When getting ready to start a gardening project it’s natural to at first think of flowers but stone should never be overlooked. Adding contrast, texture and interest, the right use of stone can really make your garden something special and fortunately, there are countless ideas out there to fuel your inspiration. But first, before jumping in its important to understand the difference between stone and rocks in landscaping.
Difference between stone and rock
While the two words are often used interchangeably they are not exactly the same. Stone has normally been exposed to weather or water near the surface while rocks come freshly broken from a large landmass like a quarry. Weathered stone typically has rounded edges and a smooth surface that will fit easily into moist ground. Moss and lace lichen will grow easily on stone giving it a natural appearance. Rocks, on the other hand, can be brittle and look unnatural if placed incorrectly. Typically rocks are best used as gravel along footpaths and walkways through your garden.
A good place to start out is with locally available materials. Look around your area to find what you can and make accents to high visibility beds or even containers. A dry stone wall is a great project to start with and won’t require concrete. When it comes to choosing the best stone for a wall find ‘faced’ stone with two flattish edges. Sandstone and limestone naturally break into faced pieces that are easy and fun to work with. Behind the wall, you can create a natural flower bed which will have natural drainage. The wall can serve as a beautiful backdrop for vines and cascading flowers. If you wish to create a water feature then a stone wall will be essential to creating a natural atmosphere and dramatising the water.
The options are almost unlimited to what you can do. Simulating a ruined wall and planting with moss can create a beautiful environment and natural atmosphere. Some plants require extra drainage to grow which a stone wall will provide.
Depending on what you want, you can hire a qualified masonry company that can do the work for you from planning to execution. A professionally made cobblestoned path, stacked drywall or water features can be easily installed by many companies like Centuria Masonry in Vancouver. A water fountain or flowing river can truly add something special and make your garden stand out. By doing some online research you can find limitless inspiration on different features and designs.
In home landscaping, it’s generally better to stick with one type of stone and stick with it rather than mixing up colours and textures. Keeping just one dominant stone texture looks more natural rather than cluttering your garden with a dozen different types.
Depending on where you are situated a stone garden may need a bit of fine-tuning over time. If the ground is moist, freezing and thawing can shift stones which will have to be reset. Stone walkways will require occasional weeding but a well-set stone garden will still require less weeding compared to regular green beds.