With consumer demand for contemporary design now stronger than ever, DIY Week asked Bradstone concrete products director Simon Marriott what the next generation of paving looks like, why porcelain is increasing in popularity and what retailers need to know to capitalise on this key landscaping trend.

What consumers want

Consumer appetite for contemporary design continues to drive the biggest area of growth in the

landscaping sector. The philosophy of investing in outdoor spaces, carefully considering the design elements and creating an

extension to a property’s

interior has continued to grow in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down. With the cost of paving itself

relatively low, in comparison to the overall cost of a garden landscaping job, more and more consumers are investing in premium paving that will continue to look good and stand the test of time. This means qualities like colour longevity, stain resistance and finish are becoming increasingly important for the homeowner and it’s these value add elements that are driving the growth of sales in contemporary paving.

The next generation Due

to advancements in

manufacturing techniques within the market, manufacturers can now offer designs to translate to concrete paving that are not possible to achieve with other materials. This means consumers can have a weathered marble effect, for example, or even an ultra-contemporary metallic effect. Colours can be strong and the design totally unique, allowing it to be completely on trend in terms of what the current consumer is looking for. This new form of concrete paving is also resistant to stains, fading and algae. A pre-applied coating means the consumer doesn’t have to seal it and it is easy to keep clean. The other huge benefit of this technique is how simple it is to lay due to its 40mm depth enabling it to be laid on a compacted sand bed, the same as block paving.

Why porcelain is a popular choice Whilst still a small segment of the overall market, porcelain is where we’ve seen the major growth in the past 12 months alone. Indeed, porcelain paving is being described as the ‘garden material of the moment’ and we’re expecting to see continued growth in this area. We entered the porcelain market back in 2015 and took design cues from inside the home. Quickly, demand exceeded our expectations and the success of porcelain is due to the many benefits it brings. Fired at up to 1400°C, it has exceptional durability, combined with a fine textured anti-slip finish, and is a viable premium alternative to both concrete and natural stone. It’s also has a superb consistency of colour, is impervious to staining and is unaffected by weather conditions and colour-fading, meaning it is virtually maintenance-free and will retain its premium finish for the long term.

Significant opportunities The continued interest in high-end design outdoors means the bar is constantly raised on what consumers want and expect from external paving products. These days whatever look can be achieved indoors, homeowners are looking for externally too. It is this shift in consumer attitudes, towards investing in the outdoors for the long term, which is driving a desire for premium paving and consequently a significant opportunity for manufacturers and retailers alike.


Crime analysis reveals a seasonal spike in shed and garage break-ins between March and May and, with the contents of the average shed and other items left outside in the garden valued at £2,000, make sure you’re reminding customers about garden security and picking up additional sales at the same time. Security suppliers suggest that retailers stock up on durable security products at this time, with particular focus on those that can withstand weakening, which greatly reduces the chance of attack. In 2016, more than 36,000 households were burgled, with over half of these reported break-ins to non- connected buildings to a dwelling, such as a shed or garage. Leaving items vulnerable to attack could be pricey, as many households are uninsured for outbuildings. Something as inexpensive as a strong lock on outbuildings or gates to deter opportunistic burglars could be the answer.

Kasp brand manager Tina Skinner advises: “As the warmer evenings approach, not only do consumers find themselves drawn towards spending time outdoors, they should also be alert to what the spring and summer months mean for thefts. Protecting the valuables stored in gardens, sheds and garages should be as important as looking after those inside the home.”

8 DIY WEEK 28 APRIL 2017


Wyevale Nurseries recorded a 44% year-on-year increase in sales of ferns in March, due to the plants currently being on trend in the retail, amenity landscape and domestic landscape markets.

Wyevale Nurseries sales and marketing director Adam Dunnett (pictured below) said: “It’s fantastic news. There are a few factors for the increase in sales, such as the interiors colour trend for 2017 being that of ‘Greenery’, and botanical and ferns featuring in prints and on fabrics. Our increase in fern sales would support this new trend.” He added: “Ferns seem to be very popular not just because of their colour but also for their texture and the fact that they can be a standalone plant in a pot for any patio.” The company, which supplies

garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, and foresters, has recently revamped its fern range but lists its current most popular five varieties as: Polystichum polyblepharum, Dryopteris erythrosora, Asplenium scolopendrium, Cyrtomium fortune and Polystichum setiferum Herrenhausen.

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