Decorative stone in landscape design
The most reliable material for construction and decoration is natural (natural) stone. There are hard and soft types of stone. The former include granite, gneiss, porphyry, and basalt. These strong and hard materials are very difficult to work with and therefore are most often used in the form of finished forms - bars or slabs.
Basalt is a black rock, a very strong stone that is used for paving streets ("paving stones").
Granite is a very dense and heavy stone. Good as a cladding material, you can make a beautiful and durable tabletop or bench from it.
The composition of gneiss is identical to granite, but it can be easily distinguished by its characteristic striping (alternation of light and dark stripes). A good solution would be to create picturesque ledges, descending to the garden reservoir, from massive gneiss blocks with plants between them.
Porphyry is a rock of a fine crystalline mass of light red tones, in composition it is close to granite. Very expensive.
Marble is varied in color, often with a beautiful pattern, is well polished. Decorative and ornamental stone, widely used in the production of small architectural forms.
Natural cobblestone can be found in the field, on the river slope or on the beach. It is used for paving walkways and patios, for rock gardens and rockeries, it can also be used to lay out a stream bed.
Unlike hard materials, soft types of stone - sandstone, limestone - are easy to process, but more susceptible to climatic influences.
Slates have a layered structure and the ability to split into thin plates. They are usually dark green or bluish purple in color. Most often used for cladding, floor tiles, garden surfaces (walkways, patios). Slate "islands" on the green carpet of lawn grass look spectacular.
Sandstone is lightly colored due to the inclusion of minerals and can be gray, yellow, brown, reddish or variegated. It can be considered the ideal material for building walls - both dry folded and mortar. Since sandstone in nature is formed in layers, it can sometimes stratify and crumble.
Fine-grained sandstone is a very dense, firmly compacted sand. This stone is sometimes crushed to produce a material that replaces cobblestone. Plates of fine-grained sandstone, in which there are remains of fossilized shells, are often lined with walls of houses. A dry sandstone wall is one of the most common decorative stone structures; it is appropriate to use it as a screen that covers a romantic corner for two or a small terrace for family leisure from prying eyes.
Artificial stone is made in molds: broken stone is poured into them and mixed with cement, painted so as to imitate one or another natural rock. Good artificial stone blocks are distinguished by a high realism of the texture and give the impression of a wall or path made of natural cut stone.
Concrete has long ceased to be a gray and boring building material. The modern industry produces bright tiles of various configurations for paving. Original coatings are obtained by combining concrete slabs with marble, porphyry, basalt, pebbles, glass.
Brick is a popular material used to create retaining walls, garden gazebos, steps.
Clinker. The small dimensions of these baked before sintering bricks allow for a wide variety of curly masonry, especially over large areas. It has exceptional strength and durability, withstands all adverse weather conditions and does not require the cost of maintaining it in excellent condition. The clinker brick cover is water permeable, which makes the paths and terraces dry quickly after rain. Lawn clinker deserves special attention, which is a grate through which the grass grows after laying. This surface gives the impression of a green lawn and at the same time allows parking cars without any problems.
A stone tile covering will not look too strict if combined with bulk materials - stone chips, gravel, pebbles, pebbles. These are not only cheap, but also easy-to-use materials, they are easily combined with garden architecture of any direction. The gravel layer can be used to decorate narrow or uneven surfaces that are difficult to pave. Shaded corners and niches of buildings, where little is growing, look more attractive if they are covered with light-colored bulk material. Pebble or gravel pavements can be made on pedestrian and garden paths, entrances to objects, pebble lawns. You cannot do without these materials when creating an oriental rock garden.
When decorating a rock garden, limit yourself to any one type of stone: sandstone, dolomite, limestone, tuff, shell rock, granite or boulder. Large stones (25-60 cm in diameter) look good on the hill. The selection of plants also depends on the color of the stone: plants with silvery foliage look good on a dark background, plants with a darker or reddish color look good on a light background. By harmoniously combining large boulders with smaller stones, you will be able to create a small corner, reminiscent of the harsh beauty of distant highlands.
The stones for rockeries should be different in size, but rather large. Small and especially identical stones do not look expressive enough. Nevertheless, they can be used - for paving the path leading to the slide, for the device of drainage. Try to turn medium-sized stones into a large block by picking and stacking the appropriate pieces together. If, nevertheless, it was not possible to find stones that are relatively uniform in shape, you can group flat stones in one place, rounded (such as boulders) in another.
When decorating a reservoir with stones, you should take care of their suitable shape: it is pleasant and easy to step on flat large stones that do not have sharp corners, and the base firmly and deeply goes into the ground. The surface of the stones should be slightly rough, since it is easy to slip on smooth wet stones. Along the perimeter of the reservoir, you can lay out a low wall made of natural stone, which will protect it from the ingress of drainage water, fallen leaves, and other contaminants. If the reservoir is deep and wide enough, a stone bridge can be built across it, the stones for which must be very strong and moisture resistant. Better to stick with porphyry or gneiss. The use of clinker bricks is absolutely excluded due to their moisture permeability. Basalt should not be used either, it is too slippery.
Whatever the purpose of using natural stone, clinker or concrete, it is important to take into account the color and shape of the material, to maintain stylistic unity. This will allow you to avoid flashy variegation and choose exactly what is in harmony with the style of the garden and home.
Based on the books by Zhilyakova I. G. "Stones in the Garden" and
P. Swift and J. Szymanowski "Garden Plot. Layout. Arrangement. Design"