What do we think about stone?


Well, duh. We love stone, right? Stone is the highest and best type of garden hardscaping, right? Better than brick, better than wood, way, way better than plastic. And resin? Really?



This summer, I made the decision that stone would be better than wood and brick. We had two sets of wooden steps, both with wide, dangerous gaps between the steps. Unbelievably, we allowed these inherited steps (above) to remain for over 16 years. Finally, this year it was time. I hadn’t killed myself yet, though I did trip once and landed upright—with a glass of wine.



Then, there were the brick enclosures (above). You had to admire the engineering: the bricks are the type that have holes in them, so they were connected with rebar and then topped with two layers of two-by-fours. But this made them incapable of holding soil—it would leak out through the gaps. These also lasted 16 years. So, yeah, I have to admire the durability.


This bed will be reworked in the fall–it got to be a jungle when it had the high wall.


Nonetheless, the high brick enclosure made a perennial bed into an unwieldy corral and the wooden stairs were just two drinks away from the emergency room. So we are doing … stone. Low stacked stone for the beds (above) and stone steps with custom wrought iron railings. At first it was exciting, but now, as with all jobs, we are praying for it to be done. And beautiful. Which we think will happen.



But here’s my issue. Stone needs softening. I’ve placed containers with flowers along the  steps that are done. And containers with flowers along the new stone raised bed enclosure, which is much lower than what was there. I have a patio garden, not a meadow, so I’m used to artificial means. I think of the beautiful daisy steps I saw at Hestercombe, in Somerset (above). That’s the way to deal with stone.


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