Ways to Use Landscaping Stones

by Catalogs.com Info Guru Thomas Farley

Landscaping stones tend to be irregular in form, usually taking a natural shape.

They can be giant boulders or small rocks. Pavers can also be stone or stone like material. They include any brick, stone, tile, or block used for paving. This paving can be as small as a garden path or as large as a driveway. Pavers tend to be regular and even in size, often square, rectangular or circular. Here are some creative ways to use landscaping stones, with a look at pavers along the way.

10. An outdoor chess set

An outdoor chess set

Pavers excel for this and can be found in black and white. As plain as colored concrete or as fancy as carrera marble. Giant sized chess pieces exist to go with your outdoor extravaganza.

9. Special touch with engraved stones

engraved stones

Use engraved landscape stones to memorialize addresses, people, or events. Today’s sand blasting artists can put almost any thought or design on stone. An engraved landscaping stone can grace the head of a driveway or mark the garden bench you proposed from.

8. Bird path practicality

bird bath

Line a birdbath with small landscaping stones like river rock and stone chips. Many people like ceramic bird baths for their sleek appearance. But their sides are too smooth for most birds to get in and out of. Use a construction adhesive to place stones around the inside perimeter, or at least enough of an area to give the birds a path into the water. One last tip. Run a bead of silicone around the basin before you rest it on its stand. Let set. That will keep squirrels from tipping over the basin when they climb up.

7. Water illusion

Water illusion

Create a dry wash for your garden. You might not have water flowing through your property but with the right stones you can suggest it’s there. Create the look of a dry stream bed with beach pebbles, smooth river rock, or gravel. Give the layout a modest bend. If you have the space and the budget, add a bridge over your creation for a finished look.

6. Add decorative rock

Add decorative rock

Find a nearby rock and gem club to see if they have any decorative rock to sell. Many clubs retain a supply of rough rock or landscape stones they reserve to work up someday. A collection of petrified wood, geodes, and agates can be made into, literally, a small rock garden. Create an entrance to this special kind of garden with an arbor.

5. Japanese garden

Japanese garden

Consider a Japanese garden. Well placed rocks, buried at least halfway in the ground, will give solidity to your Japanese garden’s look. The bigger the stone the better, as small stones produce less visual impact. If you need two people to move that boulder, you’re on the right track. Keep on top of maintenance by regular raking. Don’t let wet leaves settle in too long, or you’ll have problems cleaning up, even with a blower. Add an Asian statue to complete your work.

4. Pond liners

Line a pond with smooth, flat pavers or flagstones. People like to linger at the edge of a pond or water feature. Make that lip more durable with flagstone edging. Vinyl liner ponds always need something to hide their top edge. Flat landscape stones, grouted or made solid with construction adhesive, will make the perimeter of any pond attractive.

3. Flagstone patio

Flagstone patio

Create a flagstone patio with scented groundcover like thyme between the cracks. These are big projects, with a thick sand bed needed first and a pallet or two of flagstones to complete the job.

2. Artful base

I’ve mentioned birdbaths and sculptures. They need a good, solid base to keep level and well positioned. Some sympathetically colored stone will enhance your garden feature. You may want to consider anchoring the bath or feeder to the base. Accidents like little children and hose snags do happen.

1. Stack them high

Go up, not across. Use stacked pavers, flat stones, or flagstones for garden walls, with niches here and there for garden plants. A good garden catalog will give you plenty of choices. Sedums do particularly well in these garden walls, cascading freely over the rock or stone. Dry stacked stone walls lend themselves well for alpine plants if you want a challenging but rewarding hobby.

Good luck with your garden and I hope you find other creative ways to use landscaping stones.

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