Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stone in the garden

When I saw that this month's Garden Design Workshop topic was about using stone in the garden, I knew that I would have to post because there is a lot of stone in our garden. In fact, I often wonder if I've overdone it. I think the hardscape aspects of the garden are just as important as the plant material and stone has to be one of the most popular features.

When we first moved in, the only visible stone on the property was a slate walkway that leads to the front door. However, once we started digging, we discovered that there was some beautiful rock on the property. It was located inside the circular hedge inside our driveway (here is how it looked then). Apparently the walkways inside the circle were made with stones which had long been buried by the time we arrived on the scene. We dug them up and first used them to make a stone wall along our property line but later Michael came up with the idea to create a half-moon circle with them and this is where they have stayed.

Here it is in 1994 - as you can see, the garden looked quite different then!

And, here it is in a recent photo (the best one I could find)

All other rock has been bought and brought in. I started using stone to edge borders back in 2002 -

And since then, I've gone a little haywire. One day when I was visiting the city mulch pile, I discovered a huge mound of busted up concrete and a lightbulb went off in my head. I decided to bring it home and use it to cover a difficult spot that I was tired of mowing. Almost a year later and an aching back, this was the result. Recycling put to use!



A small waterfall is located next to the steps. This was the first water feature I created.

Our property is on a hill and the major portion of the garden is on a slope. If I could go back and start over again (and if I had the money), I would have designed grand terraces and graded the land properly. Since that wasn't done, I've embellished over the years. This is an area of three large terraces that I hired a friend to do. This was completed two years ago, right before we were on the garden tour. I can't get the proper angle to capture the whole area. This photo gives you an idea -


A set of steps leading up to the patio area. I've never been good at constructing steps. These are not porportioned properly and are a little difficult to climb.


Our small patio was constructed by a professional landscaping business. My dream is have a door leading out from the bedroom to the patio.


I did the pathway that runs alongside the patio. I wrote about this project in a previous post.


I've also used stone for smaller projects, such as this urn fountain.


Not sure if brick counts but I use a lot of that too.

And finally, I want to include The Wall, which is probably the biggest project I've ever tackled. It is made of concrete blocks which were then stuccoed and painted. I wanted it to look like ruins (it ended up looking like a Spanish Mission) and be the colors of Monet's Waterlilies paintings (close enough).

So, do you think there is enough stone in the garden?

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