Stone Landscaping Ideas
Stones add textural contrast and a feeling of permanence to landscaping. Long-lasting and resistant to harsh weather, stone features are also low maintenance. Whether you choose to use irregularly shaped stones to edge gardens or a pond, or lay down a walkway or patio with snapped pieces of slate or split flagstone, installing stone landscaping is a do-it-yourself project you can complete over a weekend or two, depending on the size of your landscape.
Simple but effective tips for stone landscaping
Make a landscaping plan by drawing a basic diagram of your yard with all existing features, like trees, gardens, paths and fences. Mark the areas where you want to add stones, and leave a space to note which type of stone you want to use for each.
Select only 1 or 2 types of stone for consistency. For instance, use flat or split stones, like slate, bluestone or flagstones, for a patio or path and irregularly-shapes stones, like crushed granite or fieldstones, for edging and secondary paths.
Excavate the site with a shovel for a walkway or patio. Dig until the area is 8 inches deep and flat. Fill the hole with 5 inches of aggregate. Tamp it with a tamping tool for a strong base. Rake 1 inch of fine sand over the aggregate. Set edge restraints against the inner sides of the site.
Lay your flat stones in the sand with as little a gap between stones as possible. Fit larger stones together like a jigsaw puzzle. Fill in the gaps between the surface pieces with fine sand to prevent debris between the gaps and hold the stones still. Lay a casual, secondary path to a garden or pond. Dig out 4 inches of dirt with a shovel and lay landscaping fabric across the bottom to stop weeds and improve drainage. Fill the trench with river rocks or decomposed crushed granite, tamping the rocks after every 1-inch layer so the walkway doesn’t shift under foot traffic.