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How to Use Stone in the
Integrating stone into your landscape design can add depth,
texture, seating and even a sculptural element to your garden.
Stone has other important functional qualities as well, such
as, strength and stability. Stones give a sense of permanence
to a garden. As a landscape design element, stones are unlike
plants in that they possess wonderful sculptural
characteristics. When designing your landscape, consider the
use of stone for walls, paths or just as aesthetically pleasing
accents within the garden.
Stones are the most sturdy of all garden materials. They're
ideal for creating paths, terraces, accents and garden walls.
They're also useful in the water garden where they can edge a
pool or be incorporated into a waterfall design.
Stones found locally in the native landscape will generally
work best in your garden. Large stones, which are great for
creating focal points in the landscape, should be set in the
ground so they're perceived as though they're part of the
natural landscape. Simply dig a hole about the width of the
stone, set the stone and backfill around its base. This will
make them seem as if they belong in the garden as they blend in
with the surrounding landscape.
Large boulders placed along paths or adjacent to patios are
wonderful way too add provide seating in the garden. Stones
used in such a way should be set in the ground to ensure
stability. Though everyone is different, as a rule of thumb, a
comfortable height at which to sit is 18 inches.
Stones in the garden become more prominent during the
winter. After the leaves have fallen from the garden plants,
ivy covered stone walls become a focal point and provide a
garden with structure.
There are many kinds of stones to choose from. The following
is a small list and their descriptions.
Large boulders can be used for marking a driveway or for the
entryway to a garden. They can also be used as a focal point in
the rock garden or water garden. Stone with interesting color,
textures or shape are great for specimen stones.
Fieldstone is ideal for garden walls and stepping stones and
garden paths. Fieldstone is effective when used as stepping
stones through a perennials garden.
Bluestone is wonderful for formal patios and
paths. Bluestone is cut to various size squares and
rectangles which can be arranged in any combination. The
color and texture can vary from stone to stone.
Cobblestones are perfect for edging gardens or for small,
informal patios and paths. They're not, however, suitable for
large patios since cobbles have an uneven surface and setting a
table level is difficult.
Flagstone is suitable for walks and patios Its irregularly
shaped, thin, smooth and available in various colors and
Look around for stones in the landscape to see which type
will work best in your garden. If you can't find one which
suits your needs, most garden centers and nurseries sell garden
stone. Stone is extremely durable and when incorporated in your
garden design stones will provide your garden with a lifetime
of year-round interest.
R Birch is the publisher of GardenScope.com a garden resource
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