Patios, Walks, and Walls: Stone

Nothing bridges the home to the landscape better than stone. It is available in wide selection of colors, sizes and textures. It lends itself well to curvilinear forms and can be set "dry" or mortared in. An example of a popular application is dry-stack garden walls where thin stone, roughly 8x8 inches but in irregular cuts is laid flat to form the wall. The wall appears loose or dry but is actually bonded from behind with an application of mortar. The top layers are sealed with mortar or construction adhesive. The finished look is reminiscent of a cottage garden. Use the same stone selection in larger sizes for a garden patio. Connect the patio with stone walks to deck areas or garden paths. Another look for a stone retaining wall is stone applied as veneer to a base construction of concrete block. This is a good choice when you want a larger stone look to match a veneer application on your home or have a larger (3' or higher) retaining wall. Achieve a look of higher relief in your patios by seeding brick chips or stone screenings between the larger stone instead of mortar. This is one way to reduce cost and is suitable for walkways as well. Or try just setting the stone directly in the sod; the effect is great for preserving as much of green as possible yet still providing a hard surface for walking or entertaining.

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