Artistic Landscaping Stone Materials

Landscaping today is not limited to plants and statues. Homeowners have access to many tools to improve the beauty and aesthetics of the yard. Landscaping stones are available in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes. They can be used in many unique and innovative ways. The homeowner is only limited by your imagination!
Variety of Landscaping Stones:
Stones used for landscaping come in an amazing array of sizes. From pebbles used to pave paths and to create attractive weed barriers at the base of bushes and trees and in ornate flower beds, to the large armor stones used as a centerpiece. Stones have been used for centuries in homes across the globe, both in dwelling and for fencing. Recently, their use has increased once again. The timeless look they allow increase curb appeal and revamp outdoor spaces.
Armor stones: Armor stones so named for their original purpose, are used along shore lines to protect against high tides and rough weather. Although most of the large stones used have never seen the waves, they are still a wonderful way to add curb appeal when stacked to create retaining walls or in unique waterfalls and birdbaths. They are the largest of all the landscaping stones and add an element of nature and at the same time, a sense of age and wealth. They can be stacked to create an elegant front to the home or driveway, or used to shore up hillsides.
Slightly smaller stones: Slightly smaller stonescan also be used in similar fashion. Boulders can create decorative entrances to gardens or driveways, or can be used to line paths. They can be the focal point for garden beds, or used in conjunction with other stones to be a natural statement in any yard. You can carve out the top for a shallow birdbath or even hollow them out to place a mailbox inside. Other stones can be used for the paths used in the yard.
Flagstones: Flagstones are some of the most useful stones. Able to be laid in a myriad of patterns, are cut in irregular sizes, and are generally 1- 2 inches thick.  They can be used for elegant paths or upscale patios. They come in many colors, allowing the homeowner to create a wonderful contrast to the home and garden, or set a mood unique to both. They can also be stacked in to create raised beds that can line garden walkways. Flagstones are meant to be laid in either sand or mortar and it is wise to have someone skilled in stone work install them for you. This will also make for a worry free path or patio as there will be no need to weed between the stones.
Stepping stones: The cousin of the flagstone is the stepping stone. Used within gravel walkways or nestled in the lawn, they add a quaint touch to the yard. They can wind though fiery bushes and bright flowers, the thin profile of each stone allows for a much narrower walkway than most. Decorative stepping stones can be created by placing colored glass and stones in cement. They can be customized with hand prints and even picture. Although not completely natural, they can add a pop of color within an existing stone walkway.
Gravel Stones: Gravel stones possibly the most commonly used stone for landscaping is gravel. These small stones come in several sizes and shapes. River stones are highly desired for their smooth shape and natural look. They are an excellent choice for dry river beds, which are used to divert rain water from the home. They all accent well with the larger stones used. Pea gravel is another wonderful choice for lying at the base of any large stone or around any new or existing flowers. Any path would be greatly enhanced by the addition of the smallest landscaping stone, as would any heavily trafficked area in the yard.
Perhaps the best use of stone, though, is in the home itself. Using stone for the front of any home creates a wonderful sense of Old World charm and warmth. Any new home would benefit greatly from the addition of these natural elements, either in the yard or on the home.

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Andre Rusell writes on behalf of Vanbeeks, a company which deals in stone landscaping materials.