Can you imagine a garden without any stone element? Certainly not me. Stone belongs to the garden as well as soil, which was created by weathering rocks and decomposing living matter into nutrients. It is even possible to define this equation: garden = soil + water + stone + wood + plants. Although it is incomplete, it tells us something about the importance of stone in the garden. What are the various roles that stone can play in a garden?
When we say mulch, we usually imagine crushed tree bark or crushed wood. But stone? Yes, stone is, among other things, a recognized mulch which is fundamentally different from organic mulch materials. It is possible to buy various gravels of different origins and colours, but also river or industrially sanded pebbles. Fractions of 4/8 or 8/16 mm are used as mulching material in ornamental plantings.
For example, Japanese gardens cannot be imagined without areas of poured pebbles or gravel in geometric shapes. Stability and durability make a great advantage of mineral mulch. Due to its weight, a bit more difficult handling can be seen as a disadvantage. Mineral mulch (gravel, pebbles) cools soil and reduces the evaporation of water on hot days. By contrast, bark mulch is highly warming. It warms the soil and life in the soil is more active even on cold days.
2. Lanes, footpaths, pavements and paved areas
Lanes, footpaths, pavements and other paved areas made of natural stone are a tradition which never gets boring. Whether we use gravel or pebbles on geotextiles, or lay stone tiles. Paving made of artificial stone (concrete) in perfect imitations of stone and wood is an interesting alternative. Stone and concrete paving will provide with relatively high load-bearing capacity of the surface which will certainly be appreciated in case of using the paving for the moving of vehicles or garden equipment. Regarding the roads, stone in chipped form, traditional granite cubes and other materials are suitable.
3. Walls, fences and other structures
Stone can also be used to strengthen slopes, be it in the form of a dry wall, or even bound with mortar, to construct fences, fireplaces, smokehouses, or to line terraces and so on. Stone can also be used for terrain modelling e. g. as a terrain transition. Finally, we are able to build any wall out of stone.
For example, if we fill gaps in a dry wall with soil, this solution allows us to plant dry-resistant alpine rock plants. They will do very well in the gaps. The stability of the dry wall is achieved by overlapping of particular gaps.
4. Stone solitaires
Solitary stones embellish not only a rock garden, but also any area, pond, etc. They create suitable compositions, atmosphere and combined with plant solitaires and also water (water surface, fountain, cascade, stream) they can really enliven a garden. Stones are also convenient for herb concepts (so-called herb fields) and with their help even so-called stone fields can be created.
Garden stone creation
Garden-making without stones is simply difficult to imagine. Stone has been part of garden architecture for millennia. It is full of history and each and every piece is a complete original. What is important, however, is the alignment of stones in the garden. It is ideal to choose a kind of stone which is the most typical of a given area and is simply integral to it. On one hand, raw, untreated stones are appreciated for their natural character, on the other hand not only chipped or collected but also worked and polished stones also have their charm.
Stone can be simply used in modern, natural, ornamental and kitchen gardens. At the same time, we can even find stone in sufficient quantity on our land during its landscaping. This material should certainly not be discarded as it is a hidden treasure. Local stone makes the garden look natural and it is completely for free.