Gardens

Pave it aesthetically

The sight of a lush green landscape is without doubt a soothing balm, a rejuvenating experience. A walk through this lush green space can be totally relaxing letting the mind rest the chatter. While relaxation is undoubtedly present, the comfort of the walkway also needs to be assured if the experience is to be truly energising.

The kind of pavers used for the pathways thus becomes important in terms of both comfort and aesthetics. Pavers for landscape come in multiple options and the choice needs to be done based on specific requirements.

Concrete block pavers are common choices given the various colours, sizes, shapes and textures in which they are available. They also prove to be cost effective and permit percolation of rainwater. However, given their small sizes, they sink during the rainy season if not laid efficiently.

Stone pavers are equally in demand for driveways as well as pathways given their comfort and strength. They vary from the local Sadarahalli, Tandoor, and Sira to red and black granite.

Sadarahalli is a popular choice and it can be customised based on the sizes and patterns required. Sadarahalli stones however tend to get smooth over time and slippery and these can be offset by flaming them. A common drawback of Sadarhalli pavers is the tendency to collect and absorb dust and acquire stains.

Says Landscape Architect Zahiruddin Malik of Malik’s Design Studio, “Options like Tandoor, Sira, red and black granite do not have the problem of staining. But red and black granite are very expensive and are usually used more as a highlight in the patio in form of inlays, as a decorative option.”

According to him stone pathways can also feature in the form of cobbles where they are laid over cement mortar.

“The stone-based walkways can be aesthetically mixed with pebbles and gravel to lend charm, where it could be alternately laid in the order of stones, gravel and pebbles.”

Burnt brick pathways are again a charming choice. “Overburnt bricks which cannot be used in construction can be used for walkways where they can be laid in parallel or Herringbone patterns to lend charm”, says Malik. He, however, adds that these are not popular choices as the laying is labour intensive and requires skilled labour. “But brick pathways are a good choice given their rainwater percolation potential.”

Clay tiles appear arresting when laid on the walkway but Malik cautions that this again is expensive and cannot be used in high traffic spaces. Clay tiles also do not have multiple design options as they break easily when cut. “Clay tiles also do not permit percolation of rainwater.” He advocates the integration of stone and bricks to create patterns and enhance the aesthetics with the differential colours and material use.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:13:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/gardens/pave-it-aesthetically/article7089262.ece

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