the development of good weatherproof options, ceramic tiles are now suitable for more external applications. We can use them to create a seamless inside-outside aesthetic, and wood-effect tiles make an excellent, hardwearing, and almost maintenance-free option to deck.


Pulling together the palette of materials for a scheme with our clients is always an enjoyable part of the process. Often seeing and feeling material samples brings the garden to life. Our expertise in construction as well as design often impacts on our choices, since we have a broad knowledge of the practical applications of material as well as budgeting and costs. Even in the most prestigious of projects, cost is likely to be an important consideration and one we think we are well-placed to advise on should this be helpful. In an industry with relatively few standardised materials, a knowledge of specific suppliers is also important, and we can assist with this too.

The choice of right material for the right place is as important for hard landscaping materials as it is for planting – the combination of aesthetics, functionality and construction approach need careful consideration, Even if we are not constructing the garden, we offer a comprehensive sourcing service, giving you access to tried and tested suppliers as well as practical ordering and logistics support.