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Buying Paving: Show Gardens

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Cowley Stone near Worksop not only provide an impressive range of natural stone paving and sleepers for hard-landscaping, they have one of the most beautiful display areas in the country, all cunningly disguised as a secluded private garden. Well worth a visit!


On a previous page, the range of options for sourcing paving and hard-landscaping products was considered and one of the recommendations was to look for a supplier with a good display area.

On this page, one such supplier is visited to see what it is that a stockist with a display area can offer that isn't available from a more general Builder's Merchant or DIY Shed.

Cowley Stone are a specialist supplier of stone and sleepers to the paving and hard-landscaping trades. They are based more-or-less on the border between South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, just a few minutes from Worksop.

Over many years they have built their business by providing what their customers require, along with a no-nonsense, honest approach which has earned them widespread respect and admiration, not just from customers and contractors, but from their competitors in the trade also.

cowley stone office
The Cowley Stone Office
The office adjacent to the huge stock yard brings in quality paving and walling stone from all over the world, as well as new and reclaimed railways sleepers, and then distributes it throughout the country.

It's a slick and efficient operation, but that's not what makes Cowley Stone such a gem for the discerning stone buyer. For that, you have to cross the yard, descend the steps and enter a garden that is dedicated to showing stone paving and walling at its very best, and all complemented by an impeccably well-designed and beautifully maintained working garden.

cowley stone garden
Entering the display garden at Cowley Stone
Nothing can really prepare you for what follows. Is this a Yellow Book Garden or is it really a display area for stone paving and walling? Most display areas will give a few square metres to this paving or that aggregate. Here, you get full sized patios; whole walls reaching for the sky; discrete dining areas; steps to various levels; ponds, pools and streams; paths and pergolas, and so much more.

dry stream bed daffodils gothic arch
It's easy to forget that this is a display area, intended to convince you that Cowley Stone should be your stone supplier of choice. There's a new vista with every step, a new delight, a glorious celebration of just what is possible when hard and soft landscaping combine.

This is a working garden. The business owners use this garden for themselves. It's not simply a showground: it's a real, live, family garden, but one that's been crafted over the years using the stone the family has sourced from around the world.

And if they can achieve this, they can make your garden dreams a reality too.

knot garden
This isn't a pay-to-enter garden. It's open to anyone interested in buying stone for the garden or driveway, looking for inspiration, looking to learn how stone works in natural daylight, and how it survives everything the British climate can throw at it.

It's an opportunity to experience how the various stones will work as standalones or in combination. Which is the better format: setts or flagstones? What gravels work well with that flagstone? How does it work as steps?

canalside setting fountain topiary
The canalside location merely adds to the charm, and it's so easy to forget that this is a stone yard, with everything you'd expect from a stone yard in terms of dust and noise and machinery, but none of that impacts on what has to be one of the prettiest, most overwhelming paving and walling display areas anywhere in the country.






  • Bands of colour
  • Canalside calm
  • Circles provide centering
  • Cloud conifers
  • Combine circles with rectangles
  • Conifer Bed
  • Create places to sit
  • Early spring colour
  • Flags and Setts
  • Flamed basalt and shot textured granite
  • Fountains form focus points
  • Honed smooth sandstone
  • Kids need gardens too
  • Knot garden
  • Lawns for leisure
  • Mix paving sizes for effect
  • Mix planting with paving
  • Modern materials for style and panache
  • Moving water adds soothing sound
  • Outdoor dining
  • Path details create interest
  • Patio perfection
  • Pillars provide opportunities for alpines
  • Pizza heaven
  • Rich, warm sandstone flags
  • Riven setts add texture
  • Running water calms and cools
  • Sandstone spheres and topiary balls
  • Sandstone
  • Setts add period charm
  • Soften walls with edge planting
  • Spheres and conifers
  • Spring is in the air
  • Standing Stone
  • Steps create interest
  • Tiered Planting
  • Topiary statements
  • Tropical Touch
  • Trough planting
  • Upright stones punctuate landscapes
  • Variation in levels
  • Warm sandstone setts
  • Water Pool
  • Weathered riven sandstone





Finding Cowley Stone:

The office, the stock yard and that delicious garden show area are tucked away in a rural setting between J31 on the M1 and Worksop, both less than 10 minutes away.....


Contact info:


A.Cowley & Sons Ltd
Nr Thorpe Salvin
S80 3LA

Open six days a week:

Monday - Friday: 7am to 5pm

Saturday: 8am - 1pm


01909 772302








Summer Showreel:

  • A splash of pink
  • Impressive Steps
  • Rear Garden
  • Palms for Shade
  • The Embankment
  • Style and Stone
  • Palm Court
  • Steps make a statement
  • Looking down to the rear garden
  • Side Garden
  • Beds and Borders
  • Planted beds
  • Cool by the canal
  • Clouds of Topiary
  • Heaven-scent Lilies
  • Soft and natural
  • Fountains of colour
  • Statuesque
  • Masterful Mauve
  • Sculptural Style
  • Summer Lilies
  • Looking Forward
  • Front Garden
  • Nurtured and nature


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