Backyard Landscaping Ideas with Stone
A stone patio gives your yard a charming rustic look.
When it comes to creating a rustic, natural look for your landscape, few materials can top stone. But stone is actually a versatile material to use in your backyard because it doesn't always have to offer a rough, rugged look. Depending on the type and style of stone that you use, you can create as natural or polished a look as you'd like. To choose the right stone design idea for your backyard, consider the rest of the landscape and how you primarily use the space to come up with the ideal option.
Add Rustic Charm to Paved Surfaces
Using stone tiles or pavers for paved surfaces in your backyard is one of the most common ways to incorporate stone in your landscape design. A stone patio has a rustic look that fits a natural landscape more seamlessly than a brick or concrete surface. Sandstone, limestone or slate is an ideal surface material for a patio because it is extremely durable and comes in a range of earthy colors that have plenty of natural variation for an organic look. You can also grow grass, moss or other ground cover between the stones to help the patio blend in with your yard's landscape more easily. Flagstone also works well for walkways and garden paths in your backyard, but for a more casual, rugged look, consider gravel. Gravel paths are inexpensive and easy to install, but you must pair them with some type of edging to keep the crushed stones in place. Stone pavers make an attractive border for gravel paths and help maintain the earthy, rugged look of a natural landscape.
Warm It Up With a Fire Pit
If you want to entertain outdoors in early spring and fall when the weather's cooler, make a stone fire pit the focal point of your backyard. Depending on the style that you choose, your pit can serve a practical purpose or add serious drama to your landscape. For an easy, campfire-inspired pit, create a ring of dry-stacked stones on a gravel bed. This style works best if you don't plan to incorporate your fire pit into an existing patio. However, if you prefer a grander look, opt for a mortared pit made of cut stone blocks so the feature is tall enough to add a bold presence to your patio. Fieldstone, granite, sandstone or river rocks all work well for a dramatic fire pit. If you're on a budget, though, you can use concrete blocks to build your pit and cap it with stone veneer made of flagstone or slate.
Add Tranquility With a Water Feature
When you want to create a peaceful, tranquil landscape for your backyard, a water feature is an ideal addition. The sights and sounds of trickling water are very soothing, and using stone for your feature gives it a charming, rustic look that fits a natural landscape or a country garden theme. A tall, dramatic waterfall made with boulders and river stones makes a serious statement, but you can create a smaller trickling stream on a bed of river stones for a more subtle look. If you prefer a formal look, a garden or wall fountain is a better option. Stone fountains are available at most garden supply and home improvement stores, but you can also make your own by creating a mortared or dry-stacked base and adding a simple pump.
Build a Retaining Wall
Whether you need a retaining wall to deal with a sloped landscape or just want to enclose your garden or patio, a stone wall can be a charming addition to your backyard. If you prefer a formal look, cut stone offers a natural but polished appearance that works well with traditional architecture. However, if you have a casual-style home, irregular stone blocks make a better option. Building a stone wall around your patio is a good idea if you entertain frequently, because the top of the wall can double as additional seating if you don't make it too high.