A raised flower bed will not only add a stylish feature to your garden but is also a welcome addition for practical reasons. Raised flower beds are also versatile as they are used not only within garden borders as an alternative to edging but also as an interesting feature wall at the front of your home.
For practicality, you can ensure that the flower bed is constructed to an ideal height, making it accessible for planting and maintenance. Raised beds are constructed with a range of different materials, from stone, brick, concrete and wood to plastic crates and even bath tubs!
For many people, their garden is an extension of their home and that is why certain designs and concepts have crossed the divide from interior to exterior. Tiling a flat surface with the use of tile trim for a streamlined, uniformed look is a method more associated with bathroom or kitchen designs, but as you can see from this stunning slate flower bed it can be used to equally good effect within your garden. Below we take a look at how slate tiles are an excellent option for your garden and how you can create your very own raised flower bed with a tiled covering.
Why Slate is Such a Good Choice and How it Can be Maintained
For many years slate was used primarily as a roof tile. Its low porosity in comparison to other natural stones made it an obvious choice. Nowadays, it is becoming more recognisable as a decorative material, and rightly so as slate is a truly beautiful natural stone. The colour variations provide a distinctive character as does the unique riven texture, which is exclusive to slate. This natural stone is used in many aspects of garden designs, including patios and walls.
Matching slate patios, pathways and flower beds can be an effective combination. Like all natural stone tiles it is recommended you seal the surface of slate for added resilience against stains and moisture damage. An impregnating sealer is usually the preferred choice. A tell tale sign of when your slate needs to be resealed is when water marks appear on its surface and take noticeably longer to dry than usual. Sealant can be applied with a spray bottle or roller.
Tiling a Concrete Flower Bed with Slate Tiles
1. What you will Need
If you are a keen DIY enthusiast then you may wish to create your own raised flower bed with a slate tile covering. This project includes more or less the same methods and principles as interior tiling. Firstly you need to acquire the initial flower bed structure from which to tile on to. Concrete blocks with a hollow middle can be submerged in to the ground by a landscape gardener to form a sturdy flower bed structure. It is now ready to be tiled, for this you will need:
- Slate Tiles
- Stainless Steel Tile Trim
- Tile Cutter
- Tile Spacers
- Plastic spreader
- Masking Tape
- Angle grinder (for cutting trim)
- Face Shield
- Protective gloves and clothing
- Impregnating Sealer
2. Marking Out and Cutting Tiles
Measure the surface area of the concrete flower bed to establish how many tiles you will require to cover it. Mark with a pencil on to the concrete where the tiles will be fixed and make the suitable cuts to your tiles.
3. Laying the First Tiles
Tile one of the smaller sides of the concrete block, from the floor up to the edge where the tile trim will be fitted. Stainless steel trim is resistant against rust and is the best option in exterior areas.
4. Cut and Fit the Trim
Cut the trim at a 45 degree angle and fit it horizontally with adhesive along the top of the small side. Masking tape can be applied to the section of trim you are cutting for additional purchase. When using the angle grinder a face shield and protective gloves and clothing should be worn. Repeat the process on the front of the concrete block with a longer piece of trim, once again cutting at a 45 degree angle so it fits at the corner.
5. Tile the Remaining Surface
Tile the remaining concrete block including the top, separating the tiles with spacers and apply the vertical trims at the sides and bottom. When the tile adhesive has set it is time to grout in between the tiles. Once the grout is dry the slate can be sealed. Your raised flower bed can then be filled with soil, ready for planting.