Landscaping has two basic elements; hardscaping and softscaping. Softscaping refers to the living plants and flowers you bring to your lawn to beautify your home and garden. Hardscape refers to everything else; the non living elements that provide both a foundation and a flair to your landscaping. Using stone is a common way to punch up a garden, mixing scapes to add harmony, whether you are going for a “as found in nature” look or a modern, cultivated effect.
While stone can serve very well as foundation for many things, such as patio flooring, stone walls, or the basis for a water feature such as a waterfall, decorative landscaping stone can add that extra special something to bring your home and garden up to the next level.
Decorative landscaping stone runs the gamut in every dimension. For height you can use boulders, or stack smaller stones, or even hang manufactured elements such as stone lanterns or wall decorations. For width, peppering a patio floor comprised of flag stone with different colored decorative landscaping stone can make plain flooring pretty. For color, natural rock like blueschist and greenschist can provide plenty of contrast, or even subtle strengths such as the California State Rock, the Serpentine, with it’s blue and jade-green smooth coloration.
For a touch of the extra-ordinary, consider visiting a rock shop to pick up the very unusual. Geods are rocks that, due to bubbles of gas when they formed, are partially hollow on the inside. When sliced open with a diamond saw, they reveal a treasure of crystal and quarts whirls, mostly milky white and clear, but sometimes with a surprising extra color or two. Such a rock would make an excellent decorative landscaping stone, placed partially covered in a flowerbed to surprise the un-expecting visitor.
Decorative landscaping stone can be used as the basis for rock gardens as well. Red lava rock boulders placed artfully on a bed of sand or black river rocks look very exotic; or perhaps reverse the plan, and use crushed red lava rock as the sand, with the black river rocks on top.
Water features almost always need stone to finish them off and prevent an artificial feel. Using colored rock and stone as the flooring for a pond will bring a lot of interest to it, especially if the colors complement any koi or floating water lilies.
When laying the foundation for your next landscaping project, take some time to consider the use of decorative landscaping stone to punch up the atmosphere.