Rocks are important to any landscape. They have important functional qualities, such as, strength and stability and as a result have an air of permanence. Aesthetically, stones are unlike plants in that they possess wonderful sculptural characteristics. When designing your garden consider the use of stone, whether for wall, paths or just a an interesting focal point within the landscape.
Stones are the most durable and permanent of garden materials. They’re ideal for creating patios, walkways and walls. They‘re also useful in the water garden, large interesting stones are great as special features in the garden.
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. To make them part of the landscape and more stable be sure to bury a portion of the stone. A stone with sculptural qualities can stand alone in the garden with great effect.
Generally, fieldstone is used for garden walls. Flat stones, however are ideal for steeping stones and garden paths.
Bluestone is great for formal terraces and walkways. All bluestone is cut to various size squares and rectangles with increments of six inches. There are two varieties of bluestone, thermal and natural cleft. Natural cleft bluestone has regularizes and some ridges on the face of the stone. The color can vary from stone to stone. Thermal bluestone is much more consistent in color and all sides all cut smoothly.
These stones are perfect for walks and patios. They are irregularly shaped, thin and smooth. Flagstone is available in various color and sizes and are ideal for stepping stone through a garden.
Smaller stones such as these are ideal for garden paths and can also be used for driveways.
These stones are ideal for the garden path and as an edging detail for patios. Their also suitable for the small patios where one might place a garden bench. They’re not, however, recommended for the larger patio as the stone are uneven and setting a table level is difficult.