Edging stones enhance the overall look of a landscape and reduce maintenance. A basic function of edging is to divide plant beds from the lawn, blocking encroachment and retaining soil. Hard stones are a natural contrast to the colors and textures of thriving plants. Using stones gives definition to walkways and flower beds and adds a rustic touch.
Dry-stacking stones is a versatile and simple application of medium- to large-size edging stones. Build a raised flower bed by stacking stones to form an enclosed space approximately 2 feet deep. Line the interior with landscape fabric to prevent erosion, lay down native topsoil and plant flowers with large, colorful blossoms to complement the stones. Flat stones, like thin pieces of bluestone or thick granite blocks, ensure stability.
Painted Garden Stones
Encourage kids to put their personal touch on a garden by painting a handful of edging stones. A few types of weather-resistant, permanent paints to use include acrylic patio paints, puffy paints and oil paints. Use puffy paints over an acrylic base for best results, or set oil paints aside for only older children as these paints tend to be messy. Set up a painting station over a dropcloth near the garden where you’ll lay the stones. Images of the sun, flowers, the house and lady bugs will bring a whimsical feel to your garden.
River Rock Borders
The smooth, round surface of river rocks brings a polished look to a walkway. They are available in assorted natural colors including hues of blue, green, red and orange, as well as single shades of black or gray. Lay a wide border along the sides of a stone walkway for subtle textural contrast, or install them around a fountain or pond to frame a focal point.
Placing fieldstones on their side edges creates a narrow border, giving a clean look to a plant bed or patio. While more expensive than other types of edging material, fieldstone edging can last for years. Install the stones over a base of tamped gravel and a thin bed of sand for drainage, and sink the stones about halfway in the ground. Backfill the trench with pea gravel to reinforce the stones and block wayward grass.
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