An attractive landscape is much more than just a bunch of plants – structure is necessary to create appealing outdoor spaces. A fascinating and comfortable outdoor patio lures you outside, whether it is a basic paved area with a few chairs or a more sophisticated outdoor space which includes a kitchen or simply a pool. For patios and other “hardscape” elements like pathways, garden walls, raised beds, and water features, there’s no better material to use than natural stone. With its pure simplicity and unequaled resilience, stone has a eternal appeal.
Durability and strength are two apparent requirements when it comes to deciding on materials for landscape features like patios, paths, and garden walls. Therefore, you want your best material to add natural beauty to your house, both at installation time and after it has been subjected to the elements for several years. Natural Stone is always a good solution for hardscaping, but man made materials can work wonderfully too, depending on the site and funds. The intrinsic hardness of all of these materials is a perfect foil to the softness of plants and water.
One of the most important choices to make when you are planning a brand new patio, wall, or other landscape feature is which material to make use of. For structures that connect to the property, like an adjoined patio, an entry stairway, or a raised bed outside the kitchen door, you will want to give careful consideratioin to the architectural design of the house. To guarantee a harmonious relationship, use materials of matching colors and textures to those of the property.
It’s also possible to achieve a nice effect with contrast, but plan your alternatives cautiously instead of making them as you go. With structures separate or far away from the house – such as a patio hidden in a corner of the backyard or a streetside raised bed – you may be more flexible, using distance and plants as a sort of visual barrier. Natural stone usually has a rough feel, although it looks very beautiful when trimmed for use in paving or walls. Man made materials can be utilized for a more modern effect: Take into account the uniformity of a brick patio or a clean line of concrete pavers slicing across a river of lawn.
Natural stone gives a classic look to any landscape feature, be it a flagstone patio, a dry-stacked wall constructed from small boulders, or a cobblestone edging for a garden path. Stone weathers amazingly too, often accumulating highlights of moss and lichen with the passing years. Most varieties of stone change color when wet, darkening and glistening when showered with rainwater or by sprinklers. Stone surfaces need little if any maintenance to keep their good looks year-round. They offer visual interest in the landscape when surrounding plants are out of bloom or have gone dormant for the winter season. And natural stone is incredibly durable: A correctly installed stonescape might last for centuries.
Being products of mother nature, no two stones are exactly identical, so no two rock walls or pathways can look exactly the same. And most unique variations of stones will complement one another in the landscape. It’s always best to have various kinds of stone for the walls than you do for the flagstone; the contrast helps make the spaces more fascinating.