Posted on 22nd January 2021
With the onset of Spring, now is the time to be thinking about showing your garden a little TLC. Considering the plants and shrubs that need pruning and perhaps how you can improve your garden space for use throughout Spring and summer will ensure you get the best use of your external space during the warmer weather and longer days.
Just like the interior of your home, the patio and key garden features need to be freshened up and cleaned. Planting beds need preparation, eliminating hardy weeds and brightening surfaces with decorative slate chippings will ease maintenance in the following year whilst also adding a new colour dimension to an area. Plum, blue and green slate aggregate in 10mm and 20mm sizes will provide a great choice of colour to complement flowering herbaceous shrubs when they start to bloom during Spring and summer.
Where existing planting beds or paths exist with slate aggregate, it is an excellent time to be lightly raking the surfaces and evenly spreading around the slate and adding a top-up where it is necessary. In paths where a pothole has appeared, raking existing surface slate and repairing and compacting the sub base to these areas should also be part of the care and maintenance program of things to do.
For natural stone paving sweeping areas with a stiff broom and warm soapy water can help remove surface dirt and residue, but more hardy stains such as algae left by mother nature. Algae can often form on your patio areas where light is restricted, such as under the shadow of trees or north-facing garden patios.
The forming of the algae will also tend to occur on the more porous paving materials such as sandstones, and these surfaces can become slimy when wet from the rain and become a slip hazard. Therefore, it is essential to clean these areas with a bucket of water diluted with a specialist intensive cleaner that will help to remove algae/ dirt and penetrate the stone surface without damaging the texture or colour.
Rinsing off can typically be carried out with a stiff brush and bucket of water but occasionally helped by a light application of a power hose but from a distance. We do not recommend that aggressive high-pressure power washes are used on paving. Power washing can damage your material's surface and increase the intensity of everyday dirt or algae staining to your stone product's surface area.
Once maintenance is completed, it is a good idea to consider whether your patio area meets your current requirements and whether you need to extend the area or add in a feature. As long as a suitable sub base is in existence, it is possible to add a new feature to the area such as a circle or extend the area with a contrasting colour that can complement but add a new focus/dimension to your patio.