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Hard Landscape : Steps


Steps have the important practical function of allowing easier access over sloping ground. But they also have an ornamental function – well-placed steps, even just one or two, can lend great character to a garden.

The design of garden steps should be appropriate for their setting. For example, a narrow, winding flight of steps is appropriate between large trees on a woodland slope, while steps linking broad areas of smooth lawn should be wide and even.

The materials used must also match the location. Simple log-steps would suit a woodland garden; cut stone slabs, an expensive formal garden.


Garden steps should be wide in the tread, about 30 centimetres, with shallow risers of about ten centimetres, and be made of non-slip material. They are best sited where they will dry out quickly, reducing the slippery growth of green algae.


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