Our gardens are our sanctuaries at home, somewhere we can go to escape the rigours of daily life, connecting with nature and giving ourselves a serious chance to slow down, refocus and recentre.

Being out in the fresh air, surrounded by plants, flowers and wildlife, basking in the summer sun can do wonders for our health and wellbeing - which is why it’s important to have a space somewhere in the garden where you can sit, relax and unwind.

A garden patio is, of course, absolutely perfect for this and no traditional English country garden would be complete without one. They’re ideal for entertaining, as well, you can have friends and family over without having to worry that you lack the space or facilities to accommodate everyone.

How do you choose the right patio paving slabs?

There are so many options for garden patio slabs that it can seem quite overwhelming at first, but they all have their own different advantages, so it’s worth taking the time to think about how you want to use your patio, as this will help you work out which materials would suit your needs the best.

Natural stone materials such as limestone, granite and sandstone are the most popular choices for patios because they’re not overly expensive and they come in a vast array of different styles and colours, so you should have no trouble whatsoever finding the right ones for you and your overall garden aesthetic.

Think about the size of the area you plan to use as your patio as, generally speaking, the bigger it is, the bigger your paving slabs should be in order to help keep everything to scale. If you use big slabs in a small area, you may find that the space looks even smaller by the time the last paving slab has been laid.

Other features for your patio

Once you’ve had your paving laid down, you can start thinking about how you want to decorate your patio and what other features you want to include.

Seating is a must, of course, if you know you’re going to be entertaining a lot, while a fire pit is a great idea as well, given our tempestuous climate. Another really popular trend at the moment is the outdoor kitchen and you could have a great time designing this to really suit your cooking style.

And don’t forget about planting! Just because you’ve paved over an area doesn’t mean you can’t have lots of beautiful plants and shrubbery here and there… all you need to do is create a container garden!

Climbers work particularly well on patios and they’ll smell amazing when you’re sitting outside. And don’t forget to plant some edible flowers and herbs so you have these well within easy reach when you’re barbecuing and cooking outside.