How Natural Stone Can Accent Your Landscaping

Written by Fern Fischer and published

The look of natural stone is lovely enough as it is, but you won’t believe just how beneficial it is to have this beautiful material in your landscaping. We can list several reasons why you want to add some natural stone to your home’s landscaping, and we can tell you that a few of these reasons are going to shock you. Natural stone is, well, natural. It’s something that’s been around forever, and you’ll note that it’s something that most high-end landscapers include in their high-end landscaping jobs. Not only does this material add value, it adds aesthetic appeal and interest to any yard. That’s just the main reason people choose this material when opting for new landscaping. Read on to find out why else you want this in your yard.

How to Use Accent Stones in a Garden

Integrating native regional stone into your garden design helps the bed merge with its natural surroundings. Whether you use natural or faux rock, or you custom mold your own stone-like pieces, stone accents give your garden a sense of permanence. Think decorative small boulders, stepping stones, a stone pedestal or a carved memorial stone. If you’re working in close quarters or revamping an existing garden space, faux stones are lightweight and easy to handle. For a more impressive focal accent without calling in heavy equipment, you can securely stack manageable-sized stones to create the appearance of a larger rock formation.

1. Develop a focal point in the garden by installing a boulder or interestingly shaped rock with a look that fuses with the surrounding elements. A large stone might become a functional seat, or it can be a touchstone to encourage thoughtful musings. Surround a large stone with sand or gravel for a pronounced effect, or soften it by placing medium-sized stones nearby and with close plantings that help it unite with the earth. Give a large boulder a naturally settled, timeless appearance by burying up to one-third of it in the ground. Keep boulder accents in scale with the rest of your garden or they appear out of place.

2. Position stepping stones to create a walkway, or use them within and between garden beds to create breaks between plants and to provide a place to step when you tackle awkward weeding and maintenance chores. Some gardeners enjoy making their own stepping stones that include special themes, such as children’s handprints, seashells from the beach or unusual embedded objects. Personalized stepping stones give your garden a comfortable familiarity as well as an artistic touch.

3. Incorporate decorative gravel as pathway material, mulch or as a decorative edging to outline beds and borders. Gravel can be a foundation for other garden elements. Use it to define the placement of a pedestal or birdbath, or as fill between stepping stones. Install fabric mulch under decorative gravel to prevent weed growth. If you need to reposition the gravel, the fabric mulch liner simplifies the task.

4. Honor a memory with a carved stone memorial. Ornate pieces lend sophistication to a formal garden. Simple stone memorials are sold in a variety of sizes and styles for residential gardens. Artisans can create custom-carved figures as well as plaques with favorite quotations and words of wisdom. These memorials are at home along a path or displayed on the fence or garden wall.

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