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5 (More!) Creative Ways To Use Natural Stone In Your Landscape

By August 22, 2019March 22nd, 2022Landscape Design
stone birdbath pond

There are many reasons to love stone. It provides a textural element to your landscape, it’s durable and low-maintenance, it serves as the foundation for many other enjoyable elements like seating areas and outdoor kitchens, it helps stabilize plants and prevent soil erosion, and it’s just plain gorgeous.

It’s hard to talk about naturalistic landscape design without mentioning stone and its myriad benefits. We’ve covered some smart ways to use stone before, and today we’re going to share even more ideas for making it part of a magnificent landscape.

stone accents1. As A Decorative Accent

One of the many wonderful things about stone is that it can stand on its own without any fanfare – literally and figuratively! We’ve already discussed how it can be a lifesaver on a sloped location – anchoring plants, creating usable tiers, and preventing mudslides and other unsightly dilemmas. But it can also stand as a majestic focal point, its sole purpose to be admired.

The size you choose for a focal point should depend on the scale of your space. Surround a large boulder with smaller stones or gravel, place smaller stones nearby to accentuate larger ones, soften stone accents with gentle blooms. Give a large boulder a timeless look by partially burying it in soil.

stepping stonesPennsylvania Field Stone boulders are prized for just these reasons. They can immediately instill a naturally aged and reclaimed vibe into your space. With so much diversity in shape, color and texture, these boulders will create a truly one-of-a-kind centerpiece and draw interest without competing with surrounding colors and textures or detracting from architectural elements.

The right stone can even become a meditative seating spot, or a source of calm reflection. Pennsylvania Field Stone is sturdy and durable, resistant to whatever weather New Jersey can throw at it. It will stand beautifully through all four seasons and won’t crack or wear, ensuring your enjoyment for seasons – and years – to come.

seating around fire pit2. To Build A Structure

Once again, Pennsylvania Field Stone takes the day. Far from existing only in boulder form, it can be harvested and cut into just about any size you desire. That versatility, combined with its durability, and exquisite color tones and textures, makes it the ideal building material for everything from garden walls to fire pits and grills.

stone grillThis stone is easy to stack, which makes it easy to create custom structures of varying sizes and heights. For structures like fire pits, it’s easy to stack in curves, as well as non-combustible, making it safe for cozy evenings gathered around warming flames.

And of course, when it comes to walls, it can be designed to meet your needs and aesthetic preferences, whether as a strong, straight retaining wall or a gently meandering accent wall.

3. To Support A Container Garden

We’ve discussed how stone can be used to create stunning hardscapes in place of plantings, whether it’s used functionally as a patio, or constructively to add character to spaces where the soil is simply not conducive to growing much of anything.

But just because the soil won’t cooperate doesn’t mean you have to give up on the green stuff! You can create rather stunning container gardens with a few pots of varying sizes and heights, and the foundation for that is – you guessed it – stone!

Rainwater Harvesting PotsYou can choose different types of stone depending on the effect you want to achieve. Pennsylvania Field Stone will give you the rustic, somewhat irregular appearance of an Old World garden. Bluestone, which is just one type of Flagstone, can be cut in both irregular and regular shapes to offer an elegant, patterned effect.

If you really want to be creative, combine different types of stone for a completely unique look. Think Bluestone layered on top of a Field Stone wall or pedestal – all serving as the base for your containers. Or better yet, use as uniquely shaped stone as the planter itself!

4. As Ground Cover

Stones are usually the things you want to remove from the ground, whether to make way for plantings or to install other landscape features like seating areas or swimming pools. You probably don’t typically think of actually covering the ground with them. And yet stone is so much more aesthetically appealing and versatile than mulch, not to mention a lot lower maintenance than grass. Nor does it need the attention, watering and weeding that living ground cover requires. And you’ll never have to sand, stain or finish it like wood.

And if you need even more reason to love stone, it looks great all year long, whether keeping its cool under the hot summer sun or providing interest in a stark winter landscape.

large natural stoneYou have a number of options when it comes to stone as ground cover. You can stick with the textures and varied colorings of Fieldstone, go with gravel for something that is quite effective at improving drainage, or bring in the smooth, rounded shapes of River Rock.

Be sure to accentuate your ground cover with a stone accent piece, or even several stones gathered into interesting groupings.

walkway stone wall5. To Delineate Edges And Boundaries

You already know that you can build walls with stone, whether as retaining walls that are functional and necessary, or as decorative garden walls, but stone can be used to create edges and borders in other ways, too.

Lay flat River Rock or paving stones along the edges of flower beds to create separation and definition, as well as avoiding the need to mow too close to plantings. Choose pale hues to stand out against vibrant colors and greenery, or darker shades for a more subtle, earthy effect.

Use stone to edge ponds and other water features as camouflage for equipment and mechanical components, and to create a natural transition between landscape and waterscape.

Pond With Stone Border

Stone, from River Rock to Brick to Fieldstone and more, can be used to edge lawns, driveways, pathways and patios. Be sure to vary the positioning to give your edging a natural appeal and avoid creating something too rigid and static.

With all of these ideas, we’re still just touching the tip of what you can achieve with stone. Stone has such a rich variety of colors, textures, shapes, sizes and styles that there is really an endless number of ways that it can be used creatively and beautifully in your landscape.

If you’d like to explore how stone can be incorporated as a wholly unique and wonderful part of your outdoor space, contact us for a consultation. We’ll listen to your ideas and make recommendations that will provide you with outdoor enjoyment through all four seasons.