To design a formal space, you only need to combine a few key elements – large format pavers, a traditional water feature and a pretty garden archway.
Gather your supplies
• Pavers (we used Brighton Masonry 400 x 400 x 40mm Cream Mypave pavers)
• Road base
• Paving sand
• Brickie’s sand
• Cement mix
• Rialto Trough Fountain kit in Burnt Umber
• Dry sand or fine washed sand n Gardman Versailles Garden Arch
• Selection of plants (we used Avonview lavender, gardenia, bay trees, Acmena ‘Red Head’, dwarf papyrus and water iris)
You’ll also need
Turf cutter (hired, optional); tape measure; set-out paint; screed; screed rails; shovel; metal rake; plate compactor (hired); spirit level; stringline; pointed trowel; wheelbarrow; builder’s ‘wedgies’ (optional); rubber mallet; organic fertiliser pellets; organic mulch; builder’s plastic; heavy-duty straps; bolster; hammer; pegs; broom
Note: These instructions are for a 4 x 4m paved area with extended paths at opposite ends. Adjust measurements to suit your own space.
Step 1 Remove turf from your chosen area, if necessary. Mark a square area and extending paths using a tape measure and set-out paint. Divide area into quarters and mark 800 x 800mm squares in centre of each quadrant (for plant beds).
Step 2 Spread road base to a depth of 80mm over area, except for marked squares. If there’s a slight slope, use road base to build up areas so site is level (include a fall
to allow for rainwater run-off). Wet and compact down to 70mm using plate compactor.
Step 3 Spread 30mm of paving sand over road base. Set screed rails into sand to required finished level of pavers. Steadily drag screed along rails, screeding off and packing sand as you go to create a firm, level surface. Remove screed rails.
Step 4 Hammer in pegs at corners of paving area. Run stringline between pegs and set to finished height of pavers. Starting in 1 corner, lay pavers along stringline. Gently tap into place with rubber mallet and ensure level. Pave whole area (except for marked squares), cutting pavers where necessary, using hammer and bolster. Lay builder’s plastic over pavers to prevent scuffing, and remove pegs and stringline.
Step 5 Add 4 parts brickie’s sand and 1 part cement mix to wheelbarrow. Blend thoroughly, then slowly add water until mixture is stiff. Haunch all sides of paving and leave to dry.
Step 6 With someone’s help, use heavy-duty straps to lift and position water feature into place. Check level and adjust if necessary by cutting and placing builder’s ‘wedgies’ underneath. Install included pump from kit, position aquatic plants in trough, and fill with water.
Step 7 Remove plastic and sweep dry or fine sand over entire paved area, ensuring all gaps are filled. Add fertiliser pellets to square beds and surrounding soil. Fill with plants, mulch and water well.
Step 8 Hammer legs of arch into ground on each side of path. Put garden arch on legs, ensuring it’s upright and sturdy. Hose down all surfaces and turn water feature on.