Top 10 landscaping points to consider to transform your outdoor living space.

Patio, walling and steps by Stow Construction & Landscaping in Nile Grove, Edinburgh 2017 using Marshalls Argent walling Light, Argent Light & Dark Smooth, Argent coping dark. Garden lighting.

Clever landscaping can add interest to your garden, boost your kerb appeal and transform your outdoor living space. But you don’t need to break the bank to make a big impression. Use these professional tips to add colour, texture, functionality, and points of interest to your landscape. If you are considering any of the landscaping elements below please get in touch to see how we can help.



Driveways are one of the most used areas of your house, often overlooked until they stain or crack. A driveway doesn’t have to be unsightly but can be a truly attractive feature of your home. There are many driveway solutions available and it’s important to choose the most suitable for your lifestyle and property. Some options available are gravel, block paving, resin, concrete and asphalt. It’s worth noting that there are pros and cons with all of these involving durability, cost, aesthetics, drainage and maintenance and to ensure you make the right choice it is advisable to seek professional advice.

Walls, Terraces and Brickwork

When considering any form of hard landscaping it’s important to remember that this is skilled work, and near old buildings should be ‘in keeping’ with the original design. When  garden walling or a terrace is done correctly it can create a fantastic focal point in your outdoor living space. Happily, there are plenty of different ways to build a garden wall or terrace feature. No matter what your aesthetic preference may be there is a wide variety of choices to get you started on your journey to create a blissful oasis in your outdoor space. 

Decking, Gazebos and Pergolas

With regards to any timber framed garden features it is worth stating that paying for the best you can is always a worthwhile investment. Any timber needs to last, so hardwood is best. If you buy softwood, it must be pre-treated and continually maintained. Think of your garden as a canvas; a chance to make a statement and introduce stunning features and focal points that will bring the space to life in a contemporary style. Timber-framed garden features & structures including decking, arches, arbours, pergolas and gazebos are the perfect way to introduce unique and decorative shapes to your garden. Larger elements will also help retain your garden’s structure as the seasons change and provide vertical space to grow plants, creating stunning floral displays and areas of shade.


Instead of trampling down the lawn, resulting in a makeshift path of dead grass between your patio and garden, create attractive paving or a walkway using concrete stepping stones, natural flagstone, decorative brick, or crushed stone. It’s all about connecting elements of your landscaping to help pull them together.


Whilst a path is for convenience a patio is for relaxation! There are several things to consider for your perfect patio. Firstly think of what materials you would like to use, these may include decorative gravel, pebbles, cobbles, slate or stone chippings, timber decking, paving slabs, small blocks or, for a continuous surface, resin-bonded gravel or imprinted concrete. The shape of your patio is also important, will it be formal or informal? Designs can be either straight or curved, but avoid a mixture of formal and informal outlines, which don’t work very well together.

Colour is also a consideration these days especially with the wide range of products available. This should also be considered especially if you intend to link your paths with hard surfaces at the front or back of your property.

Choose colours to harmonise or contrast with your house walls (matching colours can overwhelm). A combination of contrasting materials and colours can be pleasing, but beware of getting carried away and creating a very fussy scene that fights for attention with the rest of the garden. Traditional combinations have arisen for good reason, so only mix a couple of textures and colours at a time to be on the safe side. 


A healthy lawn is a great asset for your home, as well as being the ideal place to relax, play and entertain and artificial grass is also becoming an increasingly popular option. The advantages of installing artificial turf is that it stays green all year round, does not have to be mowed or watered and can be installed virtually anywhere.

The production of artificial turf has grown so much over time that it has evolved to look more realistic. Synthetic grass also does away with allergy issues. For instance, in cases where children might be allergic to grass, synthetic lawn is the ideal alternative. This makes growing and playing outside a fun experience again.

Border Preparation

Most people like “no dig gardening”, and any border can be started by simply mulching the surface and planting through the mulch. Mulching has lots of great benefits for your garden. It can tidy up your borders and give them a real professional finish.

It can also add nutrients to your soil as it breaks down as well as helping it to retain moisture. This stops it from drying out in the summer and adds warmth over winter which protects roots from winter frost (which is really helpful if planting more tender perennials that struggle with the British winter).

Water Features

There’s little doubt that the sight and sound of flowing water brings another dimension to a garden. Water features that act as focal points can take various forms, such as a pond, fountain, bird bath, wishing well or sculpture and these may be ornate, plain, discreet or flamboyant. So the choice that’s available is huge, especially when you consider they might be made from a wide range of materials. Always consider the location of your water feature carefully as well as aftercare and maintenance.

Illumination and Lighting

The lighting in your garden can really set the mood. From attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered lights to wireless, connected systems that you can control remotely, there’s so much to choose from to help light up your outdoor living space. Use lighting selectively and remember that darkness can also be used to great effect – to conceal any less attractive areas. To use lighting effectively decide on the areas you want to light, what your key features are and focus on these.

Year Round Appeal

Evergreen shrubs retain their leaves or needles all year long, so they’re constantly providing cover and colour. This gives you some interest even in the winter. Evergreen plants advantageously placed near the house, such as in front of corners, can help soften the vertical lines of the house, giving it a more inviting appearance. Shrubs and trellising can also be used to hide any more unsightly elements such as dustbins. The wildlife will also thank you for some year round cover as well.

Get in Touch!

We hope you find the above advice helpful but if you have any questions about your outdoor landscaping then get in touch to see how Stow Construction & Landscaping can help transform your outdoor living space.

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