Landscaping with Stones, Gravel, Pavers

In our area, stones are a natural part of the landscape. In fact, it's impossible to plant anything here without removing rocks and stones of various shapes and sizes.

On our slice of property in NE Oklahoma, we have made stacked walls, walkways and flower bed borders with the natural rocks we have unearthed and moved.

There is a new, extremely worthwhile little book out called "The Spirit of Stone: 101 Practical and Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden" by Jan Johnsen.

It's loaded with beautiful photographs will inspire your creative process. There are simple project designs that home owners can accomplish on their own or with friends and family pitching in

In addition, Johnsen has plenty of more complex projects that you may want to hire a professional to do for your landscape.

The photos include ideas you may want to use for a rock garden, steps, viewing spots, dry stream bed, walk, foundation, stacked rock art, edging, or art.

There are charts of types of stone, rock garden plants (Johnsen is on the east coast of the US), mortar colors, etc. There are easily understood drawings of construction methods/plans for the ambitious.

On the other hand, if you are in the mood to admire rather than construct, there is also a list of public gardens around the US where you can see beautiful rock installations. 

Jan Johnsen is an award-winning instructor at the NY Botanical Garden, author of Heaven is a Garden (St. Lynn's Press, 2014) and a celebrated landscape designer. Her  design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, was awarded a 2014 Merit Award by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). 

Johnsen was adjunct professor at Columbia University and has worked in Japan, East Africa, Hawaii, Vermont, New Orleans and New York. 

Her other books include: Heaven is a Garden,  Ortho's All About Trees and Gardening without Soil. She blogs at Serenity in the Garden. 

For inspiration, meditation on natural materials and an interesting read, pick up the book. It's The Spirit of Stone, hard cover, 8 by 7 inches, 192-pages, published by St. Lynn's Press, $22 list price, $17 at online vendors.


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