Sandstone Landscaping Ideas
Stone is among the most nuanced and luxurious of paving materials. It’s also durable and versatile, offering an enormous range of colors, shapes, and sizes. From irregularly shaped flagstones for country-garden paths to precision-cut geometric blocks for a formal patio, there is a stone for every garden situation. All of this, however, comes at a price. Stone can be expensive to purchase and install. Paving-stone availability and prices vary from region to region, depending on the quantity purchased and your distance from the source.
There are a few points to keep in mind when purchasing stone for paving. A thickness of at least 2 inches is best for supporting frequent foot traffic and enduring the vagaries of settling or weather. Avoid rounded cobblestones, and flagstones with a polished or honed finish, which can be hard on the ankles and slick when wet. Instead, choose stones that are flat and have a natural-cleft surface and offer some grip or texture.
Before making a costly commitment to any material, check its color when wet. That pretty honey-tan granite you like so much could turn a lurid golden orange in the rain. Likewise, a subtle pattern in your sandstone may become objectionably bold when accentuated by moisture.
Sandstone is an excellent all-around choice
One of the most popular stones for garden paving is sandstone. It is tough enough for any paving application but is easier to cut and work than granite, which helps account for its lower cost. Sold under descriptive names like “Crab Orchard” (photo, below), “Colorado Red, ” and “Pennsylvania Blue, ” sandstone is available in many shapes and colors and is easy to come by in large quantities. Blue-gray and lilac-gray are common sandstone colors, but light gray, tan, soft golden cream, and orange-brown can be found as well. Expect some color variation in every lot of sandstone, along with occasional bands or blotches of contrasting color in each piece.