Landscaping is as important to the appearance of a home as the home’s architecture and design. Without it, the home loses its organic, lived-in feel. This is why new home construction that isn’t yet landscaped so often feels cold and uninviting, regardless of how beautiful, clean, and new the structure. Beautifully designed landscaping is more than just shrubs, trees, and flowers. It needs form and definition to enhance the home’s architecture and the surrounding outdoor space.
Natural stone is increasingly becoming the landscaping choice for residential hardscapes such as walkways and patios. Though natural stone hardscapes can be more expensive than concrete, natural stone offers a warmth and character that is unequaled by a flat, manufactured surface. The versatility of landscaping stones and rocks offer almost unlimited options with a tremendous variety of color and texture that can be incorporated into many landscaping styles and applications. Whether the overall goal is formal or rustic, traditional or contemporary, there are natural stones that will enhance any design.
It is important to choosing the right stone for the look and function of the landscaping application. Larger, smooth stones are more appropriate for areas of foot traffic to create an even, stable surface that is safe for walking on with any kind of shoes, including high heels. Small, bumpy and uneven pebble stones can create a hazard. Slate, flagstone, and similar stones are excellent choices for sidewalks, entryways, and patios for entertaining. Cobblestone and flagstone walkways, patios, driveways, and pool surrounds offer a charming old world appeal that enhances traditional architecture. Square cut black slate can provide a sleek contemporary style.
Natural stone landscaping offers a great variety of colors, textures, and shapes. Working with the natural surroundings as well as the architecture of the home, an organic look can be created by incorporating a jagged interlay of stones with a variation of complementary colors. A more tailored, formal look can be accomplished with a geometric pattern of like or neutral colored stones.
Landscaping stones are not limited to walkway applications. They add a natural charm to benches, waterfalls, and ponds. They can be used as facades for outdoor fireplaces and to face retaining walls and columns to give the appearance of solid stone structures. Natural stone stands out over manufactured faux stone products because of the variations of nature that cannot be matched or equaled in beauty for a look of elegance and quality.