Sustainable gardening isn’t new (ask any seasoned gardener). What is news, however, is how gorgeous ethical landscaping has become over the past few years.

Major garden centres might have recently realised black plastic plant pots aren’t a plan, but savvy gardeners have been using recyclable materials for so long now, they barely remember doing anything else. Spot planting produce in borders is the new small space ‘kitchen garden’. Scented shrubs and shaded nooks are just a couple of ways eco-gardeners are bringing wellbeing outdoors. And, because everyone wants ‘sense of permanence’ now too, ethically sourced hard landscaping’s very much in play. Take a look at our Global Stone sandstone collection for inspiration.

A fresh take on low maintenance patios

Patios are long overdue for a low impact refresh. Think hardy and drought-tolerant in terms of planting. Mix large terracotta containers with smaller coir or bamboo pots. Ornamental grasses are great for texture. Look to contrasting greens for colour – instead of fussy flowers. And satisfyingly irregular York Green Premium Paving in subtle pastel shades is exactly the right ethical sandstone for outdoor rooms right now.

aged sandstone paving featuring a pool and dining table

York Green Old Rectory Paving (Project Pack)

Lean towards clean curves and organic shapes

Everything’s trending towards natural movement in the garden at the moment. Think contemplative circles rather than stern lines. Look to letting things get a little bit wild here and there (bees and butterflies will thank you). And opt for soothing colours and tactile surfaces. We like Modak Rose Old Rectory Circle for its balance of organic curves, natural textures and neat symmetry. Tidy and ethical? Only perfect.

pink sandstone circle surrounded by gravel

Modak Rose Old Rectory Circle

Pick your path and plant perennially

Recyclable plastic pots are progress, but the really responsible focus is now on planting perennials, sowing seeds and ditching synthetic containers altogether. Perennial borders take a bit of time to establish, so spot plant veg like runner beans for a splash of instant colour. Think show-offs like Agapanthus and Allium for summer height. Go at least a little evergreen on shrubs. And suppress weeds naturally with ground cover. Then choose the right path to border your borders. Mint Sandstone Pathway Setts would be our first pick.

Mint Sandstone Pathway Setts

Walls are the new eco-features

Forget kitsch quirkiness and classical statuary, garden features are now all about blending with nature, creating restful spaces and creating a feeling of foreverness. Aged and authentic Monsoon Old Rectory Walling fits beautifully, looks like it’s always been part of your garden and works the trend for very now vertical planting, even in smaller spaces.

dark grey walling with ivy weaving across the wall

Monsoon Old Rectory Walling

Be creative with cobbles

Remember we said ethical gardening had become gorgeous over the past few years? Well we could have been talking precisely about Old Rectory Cobbles. Perfect for practical places like driveways, their combination of irregular shapes and soft colours are a great fit for natural gardens. Try York Green as a counterpoint to bright borders or for pure vintage, rain-washed-grey Monsoon cobbles work brilliantly. And as they’re already lightly aged, you don’t have to wait centuries for character.

dark grey cobbled patio

Monsoon Old Rectory Cobbles

Want more ethical landscaping ideas? Have a look at our full Global Stone collection

Need a little more help? We love talking about paving ideas (we could do it all day long if you let us), and we would be delighted to advise you on your project. Get in touch today, by phone 01764 684 836 or email