Unique Paving Ideas – Creative Ways To Use Pavers In The Garden

Plants Lining Unique Pavement
(Image credit: Afonkin_Yuriy)

When designing a garden or yard, don’t forget the non-plant elements, like pavers. They may not be your first thought as a gardener, but don’t let them be an afterthought. The right pavers and design can really make the space. There’s no reason to go traditional either. Use these fun garden pavers and design ideas as a starting point for your own creativity.

Using Pavers in the Garden

Also known as hardscaping, including pavers in the landscape adds contrast to plants and beds and also fills practical needs. Pavers include any non-plant material, usually hard but sometimes rubbery or soft. Pavers can be made from a number of materials:

  • Concrete/concrete blocks
  • Cut stone
  • Natural stone
  • Bricks
  • Wood
  • Engineered wood
  • Rubber
  • Recycled materials

Constructing with pavers isn’t difficult, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. For instance, it’s important to have a plan and mark it out in the space. Don’t try to freestyle or you’ll end up starting over again. You also need to excavate the soil to create an even surface and include a solid base with something like gravel.

Unique Paving Ideas

Landscapers most often use pavers to create patio flooring and walkways, but don’t let this limit you. There are many interesting garden paving ideas from which to take inspiration for a unique creation. Also, consider different types of garden paving stones that will make the design special.

  • Build a patio with beds. Create a paver patio with permanent beds in it. Just leave some spaces open and use these as planters to green up the patio.
  • Let the grass grow. A great trend in hardscaping that is also environmentally friendly is using pavers with grass. A solid patio or walkway doesn’t let rainwater soak into the soil and causes runoff. Pavers with holes in them for grass to grow or well-spaced pavers let the water run through and creates a softer look in the garden.
  • Use river rocks. Garden paving stones you’ll find at the garden center are pretty standard, so try using river rocks. It will take more time to fit them together in the right way, but the look is truly unique.
  • Create terraces. A yard with a hill can be a challenge, but pavers can break up the space. Cut terraces into the hill and use pavers vertically on the front edge of each. This creates a set of grassy steps, which you can leave as turf or turn into perennial beds or rock gardens.
  • Get creative with patterns. Even with standard pavers from the garden center, you can get crazy with the design. Planning is key here, but you can design swirls, circles, geometric squares, and more with simple pavers.
  • Make structures with pavers. Don’t limit pavers to paths and patios. Use them to create garden structures including walls, fountains, and even solid seating.
Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.