You are currently viewing NATURAL STONE IN THE GARDEN


A popular and quite versatile design element for the garden is natural stone. When you think of stonework you’re apt to envision stone walls for retaining a hillside, or perhaps used for patios and stairs. But what if we approached stones as purely design elements, a way to incorporate the most natural of elements into our gardens?

Cairns: I saw this cairn many years back, perhaps it was at the famous Philadelphia Flower Show, and I have been intrigued by them ever since. I have stacked stones before in my gardens: usually to get them out of the way as I planted. They were stacked for practicality first, design second. But now that I have more years in the garden I see the simple beauty of stacked stones. To secure the stones in place, add a dollop of cement between each stone or have a professional drill a hole through the center of each stone and run a length of rebar through the stack. The rebar can be anchored in place, below grade, with cement for added stability. Or should you wish to introduce a water feature to the garden, consider placing the stones over a water reservoir and run a pipe through the stones. The water will travel up the pipe, cascade over the stones, spill into the water reservoir to repeat the journey once again.

Benches: A bench is always a nice addition to a garden and can take on a sculptural look and feel when made of natural stone. This bench along a bike path in Ohio is useful and attractive. Stone was an obvious choice for a place with countless visitors- it is unlikely to fail or need repairs.

Stone Gardens: Artfully arranged stones create nooks and crannies in which you can tuck in small plants like herbs and succulents. This rock garden is in a local park and has had a succession of caretakers, each arranging the stones here and there and adding small plants that do well in the hot sun and in exceptionally well-draining soil.

Zen Garden: You certainly do not need to create a Japanese garden as majestic as this one located in the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington, but it can serve as your inspiration. With this design, rocks are set on a bed of pea gravel or sand that is raked to create flowing patterns.

If you would like to explore options for adding natural stone to your landscape, call us, we would love to work with you. 513.271.2332

Leave a Reply