How To Use Natural Stone in Your Garden

One of the most important things in an organic garden is learning how to use the materials that we find all around us to create beautiful and productive spaces. Stone is abundant, and in many locations, rocky ground can feel like a challenge rather than an opportunity. But natural stone, from our natural surroundings, can be a boon. Stone can be used in a range of ways to enhance our gardens and growing systems. Here are some ways to use stone in your garden:

Cobble stone pavingStone Paving and Paths

We do not have to buy in concrete or stone slabs to create paths and paving. You could also consider using stone found in your garden to create more organic paving and paths. Rounded river stones, small gravel stones and large slabs of bedrock can all find their place in creating pathways around and between the plants that you grow.

stones waterStone Water Features

Rocks and stones can also be useful for placing around ponds, piled up to create attractive water features that allow you to enjoy the tranquil sounds of trickling water in your outside space. Small stones placed in the shallows of a pond can create more opportunities for the wildlife to enjoy and utilise the water in your garden as much as you do.

rockeryRockeries & Other Ornamental Stone Features

Using natural stone can help bring a sense of sturdiness and solidity to your garden. It can help to root your garden in its natural surroundings, and to bring a sense of wholeness to your outside space. From stone retaining walls for sloping sites, to classic rockeries, to herb spirals and other more modern ornamental stone features, incorporating natural stone in your garden can bring the whole design scheme together. Such features can allow moss lichens and other organic structures to form, and can provide a wealth of varied planting spots for a diverse range of plant life.

gravel mulchGravel Mulches

Especially on arid sites, gathering up small stones from around your garden and using these to create a gravel mulch can help you to manage water in your space. Gravel mulches can be beneficial to slow the rate of evaporation from the soil, and can also help protect the upper roots and lower stems of plants from drought, as well as from waterlogging and over-saturation.

gravel drainage potGravel & Stones for Drainage

In locations where rainfall is high, or deluges common, filling French drains with gravel, rocks and stones from the natural environment can help to direct excess water in your garden. French drains can be a solution for waterlogged lawns or wildflower meadows, and water can be directed to a garden pond which will be of benefit to local wildlife. Gravel and stones from your garden can also be used to add drainage for raised beds or to pots in a container garden.

If you have a stony, rocky garden, do not see this as a problem – see it as an opportunity. There are plenty of different ways to make use of this natural resource around your garden.