Be inspired by award-winning porcelain patio ideas at RHS flower shows around the UK.

Golden Stone porcelain in Ann-Marie Powell's RHS feature garden Greening Grey Britain RHS Chelsea 2016
Ann-Marie Powell chose natural-looking Golden Stone Porcelain as a warm-coloured, hard-wearing, stain-resistant stone for a very busy RHS feature garden in 2016.

For a paving that arrived on the garden scene fairly recently, porcelain has infiltrated RHS flower shows fast. It was only 2014 when porcelain from London Stone made its first appearance. Jo Thompson chose Sandy White for London Square, her delightful Fresh category garden at RHS Chelsea. This, one of the lightest colours in our porcelain paving ranges remains a firm favourite with designers.

Since then, porcelain has starred in RHS shows every year around the UK, each award-winning garden offering an idea that can be incorporated into your own garden design.

Porcelain really took off after Ann-Marie Powell chose Golden Stone Porcelain for Greening Grey Britain, the RHS feature garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2016. A particularly nice touch was the clear, sharp incising of the word "happiness" in a variety of languages. Engraving something that is significant to you - an anniversary date, perhaps - to your own patio is a way to make it truly yours.

Porcelain is extremely dense, so engraving is a specialist job, carried out by our Bespoke Stone Centre. It's this density, though, that makes slabs very stain-resistant, so they were an astute choice for a garden that welcomed hundreds of visitors.

Crisp, contemporary style

Faro porcelain patio in show garden RHS Tatton Park 2017 by Elliott Hood and Ben Poulter
Faro porcelain shows how the material's crisp lines complement modern garden design in Chaos to Coastline by Elliott Hood and Ben Poulter at RHS Tatton Park 2019.

For their Chaos to Coastline garden at RHS Tatton Park 2017, Elliott Hood and Ben Poulter chose fine-grained Faro porcelain—emulating the Portuguese limestone. Their garden showed how this rectified paving works so well with linear design, creating really crisp edges. And not all patios have to be rectangular. The zigzag shape here added movement, with matching grouting ensuring that the paving appeared as a solid block.

It certainly produced results! Elliott was awarded Young Contractor of the Year and Ben received Young Planting Designer of the Year.

Creating contrast

Basalt Porcelain and white pebbles on patio design for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2019 by Sarah Edwards, built by Design It Landscapes
Sarah Edwards' contrasts Basalt Porcelain slabs with smooth white pebbles in this design for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2019.

What a different feel was created by Sarah Edwards in her delightful patio at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2019. Sarah used Basalt porcelain from our Luxury Italian range to create dramatic contrast in colour and texture with the white pebbles.

She also showed how a careful choice of paving format, pattern and angle can add interest, especially when highlighted by contrasting grouting.  Here, 600x600mm tiles were laid stack bond at 45 degrees to the patio doors. Judges were equally struck, awarding it Best in Category.

Paving for balconies

Light grey porcelain paving on Landform Balcony garden at RHS Chelsea 2021, with wooden bench and bistro set.
Nicola Hale of Landform Consultants chose LIght Grey Porcelain 900x600 tiles for this Balcony garden at RHS Chelsea 2021

Balconies can present problems as far as load-bearing is concerned. This is one of the reasons why Landform chose Light Grey Porcelain for this demonstration of small-space design at the 2021 Chelsea Flower Show. Because of its strength, porcelain can be laid on a pedestal system, ideal for rooftops and balconies where you need reduced weight. The slabs themselves also weigh-in lighter than a lot of natural stone, especially if you choose from our Project Porcelain range. Here designer Nicola Hale’s choice of 900x600 tiles drew the eye across the width of the space.

Plank paving for design impact

Porcelain patio idea with Cream plank paving in It's OK Not to BE OK, Tatton Park show garden 2021, by James Smith
Plank paving in Cream Porcelain adds a dynamic edge to James Smith's Tatton Park 2021 show garden, It's OK Not to Be OK.

James Smith showed us that price has no bearing on design impact when he chose Cream porcelain planks from our Project range for It’s OK Not to Be OK at RHS Tatton Park 2021. Crisp and linear, planks are a subtle way to manipulate the energy within a space. Staggered edges to plant borders add an interesting detail. For more, see our coverage of the Tatton 2021 flower show.

Porcelain for paving detail

Show garden by Alex Pettitt at RHS Tatton Park 2022, with Venetian Beige porcelain patio paving and clay pavers.
Slow Down Breathe Deep, designed by Alex Pettitt and built by Topoforma Landscape, at RHS Tatton Park 2022, makes good use of porcelain detailing.

At the same show the following year, Alex Pettitt got to grips with porcelain detailing. Creating a circular path in two colours, he contrasted dark clay pavers with the light colour and even texture of Venetian Beige porcelain from our Budget Italian range. Regular bars of porcelain inserted a rhythmic detail that linked the two sides of the garden, anchored the pavers in place, and making a neat finishing edge. Find more pictures in our 2022 coverage.

Find porcelain patio ideas a-plenty - our product pages are full of images showing how the paving has been used in lovely real-life designs.