(Or is it Stones, stones, stones, or Decorative Gravel, gravel, gravel?)
Some of the most beautiful landscapes the world has to offer are largely made up of rock. Yes, rock has, is, and always will be an easy, beautiful way to change your landscape. One of the most versatile elements in nature, natural stone makes for a great landscape makeover. Rocks add contrast, they add texture, and they can serve as a durable ground cover.
Large pieces of landscape rockery can strategically be placed in and around your garden bed adding height dimension and interest to an area. All on their own they can create a centre piece or focal point to work a landscape around.
Try using the trick of placing decorative rocks or boulders in the landscape and burying the bottom of the rock into the ground. How far you go depends on the size of your rock. By doing this you give the illusion of the rock having always been there and that it might be bigger than one realizes. It leaves room for imagination when viewing. If a decorative or accent rock is properly placed it will have much more impact than you realize, as it can truly define a space and add sculptural interest.
Using large cubicle boulders as an edging can add various levels to your landscape without having to create a berm or raised planting bed. Most interesting landscapes tend to have more than one level.
- Rockery can be used as borders around garden beds, driveways, or laneways
- Cubicle rocks are great to use as sit up-ons in an outdoor setting
- Rocks can be drilled and then made into fabulous water features
- Line small rocks to be used as edging
- If you have water issues, creating a curvy beautiful dry riverbed will help with drainage
- Flat pieces of flagstone or slabs of rock can be stood upright to serve as a small fence or to create a space set apart – a place of interest or little haven
Whimsical Ideas for Decorate Gravel
Crushed rock of various colours, known as decorative gravel, can be used in a myriad of ways.
- Use to edge a garden or in between the flagstone in a pathway
- Surround a water feature with decorative gravel to help hide the component parts and to create contrast in colours
- Create your own inspirational artscapes in your backyard. We’ve seen many unique creative ideas, such as a yin-yang symbol, labyrinth, or railroad tracks (done with black lava or granite)
- Mosaic art is a fun family project, which can produce planters, stepping stones, or pictures right on the ground
- Use as pathways between areas of interest in your yard or as functional paths to get to the back shed
- Build an inuksuk or cairn, which are piles of stone formed to look like humans, landmarks, or memorials. They’re lovely treatments to nature, easily constructed, and add to the personality of your home
And let’s not forget the Zen gardens – carefully composed arrangements of rock, often using sand or decorative gravels that are raked into beautiful designs. These are peaceful retreats and in this hectic world they are a valued treasure.
Beautiful boulders, medium stones, and small gravel add character, interest, and impact to your outdoor living area – you are only limited by your imagination.
At SLS we carry rocks from around the world of all shapes and sizes. They last a lifetime – in fact you can bequeath them to your children.
As one of our signs at SLS so eloquently states: “Don’t you dare buy a bubbling rock without installing night lighting! It’s like an ice cream cone without the ice cream!”
Many customers put a lot of thought and effort into creating a beautiful haven in their backyard but unfortunately don’t include night lighting. Night lighting creates a magical look – it’s actually my preferred time of viewing my backyard. Rocks are softened, leaves gently sway in and out of the light, and fish swim through the light in the pond. Lights create an ambience not found anywhere else and elegance is brought to the landscape.
Here are a few reasons you need to make night lighting an essential part of your landscaping:
- Provide focal points in your outdoor living area – up-light a tree or water feature
- Provide a safe environment for you and your family – lights keep intruders at bay
- Properly installed/placed lighting adds value to your home and property
- Extend living spaces – now you can use your outdoor area into the evening
- Set your home and landscape apart from the rest in your neighbourhood
A tranquil garden, softly illuminated with night lighting, helps to establish the landscape as your haven, your shelter, your place to unwind and relax.
Imagine sitting in your backyard, a favourite beverage in hand, the moon in the sky and the beauty all around you softly illuminated with nightlight. Your plants and garden ornaments are showcased.
Easy? Yes very easy. Technology in the lighting field has increased substantially. It’s simple for a homeowner to install outdoor LED (high efficiency) night lights not only in the garden beds and around pathways and decks, but also in and around water features. These new lights are capable of being constantly submerged.
Lights come with various forms of attachment – a spike in the ground or a swivel base, which can be camouflaged with soil, mulch, or decorative stone. Lights are plugged into transformers that have dawn to dusk automatic on/off cycles or easy 4 or 6 or 8 hour “on” features. If you are an early riser, have them come on in the morning also, just so you can benefit from the beauty of your backyard while enjoying your first cup of coffee. What a wonderful way to start the day!
The most interesting, most personal, most intriguing, and most fun water feature that is inspiring many gardeners is the “Bubbling Rock.”
What in the world is a bubbling rock you might ask? Let me explain…
A bubbling rock is comprised of a unique, gorgeous (can you tell I love rocks) piece of rock with a hole drilled down the centre. Then the rock is placed on a special water basin and fitted with a pump and hose…and voilà! Add water, turn it on, and you have water bubbling out the top of your magnificent rock piece.
There is so much fun to be had in simply getting a bubbling rock! The first steps include you meandering over areas of diverse, unique and exquisite piles of rock and picking out the one that calls to you. This can be an interesting process as we have observed many couples going back and forth to pick out the one that’s just right for them.
Step two entails deciding exactly where you want to put the feature in your yard. Some things we like our customers to consider are:
- Will you be using a Rain Water Harvest System with this water feature?
- Will you be able to see the water feature from inside your home? You will increase the pleasure of having the feature when you can sit inside on cooler days, rainy days or scorching hot days but still be able to see all that happens around your bubbler
- Do you have an outdoor sitting area close by the intended spot so you can enjoy it while outside as well? No use placing the feature where the neighbours get the best view!
- How big of a feature do you want and can it be accommodated in your area? Your rock of choice needs to be able to sit on a water basin big enough to capture all splash created from the bubbler
After those decisions have been made it’s easier to pick out the size of basin, pump, and hose required.
Decorative gravel to surround the bubbler and hide component parts is the final item to pick out – and believe it or not there are over 20 kinds, colours, and textures to choose from. Come on out to Silverthorn and see our incredible displays of bubbling rocks or sign up for a How To Install A Water Feature Seminar to get hands on experience before you build it.