Incorporating Stone into your Landscape

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Using stone in your landscape project adds color, definition, and distinctive beauty. Here are a few ideas on how you can use stone to bring new life to your landscaping project.

Before you start, there are some things to keep in mind:

Remember to keep the total size of your landscaping area in mind.

Whatever you do, nothing is permanent! If you don't like it, change it, but always take that first step by trying!

Rock Outcroppings: The best source for ideas about incorporating rock outcroppings into your landscaping is right under your nose! Look outside and see how various rock outcroppings exist in nature. Maybe some rocks have fallen from a high cliff and have gathered in a nice geometric pattern at the center of your garden. Or maybe there is a rock "iceberg" - with most of the rock buried underground with just the top sticking out of the soil. Incorporating drought tolerant plants and low shrubs add color.

Specimen Boulders: Specimen boulders are those rocks that posses unique qualities such as the sparkling surface of quartz or the mottled look of moss rock. Place these unique stones in high traffic areas where they add the most appeal and conversation value.

Using Stone in Your Garden: Rocks and boulders can add a wide variety of looks to your garden. Include some of the following in your garden (or all of them if space permits!) Rock outcroppings, stone retaining walls, specimen boulders, rock transitioning into stone veneers on structures like a house, or a flagstone patio. You can also include a stone pathway, stone steps, furniture benches and tables made from stone, stone sculptures, or even a waterfall or pond made of stone.

Stone Retaining Walls: Creating elevation changes always help a gardens character. Stone walls are ideal for terracing and retaining, gardens, planting beds, and turf areas. Walls can range from large boulder, holding a house on a hill, to a blocky field stone, a feestanding wall, to a thin strip flagstone along a garden path. Shorter walls from 6" - 18" look the best with thinner or smaller stones for giving a layered appearance. Block, wider stones are appropriate for walls 18" - 4'. Divide taller walls into shorter terraced walls if possible.

Rock Transitions: Use bigger pieces of flagstone or slabs to define transitions or threshold between spaces or from patios to pathways. Applying stone veneers (rock applied vertically on walls so surface or face of stone is exposed) on the bases of houses and on concrete walls helps to blend the rustic landscape with the structured architecture of a house. Setting boulders along the base of walls and at the corners of the house makes a nice transition from the landscape to the structure.

Flagstone Patio: The advantage of a flagstone patio, whether you're capping a concrete slab or setting the stone in sand or soil, is that they can be as formal or informal as one wishes. Flagstone is a great material due to its durability, character and the variety of colors and textures available. Dimensional cut stone is probably the easiest type of flagstone to install because of its modular shape. Irregular shaped flagstone is a less expensive option.

Stone Path and Steps: Paths, like patios, can be as informal or informal as one desires. Paths can be made of flagstone pavers or larger flagstone slabsl. Most paths are edged with a material such as a flagstone strip stone to keep the material between the stones contained. Stone steps are always a nice feature in a garden. They can be easily installed using flagstone slabs for the tread portion of the step and a strip stone for the rise portion.

Stone Furniture and Sculpture: Stone tables and benches add unique interest to any garden or landscape. At Western Stone, we carry a wide variety of patented pieces including benches, tables, bar tables, chairs and more. Visit our store for our full line of finished products.

Stone Stream Beds and Water Features: In nature, rocks and boulders of all sizes are found in streams and rivers. When emulating a stream bed or water feature in your garden, make sure the larger boulders are set at the bends in the stream. This gives the impression that when the flow of water was craving out the path of least resistance it went around the large boulders. Fill the stream with smaller rocks that may have settled at its bottom, and medium size rocks along its edges which might have been forced to the side over time.

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