From gravel chips to patio tiles to a rockery, stone is a key feature of most garden living spaces. It’s easy to see why – it’s durable, waterproof, weatherproof and easy to care for. It doesn’t warp in the rain or need resealing every year. But which stone is the right one for your garden? How do you decide? Does it matter?
Consider Local Stone Types
Most areas are dominated by a particular stone type. As an example, Bath stone is a particular golden colour, while Welsh slate is dark and the cliffs of Dover are famously white. If the local stone has been heavily used in your area or dominates your garden, then it’s important to choose a stone that will harmonize. You don’t have to use or match local stone, but it’s a good place to start.
What is your House Made of?
Many older properties are made of stone or feature ornamental stone work. Picking up these colours and textures in the stone tiles of a patio or a drive gives the home a complete, intentional look. It’s a great way of preserving the character of a period property while also creating the practical, modern spaces your family needs.
How Much Maintenance do you want to do?
Stone tiles and slabs need very little maintenance, particularly if the stone is well sealed and spacing is filled to avoid plants growing through the cracks. However, if you choose a wider spacing – a crazy paving path, for example – or loose stone, then you must expect that weeds will grow wherever they can.
What’s your Personal Style?
The most important choice is a personal one. If all goes to plan, you’ll be pulling onto this driveway every day, walking up that path with your shopping and having dinner on the terrace in summer. So it’s vital that you choose a colour and texture you’re happy with and will love over time. We strongly recommend that you visit our workshop before you make a final decision. In our stone cutting shop, you can handle samples directly and see how they look with different finishes and polishes. You can get a real feel for the stones you’ll use in your garden.
Stone is such an effective, durable material that there are few practical considerations limiting your selection. While stones like marble and limestone are often considered ‘delicate’, that’s only in comparison to the incredible durability of granite and quartz. The pyramids, the Pantheon in Rome and our own British castles have all been built using marble and limestone, which has stood centuries of wind and rain. Very thin slices of stone – certain stone tiles – are at risk of cracking under strain, so may need a more solid foundation than a stone slab, but most can still be used outdoors.