A paved outdoor area is great for fitting in folks for summer entertaining, but it can look dull when the vibrant personalities of your friends and family are absent.


Flowers can give it a lift, and you could always move your plastic pots into designer containers, but they could cost more than the plants.


Save money and dig up pavers and grass, then plant blooms for instant floral fabulousness!


With some clever plant solutions and a new tree to provide shade, this cost-effective makeover proves the garden you always wanted might be the garden you’ve already got, just with a few tweaks. 

How to plant out your pavers in your backyard


Gather your supplies

  • Organic matter
  • Selection of plants
  • Mulch 

You’ll also need

Step 1

Dig up turf and turn soil with pickaxe. Dig in organic matter.

Step 2

Measure and mark out area of paving to be lifted.

Step 3

Lift pavers within marked area – you may have to sacrifice the first couple of pavers.

Step 4

Remove sand and road base underneath the pavers with shovel.

Step 5

Turn over soil and dig in organic matter.

Step 6

Arrange plants until you’re happy with the display. 

Step 7

Dig holes as deep as the pots, and twice as wide. Pour water in holes and, when water is drained, put in plants and press soil gently around plants.

Step 8

Water soil and mulch.

The outcome

Foxgloves take you back to childhood fairytales, with their cascading bell-shaped flowers looking like bobbing elves’ hats. Add to the movement, as here, with fine-leafed ornamental grass lomandra.

Take advantage of the paving pattern to extend a handful of bricks into the garden beds – it creates a naturalistic informality to fit in with your relaxed entertainment area.

You might also like:

How to fix a problem patch in the garden

How to lay staggered pavers

How to create your own paved courtyard

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