Garden Fences, Hedges, Paths and Edgings
Fences, hedges, paths and edgings, together with drives and steps, all serve essentially utilitarian functions: pergolas,and garden walls, are less functional. The fact that something is functional does not mean that it has to be unattractive: far from it. Each of these items could easily become an aesthetically pleasing feature of the garden. There are conflicts, of course, the main conflict being that it usually costs more to make something decorative than it does to accept the utilitarian alternative, but this is by no means always the case. An ugly drive or pathway can ruin the appearance of an otherwise impeccably maintained garden, while a well-designed path or drive constructed of interesting materials and in a style in keeping with the garden can greatly enhance its appearance.
It is always important to try to relate the design of a drive or pathway, as well as the materials used, to the overall design of the garden. The choice of materials will be partly a matter of cost, and partly a matter of taste. The chances are that you liked the house you bought, and that reflects your taste: the same taste will govern the type of garden you will make, and the two will probably coincide, so that the style of the garden will match the style of the house.
Again, when it comes to planning a patio or drive, let your taste be the ultimate arbiter in the style and choice of materials. Before making up your mind what to do, see what other people have done, and don’t be afraid of being eclectic. If you use styles and materials you like, the chances are that they will harmonise.