Three Steps To… Re-wilding Your Paving

Our back garden included a large courtyard which had been completely covered in block paving when we moved in. It looked very tidy but, as far as wildlife is concerned, it was completely sterile. Here’s a few steps we’ve taken to rewind our paving so it’s become a paradise for plants, bees, butterflies and overflies – maybe you could do something similar?

If you have any ideas, information and images for a ‘Three Steps To…’ guide, please send them using our email or contact page.

Step One

If a plant seeds itself in the crack in your paving, try to live and let live and see how it goes.

We allowed this one to grow from a crack in the paving next to our kitchen door. We didn’t know it was a poppy until it had grown a bit but look how well it turned out.

Plants like this look good up against a wall. If you’re feeling bold, why not get some seeds of your favourite annual flower and sow them in the cracks – then you’ll know what to expect when they grow!

Let life grow in the cracks

Step two

By making good use of old plant pots and containers, we’ve taken some of the straight edges out of our paved courtyard and introduced some fantastic plants.

If you don’t have any plant pots, ask around and you may find friends and relatives who are willing to let you have some. Other good sources are recycling shops and car-boot sales.

Pretty much any plants will grow well in a pot, although it’s good to pour in some feed once or twice a year. As plants get bigger, you can move them into bigger pots or find a place for them in your garden.

Hot-lips sage in the Kitchen Garden

Step three

For a more radical change to your paving, you could follow us in replacing sections of it with raised beds for fruit, vegetables and herbs.

This can be expensive if you need to buy the wood and the soil to fill the bed. Make sure you check prices etc before you take up your paving.

At the end of the summer we’re going to remove the rest of the block-paving and replace it with stone chips which will drain better than the paving and be easier to weed.

Raised bed in the paving