Garden design starts with a green thumb but paver know-how is a great way to add beauty to garden spaces. With a little practice, and an easy-to-use clay paver, Green Jeans Gardening became paving experts.

Getting started in landscaping is a challenge for anyone, but clay pavers make it possible to get professional results in patios and walkways with just a little practice.

Jim Kotowski had a career transition just over a year ago. The community college language arts instructor left academics and schooled himself in professional garden design and launched Green Jeans Gardening in Champaign, Illinois.

I’m a gardener, but also a landscape designer. The natural look of clay pavers goes well with horticultural installments.

Jim Kotowski, Green Jeans Gardening

Garden designers prep for patio installation

Excavation begins to remove old plants and a buried concrete water feature.

Today, Kotowski is becoming a hardscape expert – customers are requesting patios and walkways and Green Jeans Gardening is delivering. Pine Hall Brick clay pavers make it a little easier on the learning curve to provide the new service.

A project completed this past winter involved a retrofit for a client’s backyard patio area. 

garden design gets hardscaped

Jim Kotowski, owner of Green Jeans Gardening, gets into hardscapes to meet homeowner demand.

The job required serious digging to remove concrete water feature as well as old shrubs. Kotowski’s crew was able to do it with shovels in the relatively small fenced area. The plan also included a new retaining wall and digging the new piers necessary for that. The challenge was to meld the new patio aesthetically and functionally with existing hardscape space.

English Edge pavers with their signature spacer nibs made the job a little easier when it was time to lay the herringbone pattern with a double soldier course border. Working with the homeowner, Kotowski chose English Edge Autumn, to get as close as possible to an existing patio a tier above the new installation.

Garden patio was an easy extension with English Edge
Garden design needs clay pavers

Clay paver installation is fairly simply and made a little easier with English Edge pavers, featuring handy spacer nibs. 

Just add plants!

Since leaving his teaching gig, Kotowski has been adapting and “morphing” to marketing demands.

Is appears pavers will continue to be part of Green Jeans’ future as the business grows.

“I’m a gardener, but also a landscape designer,” said Kotowski.

Coming at the work from the horticultural side, natural is an advantage.

“The natural look of clay pavers goes well with horticultural installments,” said Kotowski. “It doesn’t look alien the way concrete does. There is almost no way to make concrete look natural.”

With the patio and retaining wall complete, the space is ready for some greenery.

Hardscapes are an excellent way to add value to gardening projects and to your business. Clay pavers offer an easy-to-install option that will last for generations.

complete garden patio with English Edge

Clay pavers are a forgiving material that made the retrofit to an older patio easier.