During the summer we get in the mood for relax. Vacations can’t get out of our heads and we hardly stand to stay inside. So the garden becomes an extension of our home. Days last longer, the nights are warmer, and as a natural consequence we spend more time in our courtyard. However, turning a garden into an oasis is not an easy task. That’s why in recent years, garden architecture has become a business with its own secrets. To help you out, we have gathered some of the hottest stone garden decoration ideas. So call your friends to enjoy a cocktail or a dinner together and live dreamy summer evenings.
Plants are the most basic ingredient for a wonderful garden: flowers, shrubs, ornamental trees and natural grass. By using them correctly, not only we give color to our garden, but we can also separate the yard into themed room-like spaces. We can build flowerbeds (decorated with stone) to plant our flowers there. One additional point we need to pay attention to is ground cover, i.e. covering the soil around the roots of plants (especially of flowers and shrubberies) with special materials. By covering the ground with gravel or pebble mixed with pine bark, we can decorate our plants and flowerbeds. Additionally we protect them from weeds (as it makes it more difficult to grow) and help the soil stay in place during heavy rain and watering.
Another addition that changes the looks of a garden in a dramatic way is the cobbled paths. These can help us direct the eyes and put some order in the chaotic open space. They also allow us to have access to the areas we have delimited, regardless of weather conditions, since these paths will remain clear of mud even in rainy days. There are several different styles and materials that can be used for this purpose, depending on the desired effect: if we want symmetry, marble or limestone slabs precisely cut will give the tone. If we prefer something more relaxed and traditional, the stone is probably more appropriate, since the unspecified shape of each slab adds character to each step. Finally, we can form paths with gravel or large pebbles, which are usually built on a cement base to stay firm in their place.
Zen Garden: An idea that came from the Far East and took the western world by storm is the Zen rock garden. These consist of one or more large natural rocks or hills with ornamental plants (such as Bonsai trees) and fine gravel (or if it’s very small in size, sand) spread around them. The purpose of Zen garden is to provide a relaxing activity while helping with meditation. Statues: An idea that revives the Victorian era is the decoration of gardens with carved marble columns, gazebos and statuettes. In the past, the use of plaster decorative elements was the only way to go, but thanks to CNC technology we can now engrave on marble anything we want at a relatively low cost, making it an accessible solution worth considering.
Summer in Greece is by definition warm, so water plays a leading role in the garden decoration. Especially if your home is away from the sea, adding a wet feature is considered a must. The most common object we find in the courtyards is of course garden taps, always willing to cool us and quench our thirst, while fountains are also quite common. A new trend that can be combined with Zen gardens and aims to calm rather than cool us are the Koi fish lakes. Essentially these are open outdoor aquariums where the goldfish grow freely. If you have cats, treat this idea with proper consideration! Finally, we could not leave pools outside of this talk. However, gone are the days of huge swimming pools that we usually see in Hollywood villas. What’s new in pool fashion is closer to reality: small swimming pools, easy to acquire and maintain, that we can enjoy with our mate or just a few friends.
Home is where the hearth is
The ideas we have seen so far have been mostly decorative. The following will add some usability value to your garden. Barbeque Grill: The most common idea (especially in Greece where we throw a BBQ at any and every occasion) is a stone-built barbecue grill. Combine a granite bench with a sink and food preparation will become child’s play. Fireplace and fire pit: this is a particularly popular idea, especially in Canada and Alaska, but it is constantly gaining ground all over the world. Essentially, we create an outdoor living room with a fireplace or a special pit where we can light a fire that will allow us to enjoy the garden with our friends even on the coldest summer nights.
Do it like the Flintstones
Almost all of the ideas we presented in this article require some outdoor furniture to be complete. While your first thought might be bamboo furniture, it’s worth considering the use of stone for this purpose. Stone furniture needs much less maintenance and has increased resistance to external conditions. Not all garden furniture can be made using stone. However I bet you’ve seen several times tables made of marble, benches with stone blocks or even large rocks that play the role of chair.
Adding the final touches
The stone cladding of concrete is the last (but certainly not least) touch in the creation of an earthly paradise. Without the looks of stone, all the hard work that you have done so far will always feel incomplete and will emit some sort of sloppiness.
Are you a designer, decorator or landscape architect? Or are you an individual looking to hire an expert in landscaping and gardening? PANAMARM is here to help you “rock” at garden deco and supply you with excellent quality materials to shape your courtyard. We hope the ideas presented in this article will help you enjoy your garden and make your summer magical!