Landscaping IDEAS Using Rocks and stones
Use stone to update, add interest to your landscape
As nurseries around town fill with scrumptious, irresistible spring plants, be sure to plan before you plop. As you start filling in the holes left by the ravages of our two winter days that were colder than 21 degrees, evaluate your landscape.
Successful landscape design includes not only the plants but also the hardscape in your garden. Stone, in particular, adds texture, contrast and definition to your landscape.
Stone has been used to beautify gardens for thousands of years. From decorative focal points like standing stones, cairns or stacking stones, to patios, walls and dry creeks, stone adds dimension to your garden. Several years ago, I worked on a design for a client who was a geologist, and we incorporated the homeowner’s collection of rocks gathered from around the country, which held special meaning. Perhaps adding a stone focal point in a bed can add a place for the eye to rest or significance to your garden.
To incorporate stone hardscape into your yard, begin with the first landscaping design principle, form follows function. If you are wearing a muddy trail across your yard, consider adding a flagstone or decomposed granite path to meander through the yard to your destination. Been thinking about how nice it would be to have a fire pit for evening entertaining? Create a gravel or granite circle with a stone seating wall or large boulders to gather with family and friends.
In her recently released book, “The Spirit of Stone, ” Jan Johnsen walks readers through the origins and decorative uses of stone in the garden to its practical hardscape applications with how-to guides and tips for do-it-yourself projects. She writes, “This book shines a light on the beauty and enchantment that natural stone adds to an outdoor setting.”
Filled with beautiful photos, the book chronicles the use of stone in various cultures and offers examples that will inspire countless design ideas for your own garden.
She includes photos of several types of rock and gravel gardens dotted with succulents and xeric perennials and other plants. These xeric rock gardens highlight ways for plants and rocks to co-exist in a softened style that would work well in Central Texas gardens.