Using natural stone in your residential landscaping can provide you with the best of both worlds – form and function. Natural stone is used to build walls, patios, fireplaces, steps and pathways, and other landscaping features, creating unique and timeless additions to your home. However, when you have a natural stone landscaping structure installed, you can get far more than beauty and distinctiveness. Natural stonework is an eco-friendly choice that can be designed to provide stormwater management and prevent soil erosion. It’s a choice that truly offers homeowners the perfect combination of attractiveness and practicality.
The Form of Natural Stonework
Natural stonework allows you to beautifully extend your living space beyond the walls of your home. Patios, walkways, and fixtures like signs, walls, and fireplaces make the outdoor space around your home attractive for your family and guests. There is nothing better than having a get-together in a visually appealing and natural feeling environment.
Natural stone is versatile, making it an ideal material for bringing all kinds of designs to life. Whether you are looking for a patio, freestanding or retaining walls, steps, or other outdoor element, many of these structures can be designed to homeowners’ specifications. The possibilities are endless.
Residential natural stone landscaping also offers the following form-related advantages:
- Curb appeal – Using natural stonework means that you don’t have to worry about it fading or breaking. It ages wonderfully and will improve the overall look of your property.
- Adds value – Landscaping, in general, increases the value of your property. Using natural stone for your landscaping adds even more with its natural elegance and intricate design.
- Variety – Natural stone comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures to choose from. Whether you are looking for a rustic fireplace, an elegant walkway, or anything in between, you will be able to find the perfect stones to create it.
- Flexibility – Because there is such a variety of natural stones, it’s easy to add to existing landscaping.
Design-wise, you really can’t go wrong with natural stone. It’s a beautiful material that enhances the look of every type of home and landscape.
The Function of Natural Stonework
Besides the appealing look of natural stonework, it can also provide significant function to your yard and landscape. The use of natural stone is, of course, an environmentally friendly landscaping option. It requires little maintenance to clean and it’s able to endure the wear and tear that outdoor structures are subject to, like adverse weather including rain, snow, wind, and varying temperatures. All of these attributes make natural stonework more than simply nice to look at. They make it a practical choice for how you landscape your property.
That’s not where the functionality of natural stonework ends, though. In fact, that’s only the beginning. The way that stonework landscaping is designed and installed can provide homeowners with effective stormwater management and soil erosion control. Two very important functions that add to the value of the stonework itself.
What is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater management refers to the effort to capture, clean, and absorb rainwater or melted snow. In general, it involves the redirection of water to prevent flooding, damage to public or private property, and water contamination. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains it this way:
In developed areas, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches and can cause:
- Downstream flooding
- Stream bank erosion
- Increased turbidity (muddiness created by stirred up sediment) from erosion
- Habitat destruction
- Combined storm and sanitary sewer system overflows
- Infrastructure damage
- Contaminated streams, rivers and coastal water
What is Soil Erosion Control?
Soil erosion is another result of stormwater runoff. As the water tries to drain, it may create flowing channels that pick up force and speed. This can cause soil to be carried away to wherever the water collects or is finally able to be absorbed into the ground.
Natural stonework that is effectively designed and installed can prevent this from happening, instead it works to channel the stormwater to areas of the yard with more efficient drainage or vegetation that can utilize the water, maintaining the integrity of your landscaping.
One of the best stonework structures for preventing soil erosion is the retaining wall. These walls can be designed and installed in a manner that ensures that soils stays where you want it. Retaining walls are ideal for properties that have sloping landscapes or hillsides.
Natural Stone Landscaping Provides Form and Function
If you are looking for both beauty and usefulness as you consider landscaping options for your home, natural stonework is the way to go. It provides unique, eye-catching visuals while at the same time offering you the practical benefits of stormwater management and soil erosion control.
Consider natural stone for your next landscaping project – you’ll get the best of both form and function.