Permeable Paving in Cranbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens

Here at New Dawn Permeable Paving, we strive to deliver innovative, high quality permeable paving solutions that enable the creation of beautiful accessible spaces. These designs maintain and improve permeability for the benefit of adjacent vegetation and the greater environment.

We recently completed stage one of a large package of works for the Royal Botanic Gardens at their Cranbourne “Australian Garden”. The existing granitic sand path (a fine sandy gravel) runs adjacent to the Rockpool Waterway, a central water feature that families play which also feeds the central lake of the garden. There are also numerous significant mature trees along the path. The problem with the existing surface is that every time it rains, the gravel washes into the waterway creating a maintenance nightmare for the gardens, and compromising the quality of the water in the lake.

The problem and project scope

The scope of this public space project was to carefully remove the existing gravel pathway, and reinstate the accessway using our permeable paving. Installing permeable paving in place of the existing gravel ensured that the runoff from this area into the waterway was minimised and that no loose material could be carried off into the water feature.

We were also required to work closely with the horticultural team at the Gardens, to ensure there was no damage to any tree roots throughout at any stage of the project. To do this, our qualified team relied on our experience in paving around mature trees.

Careful excavation services 

We commenced the project by removing the existing gravel. With large trees and significant vegetation within close proximity of the works area, we elected to use smaller, specialised excavators and dump trucks to allow us to work closely and carefully to the trees. The pathway is also bordered by a granite paving area, with a paving design that steps in and out of the pathway. This paving design is a key feature in the garden design, so we were required to keep in place as many of these pavers as possible.

We were also required to saw cut and demolish some existing concrete slabs under the gravel, and saw cut the edge of the existing concrete spoon drain to allow the new paving to neatly abut against it. 

A unique requirement of working in the Botanic Gardens is their strict biosecurity policies. A unique range of plants are kept at the Gardens, and protocols are enacted to prevent soil-borne pathogens from being bought into the garden. All excavation equipment being used onsite had to be meticulously cleaned before arrival, and all tracks and wheels of trucks and equipment sprayed down with a special cleaning solution to prevent pests and diseases brought in during the works.

The Botanic Gardens’ team of horticulturalists also oversaw the excavation works, ensuring that the trees were not disturbed by the works, and they also applied new soil treatments to the tree root areas on completion of the excavation component, ensuring the best result for long term tree health.

Improving accessibility in the Botanic Gardens

The Cranbourne Botanic Gardens receives thousands of visitors every week and is committed to ensuring that the beautiful spaces within are accessible to everyone. Therefore, creating spaces that are wheelchair accessible and compliant with disability requirements is a key part of their design choices. 

By replacing the gravel surface with permeable paving, the central water feature becomes more easily accessible to people with reduced mobility and also families with children in prams and strollers.

As specialist permeable paving contractors with extensive commercial contracting experience, our in-house team at New Dawn Permeable Paving have the knowledge, skills and experience to execute these public space works to the highest standards. Our ability to install commercial permeable paving for large projects is highlighted in our project Case Studies, which includes our previous work for the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Paving installation

Once the site was prepared and the existing gravels removed, our team was able to commence the installation of our permeable paving.

Firstly, we installed our fully reinforced permeable concrete base. In order to allow room for the trees to grow in the future, circular rings were formed out of our galvanised steel edging. These can be used by the Royal Botanical Gardens team to mulch and feed the trees in the future.  Additionally, we installed expansion (movement) joints in the paving in locations where the paving is most likely to move in the future, as the trees grow and roots in the ground get larger.

Once the permeable concrete base was installed, our team then installed the resin bound permeable paving final surface. The Gardens team elected to use our colour “Sahara” which is a yellow, white and grey marble aggregate, and it matched the adjacent yellow concrete and sand pathways beautifully.

Once finished off, the Gardens team was able to re-open the area to the general public. Feedback from the staff at the gardens is that the space is a vast improvement on the previous surface, and that no more gravel ends up in the waterway!

Want to see more of this project? Discover more from our Cranbourne Gardens project on our Instagram. Check out our Instagram for more commercial paving installations and residential projects, such as driveway resurfacing.