When people think of beautiful gardens, they tend to imagine green grass, colourful flowers, flowing water features, perhaps a fish pond…not often do people necessarily think about how to use rock and stone, and yet these are features of many award-winning gardens, and a prominent feature of nature.
Therefore, finding ways to use more stone in our gardens is a good thing, but how? Below are some ideas of how you better make use of stone material in your garden space:
Using decorative pebbles for gardens and landscaping gives you huge scope for improving your garden. You can use them for paths, ridges, to protect and/or demarcate the edge of different flower beds…the list goes on. Decorative pebbles come in different colours, shapes, and sizes to suit all kinds of garden spaces. You can choose pebbles that fit with the natural stones in your local area, or with existing natural rocks that may already be in your garden.
These pebbles are invariably cheap to source, and don’t require any kind of special skills or services to put in place beyond possibly flattening the soil to allow a more even-looking distribution when placing on soil.
Larger rocks also make for excellent garden decorations, and are usable as rock walls, as a more dramatic and natural scene for water features, or just as space filler to allow you to fill up gaps in the garden without taking away from its natural aesthetic. Large rocks can also form a central or focal point on a flower bed, with flowers, trees and other garden features placed around it for effect.
They can also be used to create large-scale landscaping projects within the garden such as a man-made waterfall and/or multi-layered water environments like fish ponds. The large rocks make such structures look much more natural and integrated into the landscape.
Stone Statues and Ornaments
Stone is a commonly used material for creating garden ornaments, including some that are more natural in appearance like tall standing stones, around which one might place other ornaments or plants. Besides those more natural-looking stones, you can also get ones that are carved into more intricate shapes to make statues and other decorative sculptures that one can place around the garden.
These add a dimension of elegance and old-world charm, but can also be used to add some degree of function to a garden. On a small scale, that could mean the installation of a bird bath or similar item. On a larger scale, you could build stone gazebos or free-standing structures that provide a seating area or other place to stop and observe the rest of the garden.
Tables, chairs, benches and other outdoor furniture items can be made of stone and placed for both decorative and functional purposes. Some cheaper items may be made of concrete since that produces a lighter piece of furniture than pure stone, but stone is more durable and will fare better in bad weather.
Finally, rock really shows its beauty when you use it to build something like a traditional zen garden or other type of rock garden. These spaces are where stone is used dominantly in the space in lieu of grass and flowers. Rather than having a lawn, one might have beds of pebbles that can be raked to create a sense of order and harmony. Equally, flower beds become rockeries, perhaps peppered with free-standing trees, hardy bushes and water features.
Many find these gardens to be peaceful and harmonious spaces that are conducive to reflection and contemplation. They are also appealing because they are easy to maintain.