How to Incorporate Natural Stone in Your Landscape Design

 One of the most beautiful elements you can add to any landscape design would be to work with your natural surroundings as much as possible. This would almost always include working with, or adding to, rock and stone formations native to your geographic location. For example, in many parts of rural Georgia, the rocks are various shades of clay orange/red. Although it would be regionally out of character, there are settings in which an adobe style home and landscaping would work well. The point of all this is that you have the basic layout in the natural elements around you. With that said, let’s look at a few ideas on how to incorporate natural stone into your landscaping design.

Give the Finish Top Priority

It can’t be said enough just how important it is to stay as close as possible to the natural elements all around you. For this reason, the stones incorporated should have a natural stone finish. Consider for just a moment what one highly polished slab of marble or granite would be in a landscape of naturally shaped formations of limestone, as porous as it gets! It would be totally out of character, wouldn’t it? Something like that is nice for stepping stones in a garden or leading up to a pool, but not in a rock garden where you probably have succulents growing out of the limestone.

Natural Stone Structural Elements

Another good place to start when designing outdoor elements would be the inclusion of structures. These can be anything that needs to be, for lack of a better word, built, chiseled or sculpted. Natural stone structures can be anything from statues made from native rocks to stone outbuildings used as solariums or saunas. If it can be built in three dimensions, it can be classified as a structure. Here, it is also of prime importance to stick with rocks either native to the geography or at least complementary to what you have naturally at your disposal.

A Quick Look at 5 Types of Finish for Stones

In all, there are five typical finishes you can choose between. Remember to keep the finish as natural to the surroundings as possible. Those finishes would include:

1.       Thermal – As you would expect, high heat is run over a wet stone to chip away layers naturally

2.       Rock-Faced – Chiseled design used to produce a crafted, albeit rugged, design in a rock

3.       Sawn – This creates smooth, sleek finishes as you would expect when using a saw

4.       Bush-Hammered – Repeated impact with a bush hammer produces the most slip resistant of all

5.       Honed – This is the most contemporary of all and yields a surface that is super easy to clean

So, as you can see, you probably have much of what you need to work with when creating the perfect landscaping designs. It doesn’t mean that you won’t need to purchase rocks and stones to create your beautiful outdoor space. The end result is that you are given the types of elements you need to include so that when it comes to laying it down on paper or in a free CAD landscaping program, you know the kinds of rocks to pull up before doing the artistry. It’s all about staying as close to natural as possible.


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