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Hard Landscape : Steps

Safety

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.

Safety

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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