Stone may be the most versatile landscape building material available. Its qualities of strength and durability make it an excellent choice for garden paths, patios and walls. The decorative side of stone provides those landscape elements with a unique sense of style and makes stone a good choice for water features, rock gardens and well-placed groupings that mimic nature or sculpture.
Decide What You Like
As you begin to plan your project, you will need to make some decisions about the scope and elements in the project. What type of project are you planning? What are its proposed dimensions? What types of stone will you use for the project? Who will do the work?
Studying examples of existing stonework in walls, patios and other landscape features is one of the best ways to begin to discover your preferences for stonework details. Stone found in nature, a neighbor’s yard, the local botanical garden and everywhere in between are places where you can see how stone is used. Not only can you learn what is possible from these examples, you can also discover what you like.
Explore The Possibilities
When trying to incorporate a new patio into your yard, add a rustic-looking stone wall to the garden, or build any stone-based project, rely on basic design principles to help the project best fit in with its surroundings.
Scale and Proportion - The scale and proportion of an object work hand in hand. The scale of something refers to its size as it relates to everything else. A 10-foot-high stone wall will tower over everything in the yard, including the people who use the space. It may be a good choice if you want total privacy and security, but a 3-foot-high wall may make more sense if you simply want to define an herb garden. Proportion refers to the relationship of objects to one another based on size – the size of the patio is in proportion to the size of the yard. Good scale is achieved when all of the parts complement one another proportionally.
Line – Simply put, lines define space, but they also suggest various qualities. A straight line implies strength and formality: a straight path almost always appears formal. A curving, winding path denotes a certain freedom and casualness.
Balance – In a landscape, balance refers to the effects created by the mix of elements you use. The features of a landscape are in balance when they look as though they belong together and the arrangement is pleasing to the eye. Balanced relationships can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Harmony and Rhythm – In a harmonious plan, all of the elements share characteristics such as size, shape or color. An example would be a patio and wall that are made from the same type stone. Rhythm refers to repeated patterns. When you vary one or more of the above traits in a repetitive pattern, it creates a visual rhythm. The key to creating good harmony and rhythm is balance.
Texture and Color – Stone is available in a variety of colors and textures. As you begin to design your project, you’ll discover that stone can convey almost any feeling you want – grandeur, elegance, simplicity, solitude, durability, utility and order are all possible. Stone can even suggest something other than what it is. A dry streambed is a classic example of this.
Following the fundamental design elements of scale and proportion, line, balance, harmony and rhythm will make achieving your dream space straightforward and simple. We would love to hear how you use these design tenets to achieve great spaces. Leave us a comment and feel free to share this post via social media.