If you want to create a compelling backyard oasis that withstands the test of time, you need to start with stone. Stone landscaping has been around for centuries. In fact, the oldest documented stone wall in New England was constructed in 1607.
By taking the time to add stone to your own backyard, you create the same sense of permanence, longevity, and create a more appealing backyard. The softscape elements of flowers, plants, and bushes against the backdrop of colorful and textured stone will make them pop.
Even better, the designs you can create with stone boundaries can lead your eye around your backyard, guiding you to beautiful water features, statues, or entertaining spaces.
With this in mind, read on for our beginners’ guide on how to use landscaping stones for your next yard design!
Choose Your Stones
Before charging ahead and installing your landscaping stones, it’s important to consider all of your options first in order to create a cohesive look. One of the top stone landscaping mistakes that beginners make is choosing decorative landscape stone without considering cohesion.
For instance, you may want the majority of your stones to match the exterior of your home. This is because no matter how much you like the color of the stones, they’ll still clash with the rest of your home in an unappealing way.
You’ll also want to consider the size of your space and the size of the stones needed. For instance, if you have a small backyard and want to add some decorative stones to your flower beds, stones that are too large can dwarf your flower bed and make the space appear smaller.
In contrast, stones that are too small in a large yard will quickly disappear in the landscape.
Start With Pathways
One of the easiest ways to begin is to start by planning out your pathways in the front yard as well as the backyard. There may already be well-worn grass in the areas that are used the most by friends and family, but if not, take some time and walk around your yard. Consider the routes you commonly take as well as the routes that would make it easier for you.
You may also want to consider attractive pathway designs that can be bordered by flower beds. For instance, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had a small garden “in the shape of a lyre.” This was shaped mainly by the pathways themselves.
Retaining Walls and Stone Edging
Once you have your pathways planned out, we recommend considering retaining walls and stone edging. Retaining walls are an attractive addition to any front yard, as they allow you to grow layers of plants and flowers, creating more eye appeal. Retaining walls made of stone also add an interesting textural element to your front yard.
Stone edging is also a simple and budget-friendly way to mark the area between your flower beds and the rest of the yard. Rectangular, flat stones in the color of your choice can create a rustic atmosphere if that’s the look you can enjoy. However, stone edging can also create sharp, rectangular lines if you want a more minimalistic and modern backyard.
For a modern look, we recommend using white stones. You can also look into cast stone edging for a sculpted and luxe look.
You’ll find that planning out pathways and stone edging makes it easier to decide on your next steps. You’ll be able to easily decide where you want to place any decorative features in your backyard. For instance, if you have a wide pathway, you want to add a water feature to the center of one path.
Decorative features within flower beds also add an interesting element that breaks up your softscape. Here are some decorative ideas with stone:
Not only do water features add an interesting key point to look at in your yard, but they also had the relaxing sound of running water. You’ll also find that if you love looking at birds and other wildlife, keeping clean water within your fountain is a sure way to attract more of them.
One of the best parts about water features is that they can look good in any area of your yard. Within flower beds, they add an interesting juxtaposition to the rest of the softscape. They can also be featured prominently in the center of pathways.
Stone or rock gardens are small sections of your yard that are meant to feature rocks. Mimicking nature, you can choose rocks of different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors in order to create an interesting display. We recommend choosing rocks that match the exterior of your home. You’ll also want to choose colors that showcase the plants you have around or within them.
Rock gardens can also feature water features on the inside, statues, and small task lights so that they look appealing even in the evening.
Stone Landscaping for Beauty and Longevity
Landscaping for beginners can seem difficult if you’ve never undertaken it before. However, beginning with stone landscaping is an easy way to design your yard to your liking. For instance, starting with designing your stone pathways will increase the practicality of your yard as well as create eye-appealing designs.
Next, choosing retaining walls and stone edging will add more interest to your yard, as they create well-defined boundaries between one space and another. They help you divide your yard into separate areas. These can be flower beds, play spaces for children, and entertaining spaces for adults.
Lastly, decorative elements made of stone withstand the test of time and add personality and character to your yard. Consider installing water features, statues, and rock gardens to craft a unique space.
Want more tips on how to create the yard of your dreams? Keep reading the blog!