Stone landscapes can add interest and appeal to any yard. Placing stones as features in your landscape, known as hardscaping, should compliment the softscaping, or the plants, so that they blend into a natural-looking, attractive composition.
There are many creative ways to add stone landscapes into your landscaping environment.
You can add a stone wall or stone berm to your garden design by combining stones with mortar to support them. You can use stone landscapes to create a pathway or simply to build an attractive edge along a path in the garden.
You can even create waterfall landscapes by stacking stones in graduated sizes around a pond and adding a pump to circulate the water over the waterfall. Stone landscapes can be used alone or with plants, especially succulents, to create a desert landscape. You might want to create a raised bed for planting flowers using stones.
Stone landscapes can be created from stone you find available at a local home and garden store or you can purchase stones of almost any size and shape from specialty landscaping companies. For pathways, river stone in small sizes are commonly used. A stone wall, on the other hand, would require much larger stones. Flat stones make great materials for building berms, walls, and raised planting beds.
When selecting stones for landscapes, consider the color stone that would best accent the area where it will be used. You may find that a small project looks best with stone landscapes that have stones similar in color, while a much larger project such as a stone wall will benefit greatly from a mixture of various stone colors.
Stone landscapes are very popular in southwest landscaping. The desert landscape makes stone landscapes appear natural because of the lack of grass and leafy trees. Because the native land tends to be rather dry and arid in appearance, adding colorful stones can provide a great deal of contrast in the landscape. To help calculate how much material you may need, try using cubic yard calculator to help you through the process.
Whether you want to add only a small stone feature or take on the excitement of large stone landscapes, you’ll find stones offer wonderful opportunity to be really creative. For example, if you are building a stone wall, imagine a castle with turrets. You can add capstones to your stone wall and recreate the whimsy of medieval times. A pathway is a great place to sort your stones into various shades and create stripes or other geometric patterns using stones that have similar colors alternated with darker or lighter stones. The different hues will provide just the variation to give the path a subtle touch of pizzazz. If you have access to different stone types, you can blend stones like marble with different stones such as quartz or large coquina stones to create a contrast in texture.
Another wonderful stone landscape concept is to extend your patio area into the yard by edging your patio with stones and including an area of grass in the stone edging. This will help to break a huge backyard into cozy conversational areas and will enhance your overall patio design. If you have a huge old shade tree that is so dense that grass will not grow under it, place stones around the edge of the circle created by the shade at high noon. Then remove the grass inside the stones and spread a layer of inexpensive playground sand inside the circle for your own backyard beach without the sunburn. Whatever stone landscapes you have seen your dreams can be created in your own backyard.
Caring for Rock Landscaping
While rock landscaping is becoming a more popular way to achieve natural landscaping in a home landscaping design, many homeowners go through the effort of putting in rock landscaping without thinking ahead about taking care of the rock landscaping design once it is in place. Whether small or large rocks, they will need to be mowed around, weeds will need to be killed and they will need to remain securely in place in a rock landscaping design.
The shape, size and number of rocks in a rock landscaping design will determine how much time and energy it will take to care for these rocks. This will definitely need to be considered before rock landscaping is implemented. Unfortunately, many homeowners decide that rock landscaping will most likely be easier to maintain than a natural lawn or a fancy garden design, but this isn’t always the case.
One of the first considerations for rock landscaping is whether the homeowners will want their lawn torn up. Especially with larger rocks, they will need to be set into the ground to make sure they do not move in a heavy storm, so a place will need to be dug in the ground to secure all rock landscaping design. This is only an important consideration because some homeowners will want to remove the rock landscaping at some point and will then have to care for the dead grass or fill in the empty holes once the rocks are removed.
Remember, for those who have used small rocks, as in gravel landscaping, throughout the lawn in place of the turf, regular attention will need to be paid to weeding and the removal of growth that shoots up between the rocks. The best option to kill weeds is a herbicide such as Roundup or Vantage, although these herbicides usually work best only as a spot shot. There are forms of these herbicides that can be spread all over the rock landscaping and used to manage weeds at both the beginning, middle and end of the season. This will not completely remove the weeds though and some time will need to be taken to hand remove the weeds from between the landscaping gravel.
If using small river rocks to fill in the gaps between planting flowers these will definitely need to be cared for more than other types of rock. Especially because this type of rock landscaping will mean that many of the rocks are removed from the landscaping design over the course of the summer or even during the harsh winter months, taking the time to care for this type of rock landscaping will mean cleaning off, replacing and restructuring.
Although large stone landscapes cannot be moved very easily, river rocks can easily be kicked, blown, or moved. After a bad winter snowstorm, it is best to take the to go outside and remove the winter coat from the rocks. This will keep them from being pressed into the ground where they will lose the shape you originally intended. It is also important to consider whether you will be able to find replacement rocks for your rock landscaping. If you have special ordered these small rocks, it may be best to order an abundance and store them to easily replace the ones that cannot be swept back into the garden or yard.