The intention of all professional landscaping is to shape the natural world into a comfortable outdoor living space suitable for human relaxation and entertainment. Perhaps no other element serves this intention quite so well as stone. Because stone is found in every environment throughout the world, rock landscape design and provides the ideal unifying element between human structure and natural forms.
The most powerful attribute of stone is its sense of absolutism. This makes it ideal for building any type of boundary that subdivides a property into areas of special interest. Architectural walls, columns, dry set stones, stone veneered walls, and stone borders can all be used to set aside special patio areas for conversation, outdoor room construction, and courtyard design.
Dividing a property in this fashion is similar to adding furnishings to an empty room. Even though space is occupied in the process, it appears to grow in size as relationships between objects seem to take on dimensions and lives of their own.
Rock landscape design also provides an excellent compliment to any landscape element containing water. This is especially true for natural swimming pools and ponds that are deliberately built to emulate wild mountain lakes with streams pouring into them from overhead cliffs.
Stone can also be used to cover the gunite basins used to build these structures-concealing the hidden pumps, aerators, and drains beneath the water with an all natural disguise than even the most critical eye will never see through.
Swimming pools are another water feature that greatly benefit from the aesthetic created by a rock landscape design. Stones are used to build decorative copings around the water’s edge that make the pool appear more natural than manmade.
Stones are also one of the most popular building materials for swimming pool patios because they provide a very safe surface to walk on with wet feet and blend exceptionally well with surrounding garden elements. In a similar manner, stone copings around custom fountains always add an Old World or Classical touch to the water’s edge and help compliment surrounding flower beds and ground cover plants.
Driveways and walkways are two other landscaping elements that depend on rock landscape design for aesthetic and functional essence. Many people would much rather have a stone motor court installed than a concrete drive simply because it adds beauty to the front yard.
This is very popular in front of homes that are characterized by very formal architecture and a stately sense of form. In less formal settings, where an all stone driveway may risk overdoing it a bit, rocks places on either side of a concrete slab can be used to dress up an otherwise plain hardscape form.
Many purely decorative elements can also be enhanced with rock landscape design. Areas typically adorned with vegetation can be further magnified with a less-is-more approach to stone placement. Any tree with a flower bed around it, for example, can be further distinguished by adding a circle of stones around the flowers.
Wooden arbors can be made to appear more natural by placing decorative boulders on either side of their entrances. An entry garden can also be greatly accentuated with large decorative boulders that compliment garden elements and create a sublime sense of presence under special outdoor lights.
This video describes how to make a decorative crushed stone border between your house and the surrounding lawn. All aspects of design and construction are covered with video snips of each step of the execution of the project. Background music is provided by Emily Martsolf performing a Rachmaninov piano prelude.