You don’t have to go for hard landscaping to introduce reclaimed style into your outside space. These fast fixes will create a similar efect.
@ Metalwork Choose a wrought iron metal gate to use as an informal trellis. Or put a mirror behind it on a wall to create an optical illusion . Expect to pay about £70.
@ Tiles Old terracotta tiles have a wonderfully irregular shape and feel. Create an outdoor splashback for a potting bench, or use as ‘feet’ for plant pots. They cost about £2 each.
@ Chimney pots A quirky alternative to a plant pot, these high rise clay pots are a clever way to create height in borders or to make a focal point. They are open-bottomed so best positioned on soil rather than a patio, unless you use a saucer. These chimneys are usually priced at £20-£25 each.
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These are old bricks which have been salvaged from demolition jobs and cleaned up to remove all the old mortar, and they’re the most commonly reclaimed building material. They range in colour, texture and size. You can buy orange, red, cream, yellow and even blue bricks, depending on which part of the country they come from, so there will be a style to suit your garden and planting scheme. Before purchasing, check that the bricks you’re buying are frost-proof. What are they used for? Building walls, creating small raised borders, laid on their sides as pretty edging or laid flat to make an attractive and durable pathway.
Cobbles and setts
Cobbles were originally rounded beach or river pebbles about 200-400mm (8-16in)in size, and setts are straight-sided blocks of quarried stone, which are usually 50-300mm (2-12in) long and about 50mm deep, although sizes can vary from small cubes to larger, loaf shapes. Confusingly, the two products are sometimes listed under the same name, and may even have a regional name (they’re called ‘cassies’ or ‘nidgers’ in Scotland!). Setts can be made from sandstone or granite. They’re becoming increasingly popular for their charmingly irregular surface and colour, as well as their durability. What are they used for? Patios and paths with a mosaic efect, or for small paved areas where pots could be grouped.
Just as popular now as they were in Victorian times, edging tiles create an elegant finish to a border or path. Traditional types often have a decorative look, with a barley twist or rope top efect, a simple finish which works well in unfussy modern gardens. They come in a number of colours, but the Ruabon Red Top rope edging is a sought after style in reclamation yards. Fix the tiles in place with a dry mix concrete so, if you move house, you can take them with you! Convincing copies are available at builders’ merchants, such as Marshalls, if your budget doesn’t stretch to the real deal. What is it used for? Placing at the sides of a path or border to create a neat yet textured edge.