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A driveway isn’t only meant to accommodate a vehicle or two. A driveway is the introduction to your property. Its design influences the initial impressions of guests and people who walk by your house. If you plan to sell your home in the future, the driveway is also the first thing potential buyers see; a beautiful driveway increases the potential value of your property.

Looking to build and design a driveway that will turn heads? Here’s a basic improvement guide in creating or re-constructing a driveway to improve your property’s curb appeal.

Choose the surface wisely

Many homeowners choose gravel, asphalt or concrete due to the high costs involved with paving slabs; but if your budget allows more wiggle room, there are a variety of other options for driveway surfaces, like natural stone. Natural stone provides driveways with inherent hardness and timeless aesthetics. The unpredictable shades, patterns textures and rich colour variations add a hint of luxury.

If you want long-lasting durability, granite’s robustness justifies its cost. Granite, a volcanic rock, is stain-resistant and resilient against the worst of weather conditions, including acid rain. Additionally, this material offers a great aesthetic advantage because of its unique and natural pattern. Whether it’s granite chip gravel, flag surfaces or cropped granite setts — laying this surface will give your driveway strength and beauty that withstands the test of time.

Add details to the surface

Aside from an attractive surface, a great way to increase the appeal of your driveway is to add edgings. Driveway edging creates a stunning border that can either complement or contrast with the surface. For example, brick edgings form a traditional edge to your private road. Available in different rustic tones, you can choose a colour that harmonises with your driveway or your house brickwork.

If you want a softer and more decorative look, you may opt for sleeper edgings. They’re also highly functional because they retain higher soil levels so you can grow plants and flowers in them.

To avoid water logging problems, drainage systems with specialised recessed driveway covers are discrete and avoid the need for unsightly manhole covers.

Finish off with beautiful touches

Embellish your driveway by extending your flowerbeds. Low shrubs and small flowering plants are great for softening the edges of a driveway. The abundance of seasonal colours will entice visitors and set a pleasant atmosphere.

Recessed stainless steel LED lighting will illuminate your driveway during the night and create visually-striking effects. As well as a practical aid when parking, these outdoor lighting fixtures improve the ambience of your drive.

Enhance your driveway’s potential with Oakleigh Manor

Looking for the best craftsmen and designers to help you build an eye-catching driveway? Here at Oakleigh Manor, we have an expert team who design and construct beautiful driveways. From the initial site meeting to design planning and construction, we’ll work closely with you during the entire process to ensure that everything meets your specifications.

With successful projects and awards under our belt, Oakleigh Manor’s experienced team maximises the potential of outdoor space throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex.

For more information and enquiries, contact us on 0800 023 1310 or send an email to enquiries@oakleighmanor.co.uk

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With its gorgeous flower beds and lush greenery, your garden adds a breath of fresh air to your property. It gives you pleasure when you spend time outdoors and lovely views when you peek from the windows. You’ll want to maintain or continually improve its beauty, especially with the New Year.

If you’re looking to further upgrade your garden this 2019, the design and aesthetic aren’t defined only by the area’s perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees. Structures like statues and various built elements impact the total look and character of the landscape.

Showcase your garden’s style with these additional features that will add more personality and functionality to your natural haven.

Garden walkways and gazebos

A decorative path blends harmoniously in a garden while also adding definition and functionality to your property’s landscape design. Walkways look inviting, especially when the creative patterns swirl to a door or any other entrance or exit. They also draw the eye and help accentuate other features of the property. For example, if you have a specific potted plant or flower bed as the focal point in your garden, walkways tell people where to look and where to walk. They act as visual guides so that certain elements in your garden do not get lost in the setting.

A gazebo improves your backyard by creating an ideal place to relax while also increasing the style of the outdoor area. It protects plants from both sun and rain, so they’re suitable for newly-potted plants that need to take root. A gazebo may also act as a garden workshop where you can work on your outdoor projects. Growing your own herbs and plants for drinks and other cocktails has become increasingly popular, and you can do this with a tiny storage space like a gazebo.

Statues and fountains

Statues are popular in gardens all around the world and for a good reason — they add charm to the greenery. If your yard has a particular theme, adding whimsical gnomes or a big stone Buddha amplifies the character of your landscape. The statues you place in your garden also reflect your personality. A sculpture of a deer, a dog or any other animal shows your love for the creatures. Statues of Greek gods and goddesses create a sense of antiquity, and the god or goddess that you choose can represent your personal virtues.

If you’re looking for something more spectacular this year, a fountain is a fantastic addition. A fountain is a beautiful centerpiece to any outdoor area, attracting attention for its enduring features and timeless design. It’s a dramatic element that provides soothing sounds and a relaxing ambience.

Pots and Planted Containers

This year, bright foliage will make a comeback and with so much greenery, you’ll need splashes of colour. Intricately designed pots and other planted containers enhance the overall landscape design when they’re placed in strategic spots. For example, a cobalt-blue pot creates a vignette in dark flower beds by adding height and colour. Pots and containers are also useful in adorning garden spaces because they add visual interest and functionality. A large earthen pot placed at the convergence of pathways becomes a focal point while also directing traffic and marking transitions.

Create stunning outdoor spaces with Oakleigh Manor

Planning to improve the aesthetics of your landscape? Incorporating structures to your garden is just the first step. There are other things to consider including planting styles, irrigation, type of flora and many more.

Here at Oakleigh Manor, we have a talented group of designers that provide stunning garden design services and stylisation solutions for homeowners, developers and property owners. With successful projects and awards under our belt, our highly-skilled and experienced teams maximise the potential of outdoor spaces throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex.

For more information and enquiries, contact us on 0800 023 1310 or send an email to enquiries@oakleighmanor.co.uk

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The garden is one of the most beautiful parts of a home. A cornucopia of vibrant flowers and lush leaves are worthy of anyone’s attention. However, in a sea of manicured lawns, how do set your garden apart?

Long gone are the days of the well-trimmed parterres of the Romans, the ha-has of the Englishmen and the walled courtyards of the Spaniards. Today, a fence is a celebrated garden barrier for the modern suburban home.

Fences are functional and stylish structures. With these garden fence ideas, you can protect your flowerbeds from pests while making your garden the focal point of your homes exterior.

Wooden Gates

Similar to thewattle fence trendin Colonial Williamsburg, wood makes a excellent barrier for the garden. Wattle fences were originally made from woven panels of willow sticks that shielded artichokes from roaming racoons and guided foot traffic in the vegetable plot. With its intricate basket-weave patterns, the wattle fence lends a rustic appeal to an otherwise regal landscape.

Today, gardeners use sturdier wood materials for their fences but they are still as charming. Wooden garden fencing in the suburbs ranges from short, stubby pine slats to the longer, thicker oak variety. Interlaced twigs are also great fencing materials for quick and easy solutions. If you have a good hand at woodcutting, you can even use recycled birch cladding for your garden’s fence. With wood, the possibilities are endless.

Layering with Hedges

Another classic and low-maintenance garden fence idea is a hedge fence. They are reminiscent of Roman parterre designs but on a much smaller scale. Box hedges are popular for suburban homes, especially in the front gardens. They pair well with existing concrete, picket and brick fences but can also act as a lone barrier for your backyard garden when structured delicately.

It may be difficult to trim your own hedges, so it’s a good idea to call a professional landscape gardener to shape the hedges to your liking. A hedge fence is a versatile choice when you feel like restructuring the hedges. A hedge fence enables you to change the look of your garden easily.

A Flowering Fence

Marty Moran, an American homeowner, initially sought privacy in building her garden barrier but they instantly fell apart when a neighbour’s tree came down. In reconstructing her garden fence, she wanted something durable yet attractive enough for passersby.

To replace her flimsy cedar and bamboo panels, Moran took inspiration from her travels and opted for aliving wallthat was common in museums abroad. Her new fence consisted of 4-inch rails with the topmost panels hollowed out for flowers and wall plants. The panels had a beautiful sprinkle of pansies, sweet peas, lobelia and geraniums that she tended with a step ladder. Moran also loved using succulents so that watering them daily wouldn’t be a problem.

When creating your own flowering fence, pick flowers that are season-appropriate or, even better,perennial. Cherry pies, golden trumpets and cape mallows are only a few amongst a number of species that bloom all year long.

Barrage of Rocks

Perhaps a more heavy-duty yet equally aesthetically pleasing option is a stone fence. A special spin to normal fencing, landscapers glue rocks together to form a rock hedge. The height of the fence and the tone of the rocks are all up to you. The pattern isn’t a concern in stone fences—the more unstructured, the better.

Although it might be the most tedious to do amongst all the garden fence ideas, the protection it provides for your garden is worth the hard work. Crafting a fence from rock strengthens the appearance of your landscape, making it a striking addition to the modern garden.

The Urban Barricade

For contemporary design aficionados, you might want to take the urban route when choosing your garden fence. A stark contrast to bucolic structures, the modern barrier is usually comprised of metal, stainless steel and galvanised materials. This gives your garden an industrial allure that balances out the soft, graceful features of your yard.

When applied to a front garden, urban barricades offer safety solutions not only to your flowers but also to your home. You can have gates and locks installed to keep your property secure, both from garden pests and potential intruders.

A Touch of Quirkiness

Some homeowners are content with a simple fence design that does the job. Others, however, want to go the extra mile.

Ditching the ordinary look of wooden panels, a landscape artist drilled through the panels and pounded multi hued marbles into the holes into the fence. The marbles create a stunning splash of mottled light in the daytime. Another idea is to paint over wooden panels—the creative decisions are all yours. The trick is to treat your fence like a canvas and let your imagination run wild with your mural.

Artistic fence transformations are inexpensive and fun to do. If you don’t trust your own skills, you could also hire a professional to help you achieve your vision.

From Rubbish to Treasure

We’re often very quick to throw things out once we find no use for them. Did you know, however, that the very rubbish you toss into the bin can be your next garden fence?

With just a little bit of resourcefulness, almost any object in your home can become a fence panel. A landscape artist once usedold bicycles, components and wheelsas parts of a garden fence. Others have turned surfboards, glass bottles, ski sledges and window shutters into vibrant fencing, for both the backyard and the front garden. When done properly, recycled items can make exquisite barriers—just be prepared to be the newest talk of the town.

Oakleigh Manor is passionate about gardens. Since 1996, we have been designing and building dazzling landscapes for our clients in many regions in the UK. We serve independent designers, private clients, contractors and the public sector. Bespoke projects are at the heart of our business. If you want us to transform your garden, feel free to contact ustoday.

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Patios allow homeowners to enjoy nature in a comfortable outdoor living space. Originating from sunny Spain, patios were made to provide homeowners with a way to keep fresh and cool. Filled with plants and decorated with water features, they pleased the eyes as well as provided relief.

As well-loved structures in Spain, these home staples are celebrated every May during the Patio Festival in Cordoba. In this festivity, guests and tourists alike are welcomed by proud homeowners to their plant-adorned patios.

As a nation that loves its gardens, the UK has adopted patios creating a new focal point for their garden. Homeowners can now enjoy tea while basking in the beauty of their well-cultivated plot. Patios can also serve varying functions, depending on how they are designed.

You too can add a stunning focal point to your garden and an additional practical living space with these patio ideas.

Start with a Purpose

Defining the purpose of your outdoor living space will guide what features will be present in your patio. Will you use your patio for outdoor dining or sunbathing, as an outdoor play area or as an outdoor living room?

The purpose of your patio will also affect where it will be placed. For sunbathing, naturally you have to place your patio in the sunniest area in your garden. For outdoor dining or as children’s play area, it is best for the patio to adjoin your home’s exterior. It would be easier to get things from the kitchen, and it would be easier to keep an eye on the children.

Choosing a Location

You have a number of options where to place your patio. U-shaped and L-shaped houses provide a perfect spot for where the patio can be placed. Attached to the house, these patios usually give access to the kitchen or the sitting room. Some homes place them at the front, using them as an alternate receiving area.

For those who want an outdoor living space almost as big as the home, a wraparound patio is a perfect solution, extending multiple rooms to the outdoors. The master bedroom can be opened to an outdoor relaxation area. One can get out of the kitchen and dine alfresco. Families can entertain more guests and open the living rooms to the gardens.

You can also have a detached patio for a private haven a few steps away from home. You can optimise the natural features in your garden with a pond or a sloping plot by placing your patios near them. Beside a pond, a patio will be cooler while on a sloping area your patio can have layers for different functions.

Preparing for the English Weather

Weatherproofing your patio presents various design ideas. Starting from the cover, you can choose among patio roofs, shades or awnings for attached patios, and pergolas, canopies, and gazebos for detached patios.

The use of fabric covers adds a soft silhouette to patios while fixed structures give those resting in the patio a secure feeling. Matched with the home’s roof and drapes, patio covers can give a cohesive feel to the whole look of the house.

Consider furniture that can stay out in the English weather. Wood and wicker furniture are great options for a natural relaxing look, just make sure that the furniture you buy has been treated to withstand frequent rains. Metal furniture always adds an elegantly classic feel to the outdoors. Powder-coated metal furniture is usually the best option as they are better protected from varying weather conditions compared to furniture with a wet paint finish. Cushions add a comforting and welcoming look to any patio. Just make sure that both the cover and filling are waterproof and try to find fade-resistant fabrics.

Adding a fire pit, a fireplace or outdoor heaters will allow you to use your patio well into the start of the cooler months. Fire pits and fireplaces serve an aesthetic function as well as being the centrepiece of the patio.

Patio Flooring

Patio flooring should be a major consideration as it sets the tone for your whole patio.

Wooden decks are practical for many sites as they give a level surface, safe for most to walk on. Choosing hardwood over softwood can give your patio a slicker look, and you can choose among richer colours.

With paving, you will have a tremendous amount of options for materials, all giving a sophisticated look. Choose from different coloured limestones, bricks, flagstones and cobblestones and have them masterfully arranged into beautiful patterns. You can consider a mixture of pea gravel and pebbles, or have them in between widely-spaced stones. You can even use a mix of materials and have a mosaic created.

A Play of Lights

Transform your patio at night with outdoor lighting. If you have pergolas, trees and tall shrubs, festoon lights or fairy lights can add a romantic glow to your patio. Tastefully added, your garden will look like a scene from a fairytale.

For a modern look, deck and ground lights, garden spotlights and post and bollard lights are great options. They can highlight key designs in your patio and are great features for a safe stroll around the garden at night.

Themed lighting fixtures are also a great idea. The classic lamppost look is great for English gardens while a Mediterranean garden can have intricately patterned and colourful lamps.

Create a Transition with Plants

Create a seamless transition from the indoors to the outdoors by adding ornamental plants to your patio. Add potted evergreens like the aromatic bay laurel or the cider gum with its silver-blue coloured leaves.

Decorate table tops with a basket of sweet smelling heather, grape hyacinth in a wooden planter, crocuses in earthenware pots or daffodils in a rattan basket.

Consider hanging baskets filled with trailing petunias or a mix of different coloured lobelias. They can be hanged in key places such as exterior walls, roof edges of a patio or under trees that give shade to a patio.

Creating a patio has endless possibilities. With Oakleigh Manor’s team of multi-disciplined professionals, impeccable standards and workmanship guarantee, we can make your vision come to fruition. Visit or call us on 0800 023 1310 so that we can discuss what you have in mind.

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