Creating beautiful stone borders for your flowerbeds and paths gives your yard a unique and natural look. Additionally, stones last forever and only become more beautiful with the passage of time so they represent an excellent investment.
Where Can You Get Good Landscaping Stone?
You can actually find good looking stones all over your area. For a truly authentic look, you can search for stones around your neighborhood or even in your own lawn. Use these alone or incorporate them with other stones purchased at a local landscape materials store or garden center. An artistic combination of stones will add visual interest to your outdoor environment.
What Kind Of Rock Or Stone Is Best?
Both river rock and flagstone are nice choices as the foundation for any type of landscaping project. Flagstone comes in lots of attractive natural shades to enhance any outdoor setting. When smaller sized rock is needed (e.g. when filling in open areas or creating walkways) river rock excels.
Hiring A Pro Can Save You Money & Hard Labor!
If you are purchasing large amounts of stone, be sure to ask about home delivery as this will save you backbreaking labor and wear and tear on your vehicle. Additionally, take the time to compare prices between purchasing stone and doing the labor yourself VS having it done by a professional landscaper. Pros always have access to excellent prices in landscaping materials that offset the labor costs. Additionally, setting stone for pathways and borders is an arduous task that can cause significant aches and pains for the inexperienced DIY landscaper.
Stone Landscape Is Functional & Beautiful
In addition to borders, you can also set stepping stones or create walkways and retaining walls using stone. This choice creates a natural, beautiful, enduring effect in your yard and garden while fulfilling practical needs. Using similar rocks throughout lends a touch of uniformity to your design. If you are a rock hound, using fairly uniform natural rocks such as flagstone or river rock for your landscaping helps draw attention to artistic displays of your unique finds.
Step 1: Planning
The first step to installing a stone border is to PLAN. Choose a stone that matches the architecture (shape and color) of the home and identify the color of mortar that will look best (grey or beige).
Next, decide where the stone border will go. Think about future landscape expansions too, it is easier to add the space now then trying to redo the border later. Sprinkler systems are also an issue, design the border to stay clear of any sprinkler heads.
Tip: Most home improvement stores only carry a traditional grey mortar, but I will explain how to custom mix mortar to make a beige color in Step 4.
Calculations: Figure 1 ton of stone per 100 feet of border, and calculate one bag of mortar per 3 to 5 feet.
Step 2: Layout
Now that all the planning is out of the way and all the materials are on hand, it's time from some fun! It's time to lay the outline of the stone border. I recommend using a garden hose, or some other object that will allow for easy adjustments until the final layout is determined.
Once the final layout is in place, use marking paint to spray the outline. This will act as a guide when digging.
Tip: If there are long curves, use 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe and grade stakes to help get a smooth curve. Determine the beginning and end points of the curve and drive in one stake at each end. With the PVC pipe wedged against the two end stakes, push the middle of the pipe until the desired curve is achieved. Drive in the middle stake to hold the pipe in place.